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Thread: We're All In This Together (31) - Meet Fire with Cool Waters, Not with More Fire

  1. #1

    We're All In This Together (31) - Meet Fire with Cool Waters, Not with More Fire

    We can have strong opinions about politics, right and wrong, and be driven to take action about social policy as Buddhists, but our response should be more like strong but cooling, firm but flowing waters rather than hot and angry fires. We should not meet angry fires with more anger and fire.

    We should also learn, in Zazen, to put down our views and differences for a time, see beyond this chaotic world, before we pick up those views and opinions again.


    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLentAHand
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-09-2020 at 08:39 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Very clear and insightful. I better understand your position.
    Thank you Jundo.

    Bows
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  3. #3
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Gassho
    Onka
    ST
    穏 On (Calm)
    火 Ka (Fires)
    aka Anna Kissed
    Resident Anarchist.
    Pronouns:She/Her They/Them.
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods. No Masters.

  4. #4
    Thank you Jundo. Indeed not so easy to do in these times!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  5. #5
    Jundo and all, friends of Our Sangha, I am called Calm Poetry for a reason. When I came into Treeleaf Zendo, I CALLED my self Elgwyn, after my father's father, and my father, for I am the third in family to be called Elgwyn, friend of the elves, and to think of this name is to think of friendship, and smiles, and laughter, and harsh tones, and raucous men chattering about the wordly opinions. Now I have learned a different way, the way of calm evenness, the middle path, the path outside of violence as I have come to know anger associated with deep unrelenting pain, pain such that one's whole body is affected by the pain of upper body arthritis, a pain of jagged edged real sword of bone and tissue. Here at Treeleaf Sangha I have learned yet another way, the path of the least resistance. I sit daily with thoughts in abeyance. Life no longer so drastic sweeps my into apart from anger such THAT I would never, ever speak of anything but softness as we are sitting in Sangha cannot hear. My opinions have nothing to do with sitting in Silence, Silence of mind outside pain, and I tell you, I could struggle to unwrap this cloak wrapped around my head, so little struggle is necessary to begin understanding; we of Treeleaf are different around Zen practice. We allow every person, man, woman, disabled, even or not disabled by pain or other conditions of any life, so founded cannot find peace. I have found peace in Treeleaf. I am 68-years-old. My time is limited. I have no axe to grind on the whetstone of existence. Every moment is precious. I did not know this as a young man, and coming to Treeleaf in 2014, nearly six years have passed; I have learned the way of the feather, the way of cotton balls, the delicacy of life. Life is fragile. Life is not easy, yet in some form always rises to the top of this broad valley we call birth. life, death. Let us not brandish the sword of violence, but use that sword to snip at fabric to make face masks. So the sword becomes something useful, not chop at flesh, but allow passing of air, breath in, breath out, in breath, out breath. I have learned the soft path away from pain, to let life rest in the cup of air, to be with others in a room of silence. This is better. This is quiet, quiet to make our emperors asleep empowered by silence. In no other place have I let my shoes rest at the door. The door was opened six years ago, and I have never wanted to leave. If Sangha have me, bones and all, this place of quiet, quiet of mind, I shall stay, quietly I shall remain. So there is no death; only Sangha, that body of the Buddha, the living breathing entity. We sit daily, once or twice. This is Sangha, this is Treeleaf Zendo. This is place where mud, dirt, grime, are left outside our walls. Our walls are thus given to honesty of perception, honesty of understanding. Violence has been left with grime outside walls of perception. Our interior is clean, and Jundo Roshi sweeps up dirt every day. Our teacher is housekeeper, is the gentle master given over to cleanliness, and teaching us all to do the same-- just to sit and notice tap of keys, sound of cooling motor. Nothing more than our own digestion, our own computer noises, our own nothingness. Indeed, the ultimate poem is silence, the ultimate noise is no noise. The ultimate protest presence without speech. Just silence, just sitting, Shikantaza.
    Tai Shi
    sat
    Gassho
    The object of practice is not transcendence but transformation, yet ultimately we must transcend ourselves. (Elucidation of Dogen) in HOW TO RAISE AN OX

  6. #6
    Cool waters.

    Thank you Jundo.

    Ghasso
    Bobby
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
    Shunryu Suzuki

  7. #7
    Very wise words, Jundo! Thanks for that.

    Brad Warner has also dealt with this subject in some of his recent videos and blog posts. The world is what it is. We do whatís possible to doóbut without creating more division and anger.

