Joel Burns: A Texas Sized Bodhisattva. (see comments for debate on homosexuality.)

Via Benjamin Riggs
on Oct 22, 2010
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“Even fear itself is frightened by the Bodhisattva’s fearlessness.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche once described the energy that sustains the vow taken by a Bodhisattva as follows, “Taking the Bodhisattva vow implies that instead of holding onto our own individual territory and defending it tooth and nail, we become open to the world that we are living in… in fact, it means taking a big chance.”

I have had the good fortune to meet along my path several people who have been inspired by this very energy. They are selfless individuals or at least have the capacity to act out side of themselves in remarkable fashion. They inspire those around them, not by fancy speeches or sheer brilliance (though they may possess both of these qualities), but by personifying the immense potential available to us all. Their very being directly points out the great potential within each an every one of us. Often times these people hold no prominent position in religion, academia, or politics; they are ordinary run of the mill folks just like you and me, which makes them all the more inspiring.

The courage in these amazing people is so complete and so formidable that Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche adds, “Even fear itself is frightened by the Bodhisattva’s fearlessness.” On October the 12th 2010 I have no doubt that fear trembled as Joel Burns took to the podium! Joel Burns in my opinion, though only a meager city councilman, is the most important American politician of my day. He set a precedent, but not with his speech (though it was a wonderful speech). He set a precedent in American politics by being willing to put his career in politics to death for the sake of truth. Out of compassion, an open-heart (the cornerstone of the Bodhisattva) he put aside his own ambitions and did what was right for the sake of others.

I have been out of town for two weeks, in a place that has no Internet connection or TV (yes such places do still exist), so I did not hear his speech until this morning. I suppose this is all old news to everyone else, but I wanted to post this article today anyway… Not as an opinion piece, or to write a popular article; simply to praise the courage that Joel Burns demonstrated that night, and pray that this courage is infectious.

Just in case you live under a larger rock than I do, I have posted the video below:


About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


54 Responses to “Joel Burns: A Texas Sized Bodhisattva. (see comments for debate on homosexuality.)”

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  4. Perigar says:

    Burns last year opted against running for the Texas State Senate District 10 job that Davis is leaving to pursue a bid for governor.