The early teachings portray the Buddha as the ideal of peacefulness and pacifism. We’re told, “The Buddha gave up killing living creatures. He renounced the rod and the sword. He was scrupulous and kind, living full of compassion for all beings.” And, in his 45-year teaching career, there isn’t a hint that he ever wavered from teaching or living out his commitment to nonviolence.
Join in this Interfaith Day of Prayer and Fasting called by the Associated Clergy of Cape Ann
Please join us on July 8th at 5:00 p..m. at the Fisherman’s Wives Statue on the Boulevard in Gloucester, to begin a 24 hour communal day of fasting and prayer, in whatever ways your particular tradition teaches, to intercede and ask for God’s help right now for our nation, especially for the crisis concerning immigration and family separation.
We will gather at the Fishermen’s Wives statue on the Boulevard in Gloucester for a Service of Reckoning and Hope. Rabbi Lewis will preach, and we will offer prayers and songs. St. John’s Episcopal on 48 Middle Street will be our rain location.
For 24 hours, we will ask participants to fast and pray, meditate and dedicate themselves to action to support those most in need, on behalf of the children and families who are suffering in ICE detention facilities, for those who are fleeing their countries, for those at the borders of our country and other nations, and for wisdom for our national and international leaders, for compassion, and for hearts to be softened and turned toward mercy.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?
What harm can you do? ~The Buddha
On July 9th, at 5:00 p.m., we will re-gather at the Fishermen’s Wives statue to close the fast with a brief service of prayer and blessing.
We decided to call for this day as one form of religious response to the painful time in our country. Our traditions share a common ground in fasting and prayer as spiritual practices of communal intercession, especially in times of crisis or great suffering. We hope you will join us, wherever you are.
The Buddha wisely recommended a relaxed, calm body and a non-harming frame of mind for meditation. The Buddha said he found this path of gentle practice through reflecting on a delightful memory of safety and ease from his childhood.
Together, Dr. King and his movement worked courageously for the benefit of all who suffer from the triple afflictions of poverty, racism, and militarism. His life shows the heights people working together can achieve. I plan to set aside time today to celebrate and reflect on Dr. King’s lifework. I hope you do, too.
Techniques to De-Escalate Anger, Verbal Violence, and Conflict
For the past two days I attended an Alternatives to Violence Project workshop in Cambridge. Four facilitators and twenty-one participants gathered for the AVP workshop at the Friends Meeting House. I think we all grew in the practices of speaking peace and non-violence. At least I know that is true for me.
Because there is a two-day training in non-violence this Friday and Saturday, and because I will attend the training along with other Sweeping Heart Zen sangha members, there will be no Early Morning Meditation on September 29th.
Anger is an important, extremely unpleasant, powerful, and often destructive energy. Personally, any time I feel it, I immediately know that something I’m deeply attached to is at stake. When I feel antagonized or emotionally chafed I know that I’m clinging to some opinion or idea I hold dear in the moment. When I find myself boiling with resentment, that uncomfortable roiling around my heart prompts me to identify my personal boundaries and tells me I expect they’re about to be crossed. This kind of informative clarity might be called anger’s upside.
This week, I hoped to write a post on meeting the violence and injustice in our world with the warmth and light of our goodness and love. I wanted to talk about nonviolence, but the Sweeping Heart Zen application for tax exempt status with the IRS got in the way.
The Dhammapada and Nonviolence
What I can do is share this key passage on letting go of harming others from a collection of the Buddha’s sayings known as the Dhammapada. It has given meditation practitioners and yogis plenty to reflect on and live by for thousands of years. Continue reading Nonviolence, All Beings Love Life