Mar 7, 2008

A Quick Note on the West Memphis Three

A glance through my stats tells me that interest in the West Memphis Three is way up, which makes sense because we may be reaching a turning point in this tragic saga. I originally covered this story here, some time ago. Every day for the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that page coming up in the stats. This morning, though, the search criteria was so interesting, I had to respond. One item searched for: "John Mark Byers is innocent." Yes, my internet wondering friend, I think he is. He really looked like a guilty man in the "Paradise Lost" documentaries, but there is more evidence connecting the step-father of another of the murdered boys, Terry Hobbs, whose DNA is consistent with hairs recovered at the murder scene. Byers has made a dramatic turn-around and has taken to wearing Free the WM3 t-shirts. Why? Mounting evidence that is pretty hard to refute, for anyone but the most logic-resistant among us.

I had hoped to blog a bit about the new developments in this case late last year, but was too busy with the whole Christmas thing to write much of anything. There have been major break-throughs in this case. Much of it is summed up in these videos. They're a little slow going, in the way that only lawyer speak can be, but they are utterly compelling. In a nutshell. There is no DNA evidence -- or any other -- connecting the convicted boys to the murder. Much of the mutilation of the bodies was caused by animal predation after the fact; not some horrific ritual killing. Also, as stated above, the only physical evidence implicates Terry Hobbs and one of his associates.

So to the intrepid web surfer looking for the following tidbit: "damien echols -- PSYCHICS DID HE DO IT," I can only say, NO!!


Mar 5, 2008

A Meditation on Suffering

Lotus II

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In the most recent Energy Alert from Karen Bishop, "Surviving the Storm" -- Feb. 23, 2008, she invokes the issue of suffering. Like most of her alerts, the issue felt very timely. I know I'm feeling depleted, exhausted, frustrated, and beset by a sadness and anger that, like so many of the collective experiences that Bishop explains so well, has no nameable source. In the alert she gives her explanation of the higher purpose of suffering.

Suffering is occurring to support individuals into making a change. When we are extremely miserable, we are more inclined to be open to doing things differently, or perhaps inclined to let go of internal patterns that have continued to cause us misery for a very long time. And as most of us know, we are the ones who cause ourselves misery, and in this way, we are then empowered to make change, as changing ourselves is what creates the change on the outside as well, and then the ball is in our own court.

It can be difficult and very challenging to watch all this suffering around us. Our hearts go out to those involved. We deeply care. It can at times seem as though the world has gone mad. But we must also remember that each and every one of us is on our own unique journey, and our journeys are what create the needed changes.

In one of those delightful, little synchronicities of which life is so full, I stumbled on some very useful material, while assembling YouTube videos for my bookstore players. In these segments Pema Chodron explains the practice of tonglen; the use of suffering as a means to awakening.

In this video, from an appearance at The Omega Institute, Chodron offers a tonglen meditation on suffering in a time of war.