Centro Zen L’Arco: Holding the Love in Our Hearts: Rome Gay Pride 2016

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In 2012 Centro Zen L’Arco started to participate officially to the Gay Pride of Rome as a spiritual practice to manifest the Harmony of Difference and Equality

Holding the Love in Our Hearts: Rome Gay Pride 2016

Colosseum 2

This year the Roma Gay Pride 2016 took place on June the 11th, in the afternoon. We started from Piazza della Repubblica and walked through the center of Rome, passed by the Colosseum and ended right in front of the Ancient Forum. We were not able to rent a truck to sit meditation on it throughout the parade as planned, so we just marched with our brothers and sisters in the Dharma to show our love and support.

It was an important appointment because just few months ago the Italian House of Deputies gave the final vote needed to make civil unions a reality for gay and lesbian couples in Italy. An important first step, but there is more work to be done, as the new law still allows discrimination against children with gay or lesbian parents. So we marched to celebrate but also to ask that all families be treated equally – in Italy and everywhere else.

Piazza della Repubblica

The unconsciousness of the larger culture creates a lot of harm and oppression in the hearth of LGBTQ community members. How do we move through that, transform that, without becoming that ourselves?

According to the Buddhist psychology we co-create our reality. So how can we co-create as opposed to being imposed by? How do we begin to diversify that sense of dominance? It’s an indispensable spiritual work, and a social justice work.

In the Jijuyu zanmai, The Self Fulfilling Samadhi – a very important Sutra for the Zen tradition – is written: “It’s like a hammer striking emptiness: before and after, its exquisite peal permeates everywhere”. The whole Universe is like a symphony that we co-create. How do we want to contribute? Are we aware that our contribution will influence the whole symphony “like a hammer striking emptiness”?


We happily marched side by side with a delegation of the US Embassy of Rome, but the day after, on June the 12th, we sadly expressed our condolences to the US citizens for the tragedy in Orlando, where the lives of 50 people at a gay dance club has been taken.

In this difficult time, we turn to our practice–to our loving, compassionate heart-minds–and hold everyone tenderly in Buddha’s embrace.

May we focus our hearts and minds now on unity, acceptance, and resilience rather than blame and hate. May we bring the world into our hearts and extend our loving kindness to those affected by this violent acts. May we turn our hearts and minds towards the conditions for realizing our Bodhisattva vow of freeing all beings from suffering and the causes of suffering.

Dario Doshin Girolami



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