[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.
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 lacking of empathy, of treating others with dignity, of compassion from the highest offices. it is worrisome. however, these values, these ways of being still exist, and where they exist there is hope.
Zen Student:Is there anything I can do to make myself enlightened?
As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.
Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?
To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.
#zen #wisdom #practice #awareness #WakeUp #meditation
Happiest of birthdays to Thich Nhat Hanh who is 90 today. In many ways I consider Thay my root teacher and certainly my introduction to the Buddhist path. His approach to meditation, his teachings on mindfulness, interconnection, and loving kindness have been a cornerstone to my practice. Favorite selected readings include: Living Buddha Living Christ, Calming The Fearful Mind: A Zen Response To Terrorism, Peace Is Every Step, Answers From The Heart, For A Future To Be Possible, Love Letter To The Earth, and his book of poetry Call Me By My True Names.
May his teachings and wisdom continue to be of benefit to a world in need for generations to come.
Bows of gratitude, dear Thay!