Silent Witness: Sitting, Standing, and Walking for All We Love

We offer firm, silent, grounded presence for racial justice, climate justice, and loving kindness for all beings–especially Black Lives and those who have been targeted for abuse by the Alt Right. This meditation, organized by members of Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Portland, will be led by Rev. Jayna Warm Nest Gieber with People of the Heart, inviting a Temple Bell made from shell casings in Viet Nam.

We will occupy land that originally belonged to the Kalapuya, Chinook, and Clackamas peoples, next to the Willamette River, so named by the indigenous peoples who were stewards of the area for the 10,000 years before people of European descent arrived. We will begin meditating during the hour prior to the time announced for a rally to celebrate Confederate monuments and Alt Right values at Salmon Street Fountain. Several counter-protests are scheduled to converge on the fountain around 1:30pm. Whether or not the Alt Right rally is cancelled, and whatever the response of the counter-protesters, our intention is to sit, stand, and walk silently in the space, welcoming others who find strength in silence.

We will lay down a ground cover that can accommodate about fifty cushions on the grassy area just beyond a line of trees to the north of the fountain. If you want to sit, bring a cushion or chair. If you are sufficiently able-bodied to bring an extra cushion or chair for anyone who may want to join us, please do. Some may prefer to stand or walk. Carry or wear signs expressing your values. Bring your own water. Be prepared to meditate with eyes open, allowing mindful awareness in each moment. Parking and traffic will be difficult, so come on foot or by public transport if possible.

No experience in meditation or Buddhism is necessary. Everyone who stands for racial justice and climate justice and wishes to share the power of group silence is welcome to join us. The bell will be present until 1:30, and people are welcome to hold silence in the space for as long as they like.