    Gassho,

    Luigi
    ST
    "Zazen is good for nothing."
    ó Kōdō Sawaki (1880-1965)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post
    Very wise words, Jundo! Thanks for that.

    Brad Warner has also dealt with this subject in some of his recent videos and blog posts. The world is what it is. We do what’s possible to do—but without creating more division and anger.

    Gassho,

    Luigi
    ST
    Brad and I are a bit different on this. He does not believe that Zen groups and Zen teachers should ever be involved in social action (marching for causes, organizing drives etc., having special sitting groups for "people of color" or LGBTQ folks, etc.) even if that group or teacher feels it is part of practice. I disagree. Groups can and should if they believe that it overlaps with the Precepts and Vows. Not all groups need to or should, but some can. He believes that none should (although he does feel that people outside a Zen group can do so if they want on their own unrelated to their Buddhist practice.) That is where we disagree. He has written things like this:

    I know it’s very trendy these days to fret endlessly about racial diversity. But I don’t think that ought to be a major concern for teachers of Zen Buddhism. Our first and most overriding concern ought to be trying to correctly transmit what we have learned from our Asian predecessors. If we get too involved in trying to create racially diverse sanghas there is a chance we might lose sight of what we are really there to practice. I also remember that Reverend Jim Jones, of Jonestown fame, was a huge proponent of trying to bring races together. Which indicates to me that an interest in racial harmony doesn’t, in and of itself, necessarily indicate that all is well with a given spiritual gathering place.

    Besides, when I go to another city and speak at a Zen center whose attendees are mostly white, I think maybe the other folks in the area are happy with their own churches, synagogues, mosques, and other spiritual centers. Or maybe they don’t care for religion at all. In any case, I’m not sure it would be nice for the Zen Buddhists to try to woo folks away from spiritual paths they’re already comfortable with.

    So, in the end, yeah, I’d be happy to see a few more Latinos, black folks, middle easterners and so forth at our events in LA. We already have some long term attendees from those demographics, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more. I don’t lose any sleep over it, though. I figure that one of these days we’ll start seeing more non-whites at Buddhist centers in the USA and Europe. I’m content to wait for that to happen naturally.
    https://www.patreon.com/posts/zen-so-white-25532507
    I just disagree with that. When Brad and I were in Japan, we received plenty of assistance (cultural, linguistic and more) from Nishijima Roshi and other to make us comfortable, and to welcome us as non-Japanese members of a cultural, racial and linguistic minority there. So, he has no right to say that. People can create groups and Sangha to welcome people with special backgrounds so that they may share in their special issues. Certain groups have been on the receiving end of discrimination for years (centuries), and we have to make special effort to make such folks welcome and allow them to feel welcome. (We have tried to organize such groups here at Treeleaf, by the way, but to very limited success. People did not seem to want to participate very much, especially in our one time "womens' group.")

    For example, if Onka and fellow Anarchist Buddhists (there must be some! ) wished to organize an "Anarchist Buddhist Sangha," I think that it is wonderful ... so long as it is non-violent and such. If somebody wants to organize a Tory/Republican Sangha, they can. Not every Sangha needs to do so, but there is no reason to criticize those who do. If people don't like the interpretation of that group or teacher, they are free to find another group or teacher.

    I also could see Treeleaf organizing various campaigns of protest for various issues serious enough to do so (we have had various anti-war activities through the Sangha in the past) ... though organized ad-hoc by some members, with no pressure or compulsion on other members to participate if they do not want to.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLentAHand
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-10-2020 at 03:28 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Gassho2
    meian st

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    But sometimes I am.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  10. #10
    Thank you for the message Jundo, it's a good lesson to always keep in mind. As an American, divisive politics in my country are sort of a way of life, and it can get fairly frustrating. But like they say, flowing water will erode the hardest stone!

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Brad and I are a bit different on this.
    I know Brad's also against "online Buddhism", as he put it, which I think it's silly in the 21st century, especially now with social isolation and all. It doesn't make much sense in my opinion, with or without a pandemic going on. I feel the sense of community here at Treeleaf is as strong as in any brick and mortar zendo. I'm here after all...

    Thanks for your sincere and thoughtful viewpoint!

    Gassho,

    Luigi
    ST/LAH
    "Zazen is good for nothing."
    ó Kōdō Sawaki (1880-1965)

  12. #12
    Sadly, Brad's view is not isolated. My way of life has cost me colleagues and friends who are strongly against an online movement, even for the rights of disability access and inclusion.

