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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    .
    ... WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN


    ... TO GOOD PEOPLE.



    With the death of perhaps tens of thousands here in Japan, the suffering of countless more ... seemingly innocent children and others among the hardest hit ... some perspectives and teachings on why 'bad things happen'. Karma? Nature? Destiny? A Deity's Mysterious Plan? Simple bad luck? In fact, the truth is that none of us in this life ... none of us ... escape this life with our lives. Long or short, we are here for a time, having wondrously been born ... but do not stay here forever. And, while it is shocking and tragic to see so many have their lives and homes lost at once ... the truth is that most human beings will have such times sometime in life ... if not by earthquake(there was quite an aftershock about 4 minutes into today's shake-a-long talk, as you'll share) or nuclear fallout or flood ... then by a doctor's diagnosis, house fire, traffic accident or the like. The Buddha taught that such is the human condition ... times of old age, sickness, loss and death. All worldly things are impermanent ... including you, me and those we love.

    Sounds pretty bleak! ........... But, It's Not!
    (or, better said, "not only" so heartbreaking).

    For, no less, the Buddha offered a medicine for human suffering. Together with teachings on suffering and impermanence, he also taught us another way to experience, to see, to merge into, be at peace, one and whole in these things: ... loss yet never loss possible ... birth and death amid the deathless and unborn ... time flowing as the timeless, beyond count of 'long' 'short' 'young' 'old' ... the waters rushing forward while no place to go ... the earth's shaking in stillness ... houses lost while this 'True Home' remains. "Bad" things happen hand-in-hand with a Peace, tasted in Zazen, which swallows whole all small views of "good" and "bad". Although "all things are change", and some changes are hard and ugly ... there is that which dances with all change, and a heart which, when at peace, can fully let it all just be. Flowers are born of seeds, live for a time, then fall. Same for weeds in life, though we may despise them.

    Oh, I do not want anyone to mistake my words for a lack compassion toward the countless people still hungry and thirsty, cold and uprooted just miles north of here, in this country that has been so kind to me for half my life. Far from it, and my heart is broken by what is happening here. But we must feel compassion for everyone, all sentient beings everywhere now suffering.

    In the story of Kisa Gotami...

    When her son died just a few years into his life, Kisa Gotami went mad with grief. A wise person saw her condition and told her to find the Buddha, who had the medicine she needed. Kisa Gotami went to the Buddha, and asked him to give her the medicine that would restore her dead child to life. The Buddha told her to go out and find a mustard seed from a house where nobody had died. Kisa Gotami was heartened, and began her search, going door to door. Everyone was willing to give her a mustard seed, but every household she encountered had seen at least one death. She understood why the Buddha had sent her on this quest. She returned to the Buddha, who confirmed what she had realized: "There is no house where death does not come."
    (Jesus also offered a parable of the mustard seed: To those who have faith the size of a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible to you).

    NONE OF US CAN ESCAPE.

    YET, NONE OF US EVER LESS THAN FREE WHEN SEEN WITH A BUDDHA'S EYE.


    For donations to the children and people of Japan and other places around the world also in need ...

    http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

    http://www.savethechildren.org

    Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended.



    .
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-12-2014 at 04:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    These teachings are profound and are profoundly expressed. Sincere thanks.
    Soen

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Thank you Jundo; In the midst of suffering and sacrifice we find stillness

  4. #4

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Thank you for this teaching!!!


    Gassho


    Seiryu

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Since day one of this crisis I have been reflecting a lot about impermanence. This teaching only helps me understand a bit more.

    Thank you for this teaching, Jundo Sensei.

    I'm glad you, Taigu and your family are okay.

  6. #6

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Interesting article on CNN about how Japanese deal with such tragedies vis-a-vis religion:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/1 ... t-tragedy/

    Not sure how accurate it is, but seems to jive with things Jundo has commented on in the past.

    Thanks for this post, Jundo.

    Gassho,
    Matt

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    I previously read your preamble to todays sit-a-long and commented before watching the video. I have now watched the videos of you, Jundo-oso with the headless Avalokitshvara amongst the strewn shards of Treeleaf's roof tiles. ( and just how did you schedule that aftershock )Following which, i viewed the sit-a-long from just 10 days ago when you spoke of imperfections; of falling down and getting up; And, the significance of "how you get back up" in the story of the Emperor's Master Archer. In speaking of the bearing the unbearable which Japanese people find themselves subjected to over the past few days; I believe we are witnessing the actions of a true Master. Thank you for your teachings.

  8. #8

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Interesting article on CNN about how Japanese deal with such tragedies vis-a-vis religion:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/1 ... t-tragedy/

    Not sure how accurate it is, but seems to jive with things Jundo has commented on in the past.

    Thanks for this post, Jundo.

    Gassho,
    Matt
    I wasn't aware of how some Japanese view Buddhism. Not what I would have predicted (not knowing much), Buddhism being so closely tied to burial rites and ancestor "worship" in Japan. Interesting article. Gassho, Grace.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Having worked in the Japanese Funeral Industry for most of seven years and in close proximity to the rituals, I can agree with a lot of the article but cannot go along with the "funeral buddhism" criticism with regard to the Soto Zen Priests I have known. (This is true feeling, I have no reason to suck up to a couple of notables on this board/ who shut off the BBCode when you need it, ) They have all been quite vibrant, in tune with needs and very much concerned with society; compared to other branches, some almost commercialized. Having said that, I used to enjoy paying 1000 yen to share a cup of sake and be blessed by a Shinto Priest every New Years Eve; six years in a row !!

  10. #10
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho,

    Shawn

  11. #11

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Thank you Jundo for giving up some of your precious 'power' time to give us this profound teaching. Like you say so often, it is all a good chance for practice, one way or another.

