A Dozen “Mindful” Moments worth Remembering: the Second Inauguration of President Obama.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 23, 2013
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12 Mindful Highlights worth remembering from President Obama’s Second Inauguration.

On Dr. Martin Luther King Day and 50 years after The March on Washington, President Barack Obama invoked the Dr. King’s call for equality during his second inaugural speech.

And perhaps most surprisingly and most certainly at length, he highlighted climate change, for the first time, as a priority: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

Two additional highlights to the below: Myrlie Evers-Williams, the civil rights leader and widow, delivered the invocation, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” from the same level as the president.

Full Video:

1. Slow Food? Slow Money? Slow President: a Leader who Appreciates the Moment. {video}

Obama Takes One Last Look At Inauguration Crowd “I’m Not Going To See This Again.”

Pres. Obama stops to “take a look one more time” at the scene on the Mall after delivering his second inaugural address. For more CNN videos, check out http://www.youtube.com/cnn or visit our site at http://www.cnn.com/video/

2. After every party, trash. Oh, Starbucks: howwabout compostable or recycled?

3. “Through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall…”

For the first time in our history, an inaugural address mentioned the rights of gay Americans–President Obama stated that

“America’s journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.”

4. We the People: 600,000 attended, the Bidens and Obamas (like Carter) walked the parade instead of limo’ing it:

5. The First Daughters, just being girls:

And…First Photobomb:


“Joining the president through the long day were the first lady, Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11. The young girls were playful. Malia at one point sneaked up behind her father and cried out, “Boo!” Sasha used a smartphone to take a picture of her parents kissing in the reviewing stand, then made them do it again. Both girls bounced with the martial music at the Capitol…”


6. Highlights of the Parade:

7. Historical perspective:

8. Will any change we can believe in occur over the next four years? It’s up to us. Engage:

9. James Taylor sings “America the Beautiful.”

10. From Barack’s personal perspective:

11: Michelle, looking stylish and stunning. And the Obamas dancing, getting loose despite the lights and cameras and strange pomp-ful scene:

12. Finally, video and full text of Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem:

“One Today”

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper—
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives—
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind—our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me—in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.


For more: 10 Reasons why Obama Won.


This President Can—& Must—Claim a Mandate to Govern – We should expect a great deal from him. He’s re-elected with a higher percentage of popular vote than John Kennedy, Richard Nixon in ’68, Jimmy Carter in ’76, Ronald Reagan in 1980, Bill Clinton in ’92 or ’96 or George Bush in 2000 or ’04. (thenation.com)


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


5 Responses to “A Dozen “Mindful” Moments worth Remembering: the Second Inauguration of President Obama.”

  1. HeatherM says:

    Don't you think it would have been really cool if they had done some fun and funky dance moves re: swings, dips, etc…:-0) This song deserves it!

  2. ava says:

    here are some more mindful highlights of the second inauguration of barak hussein obomb'em:
    ~ he, a wolf in sheeps clothing, is dressed as a pretty black democrat, but is really a front man for the corporate financier republican elites obsessed with destroying the planet.
    ~ drone strikes on libya, yugoslavia, yemen, afghanistan, africa, pakistan, iraq, syria and the list keeps growing.
    ~ he, who is dropping more bombs on poor third world countries than george w bush.
    ~ he, who swore on martin luther kings bible for the pomp, pagaentry and circumstance of the rigged presidential election, while sending drones (about 20,000!) to murder without cause, even in his fathers own country.
    ~ he, who made it illegal to protest and outlawing the 'occupy' movement and he, who presided over, supported and signed the NDAA (NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT – LOOK IT UP!) which makes it legal to declare you a terrorist, kidnap you and your mother, torture and murder you , all the while having no reason, purpose, trial or even ever having to tell or explain it to anyone! yes, its true of your first black prezident! and you thought he was so cool.
    ~ he, who laughed as he supported, sided and bailed out the big banks, wall street and other corporate fascists while destroying the economy and not protecting the working american through the mortgage fraud. remember the financial meltdown? he's your man.
    ~he, who has the arrogance to compare himself to martin luther king who stated that 'the US was the biggest purveyor of violence in the world' while he is poised to blow up the world on three continents.
    ~ he, who is forcing americans to buy horrible health insurance that they werent even able to give away!
    ~ he, who has a cabinet full of monsanto drones, military brass, and other of the lowest common denominator of humanity.
    ~he, who has done nothing for black people, poor people or the average american, other than to criminalize being poor and firing hundreds of black teachers in his own hometown of chicago. under his 'race to the top' obomb'em has sided with his corporate sugar daddies over his working class black voters. well, he knows who wins him the elections!
    ~he, well, the list goes on and on….
    obama is a war criminal, a murderer. what he has done is against international law and should be tried for treason, and war crimes and prosecuted under the 1996 war crimes act, which carries the death penalty.
    and you thought he was so cool. is it because he is black? or at least half black?

  3. jpmann says:

    so true, the fools will never see the truth

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