    For me (and millions), this has become a civil rights matter, perhaps even human rights in some ways when it threatens safety, health, and basic needs.

    Very easy for someone to say that online services are "silly" -- especially if they are not part of a vulnerable or high-risk population. His problem. I am -- so I continue to advocate for these arenas and services, as I am able to.

    Those who don't like or need online services -- fine, they don't have to use them. Millions of us do, as we are able to.

    It would help if we didn't have to waste precious limited energy and resources defending against those who try to tear down the services we rely on. This damages our health more and causes our communities many problems. It reminds me of when society preferred our people to be locked away in institutions. The attitude that we are a burden to our families and society is still very prevalent-- it's just hidden behind budget cuts, lack of resources, hidden discrimination, and "these services aren't covered."

    Ableism and mental health stigma is systemic in Western society, despite laws like ADA and IDEA. A lot depends on who is in power.

    Gassho, meian, st

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    But sometimes I am.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  13. #13
    Let us not brandish the sword of violence, but use that sword to snip at fabric to make face masks. So the sword becomes something useful, not chop at flesh, but allow passing of air, breath in, breath out, in breath, out breath. I have learned the soft path away from pain, to let life rest in the cup of air, to be with others in a room of silence. This is better.
    Lovely words, Tai Shi!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday=
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Meian View Post
    Sadly, Brad's view is not isolated. My way of life has cost me colleagues and friends who are strongly against an online movement, even for the rights of disability access and inclusion.

    For me (and millions), this has become a civil rights matter, perhaps even human rights in some ways when it threatens safety, health, and basic needs.

    Very easy for someone to say that online services are "silly" -- especially if they are not part of a vulnerable or high-risk population. His problem. I am -- so I continue to advocate for these arenas and services, as I am able to.

    Those who don't like or need online services -- fine, they don't have to use them. Millions of us do, as we are able to.

    It would help if we didn't have to waste precious limited energy and resources defending against those who try to tear down the services we rely on. This damages our health more and causes our communities many problems. It reminds me of when society preferred our people to be locked away in institutions. The attitude that we are a burden to our families and society is still very prevalent-- it's just hidden behind budget cuts, lack of resources, hidden discrimination, and "these services aren't covered."

    Ableism and mental health stigma is systemic in Western society, despite laws like ADA and IDEA. A lot depends on who is in power.

    Gassho, meian, st

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    We are here and we ain't going anywhere. Including those of us who use or provide online services, and those of us with "invisible" mental health issues. Usually it is just a matter of patience through all the inevitable forward and backwards progress, though sometimes the forward motion takes place at a crawl over generations while the backwards seems to happen daily in front of our noses.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  15. #15
    Thank you Jundo

    Gassho, Kyotai
    ST
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    We are here and we ain't going anywhere. Including those of us who use or provide online services, and those of us with "invisible" mental health issues. Usually it is just a matter of patience through all the inevitable forward and backwards progress, though sometimes the forward motion takes place at a crawl over generations while the backwards seems to happen daily in front of our noses.
    thank you, Jakuden. i appreciate this very much.

    gassho, meian, st lh
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    But sometimes I am.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  17. #17
    Wonderful message. Thank you Jundo.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  18. #18
    Thank you for this important reminder of what really matters if we care about change. It’s often so difficult not to walk around with a flame thrower these days (well, for me. I tend to be hot headed).

    Krista
    st/lah

  19. #19

    We're All In This Together (31) - Meet Fire with Cool Waters, Not with More Fire

    However now Iím listening to Grateful Dead blues,I wouldnít know where to begin, but at lest Iím enjoying the ride.and at least I only see civilization afraid they may be laid to waste. I hope this makes a difference! So Jakuden is right as she rightly says those of us with invisible severe limitations, well what is or what will become of us? For me, itís because of my wife Marjorie that I am here today, that I even am a Zen Buddhist. For me she has sheltered me, cared for me in spite of my ingratitude at times. At this point?
    Tai Shi
    sat/ lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 05-11-2020 at 09:37 AM.
    The object of practice is not transcendence but transformation, yet ultimately we must transcend ourselves. (Elucidation of Dogen) in HOW TO RAISE AN OX

  20. #20
    I really needed to hear this message today. I myself have been limiting social media. The atmosphere is so toxic with all of the anger and fighting between opposing views on the pandemic. I believe the best way to heal is through peace and the cool energy. But it is heartbreaking to see so much hate and anger. All we can do is shine the light into the world and try to see everyone's perceptive in order to understand their suffering.

    Gassho,
    Ekai

    ST

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