What I don’t see is equal questioning of Buddhist chaplains in prisons. If we accept that thieves, rapists, murderers and child molesters need spiritual care, how can we question the provision of spiritual care for soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, and marines?
Via Danny Fisher: Other Buddhist Organziations Join Tzu Chi Foundation in Contributing to Typhoon Morakot Relief Efforts
Buddhist aid organizations mentioned:
– Master Cheng Yen’s Tzu Chi Foundation
– The late Master Sheng-yen’s Dharma Drum Mountain
– Master Hsing Yun’s Fo Guang Shan
– Master Wei Chueh’s Chung Tai Shan.
If you are not familiar with it, Rev. Danny is trying to get a viral campaign going of folks reading the Metta Sutta in virtual solidarity for the monastics of Burma. As reported in the The Irrawaddy:
Buddhist monks at the Myat Saw Nyi Naung Pagoda in Yenangyaung, Magway Divison, were warned on Wednesday not to hold a ceremony to chant the Metta Sutta—the Buddha’s discourse on loving-kindness.
The monks originally planned a 12-hour-long recitation, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, to mark the full moon day of the fifth month of the Burmese calendar, traditionally celebrated as “Metta Sutta Day” by Burmese Buddhists.
“We only intended to recite Buddhist sutras, including the Metta Sutta, to wish for all sentient beings to be peaceful and free from anxiety. But the authorities told us to call off our plans,” a monk from Yenangyaung told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.
Similar ceremonies are normally held throughout the country on this day. However, since a brutal crackdown on the monk-led protests of 2007, which featured marching monks reciting the Metta Sutta, most monasteries have been wary of publicly chanting the sutra.
This doesn’t come as a great shock, but I’d like to note Mrs. Shriver’s passing – she was an amazing, compassionate woman.
During my teen years, I volunteered often with the Special Olympics – my first job was Hugger – and it was a fantastic job. ^_^ I miss it and look forward to volunteering again at some point, when we are closer to events. Please consider getting involved – it’s a total joy!
(Note – today the Special Olympics link forwards to Mrs. Shriver’s foundation site.)
I was delighted to find Gabriel Cohen‘s article “Night of the Cockroach” on Shambhala Sun‘s website. It appeared in the July 2009 issue, but as magazines are a luxury purchase at the moment, I only stumbled upon it a few days ago. It’s a quick read, and I recommend it. If you want to read it with “ambiance” – read, cockroach photos all over the page – check out Cohen’s .pdf of the original article on his website.
Cockroaches and other small critters have definitely played their part in the daily Practice of my life, and it’s good to bump into other people thinking about the potential struggle they provide.
Let me tell you a little bit about my house, and I’ll explain what I mean. (more…)
When ordinary people die they are out of control. Because they have not trained themselves during their life, they are overwhelmed by the experience of death and bewildered as their bodily elements go out of balance and cease to function harmoniously.
~ Lama Thubten Yeshe
This quote inspired such an amazing moment of awareness and compassion in me. On a lot of levels, I already knew what the Venerable Lama Yeshe said, but it was good to read and think on this separately. (Especially as, one of these days, as soon as I can, I want to get involved in hopsice work. It’s a place I genuinely feel I could help. And it sort of “runs in the family.”)
Finally, Harris says, he could hear these words attributed to Nelson Mandela: “Not to forgive is like drinking a glass of poison and waiting for your enemies to die.” Harris admits he drank deeply of that poison – mostly, he says, “because it tasted so good.”
Rev. Harris met Alexandra Asseily who had:
begun a movement to plant a Garden of Forgiveness in her beloved Lebanon after its civil war, which claimed more than 300,000 lives. The greatest gift to one’s children, Ms. Asseily teaches, is to become a better ancestor. And that, she says, is done through forgiveness.
I’ll save the rest of the story for the article, but I will say that since then Reverend Harris has become involved in a movement to plant a Garden of Forgiveness in New York City and even more abroad (in Rwanda, for instance).
In researching this blog entry I found a film called The Power of Forgiveness, which features Ms. Asseily and others working for forgiveness in the world. I’m sorry to say I missed it’s showing on PBS in 2008. Hopefully I’ll get to see it soon. ^_^ In the meantime there are some interesting resources on the film’s site, including outreach tools and forgiveness resources.
Thought I’d share the leading article in our local paper last weekend:
For the love of wildlifeApril 13, 2009 – 12:35 PMThe Walton Sun
Walton County Sheriff’s deputies rescue and revive raccoon.
Sgt. Donald Savage has been with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for 5.5 years, but he had never been dispatched on a raccoon rescue mission before last Sunday.
Robine Bascom lives in Gulfview Heights. About 8 a.m. Sunday, she discovered a raccoon’s head sticking out of a hole in a large dumpster at a construction site across the street.
The raccoon was still alive, but its entire body was submerged in water except for its head, which it had managed to stick out of the small hole.
Bascom surmises it had probably jumped into the water-filled dumpster during the night and couldn’t get back out. After swimming for maybe most of the night to keep its head above water, the poor critter became tired and was about to drown. It stuck its head through the small opening in order to breathe.
“It was obvious he was suffering,” said Bascom.
Bascom called Walton County Sheriff’s Department and asked for help to save the critter.
Deputies Lloyd Skipper and Michael Townsend were dispatched to the site and joined by Savage.
Skipper put a rope around the raccoon’s body and pulled while Townsend and Savage pushed on its head with a board.
“He growled and took a couple of chunks out of the board while we were pushing, but we had to get him out or he was going to die stuck like that,” said Savage. “He was probably exhausted and eventually passed out, which helped us to free him.”
When Skipper succeeded in pulling the raccoon free, it flopped lifelessly to the ground.
“He was pretty much gone when we got him out,” said Savage.
Skipper began pushing on the raccoon’s chest with his foot in an attempt at cardiac compression. After about 15 minutes, it finally began to breathe, then moved and finally set up and ran off into the woods.
Bascom saw the revived raccoon later on that evening at her garbage can, looking no worse for his misadventure.
“That was a first call for any of us for a raccoon,” said Savage. “I’ve had calls for snakes and all sorts of critters to get them out of people’s houses, but never to save a raccoon.”