Summer Sunset in South County
A Summer Day...
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
from New and Selected Poems, 1992
I hope you are well, enjoying these sultry summer days and making good use of your one wild and precious life!
We can all practice ways of enriching it when we gather tomorrow at th Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County at the Lily Pads Complex in Peace Dale at 6 PM. We will enjoy sitting/walking and sitting meditation, continue to practice the 10th of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings...this one is a guide to some very deep practice...as are all the others!
We will recite the Five Trainings and enjoy sharing the Dharma. I hope you will be able to be with us.
The Tenth Mindfulness Training: Protecting and Nourishing the Sangha
Aware that the essence and aim of a Sangha is the practice of understanding and compassion, we are determined not to use the Buddhist community for personal power or profit, or transform our community into a political instrument. As members of a spiritual community, we should nonetheless take a clear stand against oppression and injustice. We should strive to change the situation, without taking sides in a conflict. We are committed to learning to look with the eyes of interbeing and to see ourselves and others as cells in one Sangha body. As a true cell in the Sangha body, generating mindfulness, concentration, and insight to nourish ourselves and the whole community, each of us is at the same time a cell in the Buddha body. We will actively build brotherhood and sisterhood, flow as a river, and practice to develop the three real powers – understanding, love, and cutting through afflictions – to realize collective awakening.
This training speaks to our practice of engaged Buddhism. How do we apply our practice to daily life and confront injustice without falling into dualism, separation and hatred...Here is an excellent example of engaged practice. I received this from those who organized the Buddhist protest at Fort Sill, which had been an internment camp for Japanese Americans during WWII...and which is now being looked at as a place to imprison immigrants. I have included the report and an article about them.
Please remember! The Sangha Picnic! September 21 at Colt State Park shelter #3 from 11 - 3...Bring your joyful self and family friends' vegetarian dish to share, a game, a song, an instrument, a pet...share the joy and get to know others from our seven Sanghas. I hope you can join us.
In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying this bright, beautiful day and watering lots of seeds of joy. I am sending you all
Dear Buddhist Supporters of the Fort Sill Action for Migrant Children,
Thank you for your kind encouragement for the action that took place on July 20th at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. So many of you sent cranes - we were quite overwhelmed by your heartfelt support with over 4,000 cranes made by Buddhist sanghas and individuals around the country. Twenty-five Buddhist clergy and lay leaders also joined me on July 20th at the protest on behalf of the migrant children seeking asylum at the southern border.
As some of you may have heard, just several days after this protest in Oklahoma, the governor and the administration in DC have indicated that they are halting plans to transfer the 1,400 unaccompanied migrant children to this former WWII internment camp that housed Japanese immigrants, including 90 Buddhist priests. Many thanks for your efforts that appears to have had a tangible impact.
Please see the attached file for the full report about the Fort Sill protest on July 20th. It’s an essay that is part Dharma message, part reportage with photos. Please feel free to share with others if it might be of interest.
P.S. I have a e-newsletter that goes out occasionally (that I know some of you are already receiving), but if you have any interest to be added to the mailing list, please let me know.