Opening Dedication by Arthur Wells

Opening Dedication by Arthur Wells Roshi of Diamond Sangha Zen Group

Dear sisters and brothers in the Dharma, today we join to celebrate the Tenth year of the NZ Buddhist Council with our “Mindful Peace Walk.” I think it would be true to say that despite our cultural differences, our deepest shared view as Buddhists is that peace in the world depends on inner peace. Possibly the most important thing we have to offer the world as Buddhists is our experience that in true meditative stillness all enmity dissolves and a deep sense of shared humanity naturally arises.

I find it inspiring that the Buddha made many long, dusty journeys, often walking for weeks to persuade kings and rulers not to fight. “Hatred cannot drive out hatred,” he probably told them, “Only kindness can dispel hatred” (Dhammapada 1:5). He would surely also have explained to those kings and rulers how greed and hatred spring from delusion.

In Zen we say that the biggest delusion is that we exist as separate selves. Our Zen version of the Buddha’s awakening I admit is a myth, made up in China 1000 years after the Buddha, but myths can be true. We say in Zen that when Buddha saw the morning star he realised, “How wonderful, the star is no other than myself.” If even something as remote as the star is our true self, how much more so other human beings!

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