    Gassho

  12. #12
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    All worldly things are impermanent ... including you, me and those we love.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TsOPjZEF6E[/video]] (Queen, "Who Wants to Live Forever")

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    NONE OF US CAN ESCAPE.

    YET, NONE OF US EVER LESS THAN FREE WHEN SEEN WITH A BUDDHA'S EYE.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Am watching the Sit-A-Long, and, Jundo, be careful how often you say, "earthquake."

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Thank you for this profound teaching! I shared the story of the mustard seed with my son Leon (who has already seen a great deal of death in his mere 9 years of life).

    Gassho,
    John

  15. #15

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    I saw this today about Buddhist monks in different countries praying for Japan:

    http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 86,0,0,1,0

    I don't want this to turn into a "what is Buddhism" thread, but passages like these still baffle me:

    "'It would be very good if Japanese Buddhists are to recite 'Heart Sutra' on this occasion. Such recitation may not only be helpful for those who have lost their precious lives, but **may also help prevent further disasters in the future**,' he said in a message to the Japanese people. (said by Dalai Lama)"

    -Help prevent disaster in the future? How???

    "'We have offered special prayers, seeking divine blessing for the safety and security of people from nature fury in Japan,' said Bhante Prayagsheel, a monk."

    -Divine blessings? From whom???

  16. #16

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I saw this today about Buddhist monks in different countries praying for Japan:

    http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 86,0,0,1,0

    I don't want this to turn into a "what is Buddhism" thread, but passages like these still baffle me:

    "'It would be very good if Japanese Buddhists are to recite 'Heart Sutra' on this occasion. Such recitation may not only be helpful for those who have lost their precious lives, but **may also help prevent further disasters in the future**,' he said in a message to the Japanese people. (said by Dalai Lama)"

    -Help prevent disaster in the future? How???

    "'We have offered special prayers, seeking divine blessing for the safety and security of people from nature fury in Japan,' said Bhante Prayagsheel, a monk."

    -Divine blessings? From whom???
    Well, it all certainly couldn't hurt. Who knows, it might help. Even if not, it's the thought that counts.

    My physicist friend, the fellow advising me, wrote me earlier this week to say that, while he does not believe in God ... he has been praying all week. I have been too. Science seems to have failed, so who know knows what might work.

    On the subject of prayer, I frequently experience such "winking at heaven" moments ... as when our son was in the hospital last year ... calling on any resources available, but simultaneously asking nothing and no favors ... but asking anyway ... a prayer to Buddha, to Kannon, to God, to anyone or any ear who might listen. Maybe, yes, asking for a favor ... but, at heart, expressing a willingness to yield to it all whatever happens.

    Gassho, J

  17. #17

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I saw this today about Buddhist monks in different countries praying for Japan:

    http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 86,0,0,1,0

    I don't want this to turn into a "what is Buddhism" thread, but passages like these still baffle me:

    "'It would be very good if Japanese Buddhists are to recite 'Heart Sutra' on this occasion. Such recitation may not only be helpful for those who have lost their precious lives, but **may also help prevent further disasters in the future**,' he said in a message to the Japanese people. (said by Dalai Lama)"

    -Help prevent disaster in the future? How???

    "'We have offered special prayers, seeking divine blessing for the safety and security of people from nature fury in Japan,' said Bhante Prayagsheel, a monk."

    -Divine blessings? From whom???
    Well, it all certainly couldn't hurt. Who knows, it might help. Even if not, it's the thought that counts.

    My physicist friend, the fellow advising me, wrote me earlier this week to say that, while he does not believe in God ... he has been praying all week. I have been too. Science seems to have failed, so who know knows what might work.

    On the subject of prayer, I frequently experience such "winking at heaven" moments ... as when our son was in the hospital last year ... calling on any resources available, but simultaneously asking nothing and no favors ... but asking anyway ... a prayer to Buddha, to Kannon, to God, to anyone or any ear who might listen. Maybe, yes, asking for a favor ... but, at heart, expressing a willingness to yield to it all whatever happens.

    Gassho, J
    I suppose, but... where does it come from? Human nature? Native folk beliefs? The Buddha never taught to "pray to the heavens" or that we could influence natural forces... did he? This is where I get confused. Where does Buddhism stop and other cultural beliefs start. Just seems odd for Buddhist monks to do these things, when in the West it's always been presented in my experience as a very non-theistic, non-"mystical" tradition.

    Gassho,
    Matt

  18. #18

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto

    I suppose, but... where does it come from? Human nature? Native folk beliefs? The Buddha never taught to "pray to the heavens" or that we could influence natural forces... did he? This is where I get confused. Where does Buddhism stop and other cultural beliefs start. Just seems odd for Buddhist monks to do these things, when in the West it's always been presented in my experience as a very non-theistic, non-"mystical" tradition.

    Gassho,
    Matt
    Matt, I think that everything comes from vast emptiness and we don't really know exactly where the mundane and the divine/mystical separate. I view praying as a special form of meditation. As a zen buddhist I practice sitting/walking/standing/lying meditation mostly, but an occasional prayer seems to help in some situations - but that's just me.

    'Whatever gets you thru the night is alright' .

  19. #19

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    All worldly things are impermanent ... including you, me and those we love.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TsOPjZEF6E[/video]] (Queen, "Who Wants to Live Forever")
    quote]
    Amelia, thanks for the youtube link to this song.

    The last line of the song was "Who waits for forever, anyway?" We shouldn't as was the point of the song: today is our forever. However, sometimes we all do, thinking when we just get or do one other thing or another, we will be happy or fulfilled then. I enjoyed the song. Gassho, Grace.

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