Our household hosts a weekly open dinner for our various communities. These dinners are meant to provide a regular space to be together as we are: Bring food or not, according to your desire and ability. There is always enough. Check in about how you’re doing, for real. A sacred space for sharing connection, laughter, ideas, food, stories, nourishment, support. A community refuge. A place to build and strengthen our support network, and to be ourselves, together.

Sometimes someone will pose a question as a way to focus and deepen the conversation. This week, after the intensity of MLK weekend, the inauguration of a fascist into the US presidency, and days of protests here and across the world, we decided to make the theme more intentional in advance: Refuge & Resistance (h/t to Buddhist Peace Fellowship).

What we did last night

So last night there were 13 of us crowded around a table that normally seats 8. We each shared something about “how have resistance and refuge shown up for you this past week?”

Such richness in the wide range of ways people are feeling and engaging, supporting and being supported by one another! We talked about disability justice and finding ways to engage sustainably, learning how to gauge where it’s wisest to put one’s energy, the challenge of certain kinds of protest not being accessible, and struggles with healthcare and lack of family support around gender and disability. We told and heard stories about the various street protests we’d been part of — blockades on inauguration day, marches throughout the week, and how sometimes collective resistance gives a sense of refuge. We talked about how it’s sometimes difficult to find a sense of refuge, emotionally shutting down, sleeping more. We talked about creating a sense of refuge at home or at work. We talked about healing, and treating our healing professions as holy work, noticing the increased need in our communities in recent months. We talked about teaching — teaching kids in a way that supports their revolutionary imaginations, teaching other men about ways of creating safety,┬áteaching dharma communities about new ways to think about refuge. We talked about engaging with our Trump-supporting families.

I am sorry we didn’t take a picture of this beautiful group last night, but even without a photo, I really wanted to share with Lightning Bolt this beautiful instance of 13 of us coming together to “get ready” for this era. Learning together how to shore up our community, creating liberated zones to nourish ourselves and build our individual and collective strength, and having intentional conversations about the world and our roles in it. More to come!