Waking Up to Our Deep Interconnectedness
Back around the beginning of March, when the early economic effects of the new coronavirus shutdown in Wuhan were becoming apparent in New Zealand, an old Zen/Chan saying came to mind:
When the cows of Huaizhou eat grain,
The stomachs of the horses in Yizhou get fat.
Or, we could say, “When a person in Wuhan sneezes, a forestry worker in Gisborne loses her job”. Six weeks on, millions of people around the world are now caught up in the Covid-19 pandemic. Amid all the suffering and uncertainty there is the possibility that we humans, forced to slow down and stay quietly at home, will wake up to our deep interconnectedness and shared vulnerability, and perhaps question what is of most value in our lives. We may come to appreciate the words of the great lay practitioner Vimalakirti: “I am sick because sentient beings are sick.”
-Amala Wrightson Sensei, Auckland Zen Centre
Wise Fear vs Foolish Fear
The Buddha made it clear that there are legitimate dangers in the world, and there is a wise way to respond to them. He also said there is a great amount of self-created fear that unnecessarily creates suffering for ourselves and others. As the coronavirus … Continue reading
– Ajahn Chandako, Vimutti Buddhist Monastery, New Zealand
room to room
I find myself
a patch of sunlight
to stand in.
– Richard von Sturmer, University of Waikato Writer in Residence & Auckland Zen Centre
responsibility self evident.
Worry for all,
midst basal glimmers.
– Peter Small, Dhargyey Buddhist Centre, Dunedin
we are all in this together
– Robert Aitken Roshi, Diamond Sangha
Day three lockdown
the southerly gale
roars around our house.
Day two lockdown
time for dinner.
are we there yet?
my father is long gone.
– Derek LeDayn, Zen Buddhist Diamond Sangha, Wellington
His garden laid fallow,
Now I hold Dad’s trusty trowel.
Backyard to the fore.
These toetoe would bow deeper
Yet humans have not found humility.
Long Autumn breaths
Retreat unveils what already is.
– Robert Hunt, Wat Buddha Samakhee, Christchurch
MERS, SARS, CoVid-19
This too will pass.
Rainy, cloudy, windy, sunny.
– Pimmy Takdhada, Wat Buddha Samakhee, Christchurch
Food for thought in times of infectious disease
Vimalakirti is quoted as saying “I am sick because sentient beings are sick.”
Manjusri asked, “Householder, whence came this sickness of yours? How long will it continue? […] How can it be alleviated?” Continue reading …
– recommended by Ven. Amala Wrightson, Auckland Zen Centre