choosing to embody empathy…

[photo credit: Hu Yuanjia]

i keep these photographs in my phone to look at every once in a while.

briefly, the story around them, goes as so: the photographer heard someone yelling and then people gathering around an elderly man sitting on a bench in a train station. he had apparently fallen asleep and then passed away. out of the crowd, a Buddhist monk walked over and began chants and prayers over the deceased man, holding his hand. after completing the ritual, the monk bowed to the deceased man and then disappeared into the crowd.

i find this story and these images so moving. there’s so much beauty in seeing such empathy and compassion in action. the monk, treating the deceased man with an incredible depth of dignity and compassion. he did not know this man, yet he honored him as if he were the most important person present.

keep images and stories like this close to your hearts during this time, friends. where we don’t see it, we can be it.

we are currently seeing a grave lack of empathy, lack of treating others with dignity, lack of compassion from the highest offices, and in some cases from each other. it has become even more worrisome than in 2017 when i first posted these. i’d say it has become dangerous. we are teetering on the edge.

however, these values of empathy and compassion and honor, these ways of being still exist, they exist in us if we choose, and where they exist there is hope.

~j

#empathy #compassion #dignity #service #practice #life #death #OpenHeart #bodhicitta #bodhisattva #LoveWins #Buddhism #Zen #monk #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #lovingkindness #JinpaLhaga

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