Good Men and Bad Men

Good men and bad men differ radically.
Bad men never appreciate kindness shown them,
but wise men appreciate and are grateful.

Wise men try to express their appreciation and gratitude
by some return of kindness,
not only to their benefactor, but to everyone else.

~ Buddha



The Cause



Anger, hatred, killing, war—there is just so much today. And it is getting worse. Even our environment is being effected by our anger. Our world is literally becoming warmer. We may think that this is the result of climatic changes and pollution. We are right about the cause being pollution. But we are wrong about its underlying form.

The underlying cause of the world's pollution is the pollution in our minds. We are collectively feeling so much anger that we are literally heating up our world! If we do not stop and change ourselves now, we will destroy ourselves and our world. There will be no future for our children.

We must realize the enormity of this. We cannot afford to sit back and say that the hatred has nothing to do with us, that the killing is happening in another part of the world. The anger and hatred are affecting every inch of our world. Nothing is worthy of anger. Nothing is worthy of hatred. Nothing is worthy of killing. Nothing.

When we came into this life, we brought nothing with us but our own karma. And when we leave this life, we will take nothing with us but our karma. Selfishness, intolerance, hatred, killing have no place in our true nature.

We can resolve that we will react differently the next time we become aware of our anger. When we see that person who upsets us so much and feel ourselves giving in to anger, we can realize that our antagonist is also suffering and unhappy with the situation. Then we can let go of the anger. We can also let go of the past, of unhappiness, worries, and problems. If we look back on the day and feel that we have made mistakes, we can ask what we did wrong. Then we can decide how we will do better the next time.



Yes, It Does



A friend called yesterday to ask me out to lunch. I explained that I was too busy to go out but if she would "deliver" lunch and share it with me, I'd appreciate the break. (Chinese fortune cookie: Less hair, more audacity.)

She brought a wonderful lunch and I ended up telling her all about a program I had seen a few nights ago on public television. I’ve decided that the occurrence of me watching television and going on at length about the program implied something unusual. The program certainly was.

We hear a lot about practicing Buddhism in day-to-day life. The Cats of Mirikitani shows the practice in action. It’s about causality, and it’s about compassion. It’s about having respect for others regardless of their appearance and about making the effort to really listen to another person.

If you have ever wondered whether one person can really make a difference, Linda Hattendorf's The Cats of Mirikitani will erase your doubts. To learn about the program, click on the name for the link to the PBS website.



Light and Guidance

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth,

so virtue appears from good deeds,

and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind.

To walk safely through the maze of human life,

one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

~ Buddha 



We are One


Time has no beginning;
it has no end.
Throughout immeasurable eons,
violence and conflict have abounded,
and body and spirit deeply wounded.
May the time for healing begin now.

Immersed in anger,
polluted by selfishness.
As though ensnared,
humanity has been beset by ignorance.
But wisdom and compassion lie buried within.
May serenity and insight arise now.

We are not separate:
we are one.
Seeming differences are inconsequential
for our hearts are the same.
Respect and harmony are waiting to awaken.
May universal peace begin now.