My Two Cents
hellos to all those visiting here.
I have been interested in my thoughts and responses to the various threads posted regarding activity, group activity, and engaged buddhism.
I'm not for it. For me, such activity takes me into places the practice of zazen has gotten me out of.
There is an idealization going on. I can't put my finger on it or explain it. Words fail me. I can't adequately convey the aspects of conceptualization going on--the very thing zazen practice roots out.
No, I will not be handing anyone a card or a pamphlet. And no, when I give money to someone who is homeless or begging I won't say 'this is in buddha's name,' or 'this well intentioned action is for your benefit...' no, No, NO!
I wish I could eloquently explain, but I can't. I wish I could in-eloquently explain, but I can't.
Maybe there are circumstances in which I will be able to: be able to explain, or be able to hand out a buddhist pamphlet or a 'pass it forward' card about intentions.
As it is, I do not publically identify myself as buddhist, looking at me, I am just a middle aged woman almost 60. As a middle aged human being I do what I can in what ways I can. Sitting zazen over the years some layers of thought have dropped. What do I know? That what I know isn't what I think I know.
There already is a group activity occuring in which every member and every guest member and visitor contributes to. It publically identifies itself as buddhist and promotes buddhism in the West (and the ten directions as well). That activity is Treeleaf itself.
From where I sit to ask about doing more is like someone sitting on the zafu saying--well, don't tell me this is IT, isn't there more? I want a mantra, I want to visualize, I want to ...
This is a very difficult practice. It isn't for everyone. It is as minimal as it gets. This minimalism leads to a lot of uncomfortable feelings. Stay with them, this very minimalism that leads to uncomfortable feelings also leads through them.
PS I think each of us wherever it is we find ourselves in the world is free to act in accordance with our situation and circumstances. Act locally.
It might be nice for folks to share some of their actions--might make me aware of something I otherwise wouldn't be. It might also be nice for folks to not share. Just because I don't post what I do, doesn't mean I do nothing. There are those of us that just 'do' and don't make mental notes about the doing; the doing being devoid (in that moment of action) of any sense of intention---good or otherwise. When I 'do' I certainly don't think or say 'this is done in the name of the buddha.' Unnecessary.