do no harm
Hello. This is Clyde Grossman. Some of you know me from ZFI, but many of you don’t. I participated briefly on this forum some years ago, but my path took a different way. Still, I maintained contact with Jundo, occasionally watched a video of his or Taigu’s (one of my favorites, which I’ve watched several times, is “a bowl of dirty soup” found here: http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafze...-the-bowl.html).
Since August, 2006 promoting “do no harm” has been a part of my practice. In January, 2008 I persuaded Jundo to write a ‘reflection’ for the DO NO HARM web-site. You can find it here http://www.donoharm.us/id4.html by scrolling to the bottom as Jundo’s is the first reflection. (My ‘reflection’ is next above his and will give you a glimpse of why I do this.) DO NO HARM is a non-profit non-organization, a ‘circle of friends’. We offer free DO NO HARM items (bumper stickers, wrist bands, and round decals) and have distributed over 100,000 items in the United States and in many countries around the world.
I’m posting this to offer the following: if you PM me with your first and last name, city, state/province, and country, I will add your name to our list of ‘co-authors’ of the DO NO HARM essay which is on the home-page ( www.donoharm.us ) and/or PM me with your mailing address and I’ll mail you free DO NO HARM items for yourself, family and friends; just let me know how many of each item you want.
p.s: And if anyone is concerned, DO NO HARM does not keep, share or sell addresses or even maintain a data-base.
Thank you. I will look into the invitation.
This matter has particularly acute resonance for me having spent most of my adult life (livelihood) doing some harm to pelagic, forage fish of the ocean by using them to make fish feed, so that we can grow more fish to-be-consumed.
A friend of mine, and of my family, Ben Goldsmith is E.D. of Farm Forward, is becoming a helpful resource. Farm Forward is a progressive, animal-welfare based NPO, trying to change/enlighten the conduct of ag industry and consumers t'wards stewardship of animals in their "care". Those of you familiar with the degree-of-animal-welfare, numbered "rating system" at WholeFoods can see one of the developments coming out of Farm Forward's involvement. But, herein, I am not advocating for everyone to "go Vegan"; though in Buddhist traditions (f.x. Japan's Kansha and Shojin ryori cooking), doing no harm has often meant refraining from eating animals whenever possible. I do remember R H Blyth once saying that we aren't as affected by killing a carrot, but that's only because they don't scream as loud. Thus killing to survive, thus to train in the Way, is a condition of reality.
And, realizing that this is but one aspect of do-no-harm, it is important to note that Do No Harm doesn't seem to be there to advocate mass demonstrations, political events, boycotts, send lots of money to pay for executive directors and staff, etc. It says,
"There is nothing special that you must believe.
There is nothing special that you must do or not do.
But....do no harm."
You’re quite right, we don’t advocate specific actions to be done or even what is to be avoided. As we wrote in the DO NO HARM essay, “What does "do no harm" mean? Ultimately it means to give thoughtful consideration to our actions.” It’s a gentle request to pause . . . to consider what we will say or do, to reflect on our intentions and the probable consequences, and then to proceed as we judge best.
In Buddhist terms, I understand “do no harm” as a rephrasing of the first Pure Precept, usually translated as “do no evil”. And what is “evil”? Causing unnecessary suffering (harm) is evil – at least that’s my understanding.
Yes, the first of the Three Pure Precepts is a very appropriate connection to "Do No Harm"