Many African Americans see no use for Buddhism in their lives and community. This is unfortunate because the relevance of Buddhism, especially the ideas available for men to contemplate, are directly related to taming their anger when they need to the most.
I was at a recent event where a Hollywood celebrity insider snubbed my presence as though I had no business being there. Unfortunate, because there was absolutely no room to converse about the mental health of young black men and women under tremendous pressure to perform. The protectors of celebrities on the inside dropped the ball on this one. My sense is that the protectors need to review there own ideas about the situation as they call for others to do the same. Bodyguards protect the physical person, PR firms protect the public image, producers and musicians protect the integrity of the music, but who protects the celebrities minds from becoming out of control? This is a job or a highly qualified individual who knows the human mindscape, and I don't mean psychiatrists and psychologists. Usually the pscyh doctors come in AFTER the traumatic incident, too late for high profile celebrities! I've done suicide watch on folks whose interventions came too late. It's not pretty. Proactive and preventative action are far more effective BEFORE problms arise. Meditation and contemplation of equanimity are like precious jewels to those under extreme performance pressure.
Here are four contemplations I would have shared with Chris Brown to meditate on over the past few years as his career matured. I feel it would have served him well in this unfortunate moment.
52. An African American Buddhist man should strive to be an antidote to the suffering of women and children.
60. An African American Buddhist man understands that men carry a lineage of hypocrisy toward women and have no right to stand in judgment of them.
63. An African American Buddhist man understands that whatever has been expected of, done to, and blamed on women, including our mothers, has been overwhelming for women to bear.
64. An African American Buddhist man understands that women have been the victims of tyranny crafted by the minds, hands, and doctrines of men.
76. An African American Buddhist man accepts women for who they are and whatever they strive to be.
The vision for black men in the future must have new tools, new models, new success stories that are not bound in the ways of old. Otherwise the best and the brightest will fall into the ranks of infamy and wickedness that has come forward with us from slavery. OJ, Rick James, Al Green, Lionel Richie, the prisons, the cemeteries, the broken families, the children who live with life long emotional scars, we know the list and we know it is very long.
When will women and children be safe from angry black men? This is a fair question to ask and I hope sisters will see the wisdom in what I am presenting after forty years of training, research, and experience.
Rihanna and her success deserve mental health training and couples guidance especially under the pressure of stardom. Why wasn't this in place and if it was why did it fail? The problems these two young people will endure now are difficult if not impossible to erase. The embarrassment, shame, public humiliation and injury to self esteem, self confidence, self motivation, and self image will take more than a PR firm's skillful manipulation of public image. These are real problems that are now part of both star's human psyches.
Please let me know if there is any way I can help to promote respect for one another.
Rihanna Bloodied, Beaten, Bitten By Chris Brown: Reports (UPDATE): "Brown pulled his silver Lamborghini to the side of a street in L.A.'s Hancock Park neighborhood. That's when, per the source, Rihanna grabbed the car keys and tossed them out the window, sending Brown into a rage. He tried in vain to find the keys, then came back to the car, put his hands around her neck and, according to the insider, said, 'I'm going to kill you!' According to the source, the 20-year-old 'Disturbia' singer told police that she lost consciousness, and when she awoke, Brown had fled."