We have nice wet weather with the spring-like atmosphere in the quiet Sunday morning. On the way here I listened to NPR, which was reporting how people in the Colombine area are now trying to improve their attitude and actions toward the shooting spree.
Yesterday I got an email from someone asking about the Buddhist attitude toward imprisonment. She was invited to give her talk at a place perhaps on such subject. She expressed her thought that Buddhists consider all of us are imprisoned.
I wrote: we are not only imprisoned by karma, but we are defiled by the three poisons; humans are now the worst animals creating catastrophic problems like splicing atoms, etc.; that’s why we must sit in zazen to stop our karmas and purify our three poisons.
As the Buddha said, all are karma machine. So, it is extremely difficult to purify the three poisons of delusion, attachment, and aversion, more concretely me-ism, materialism, and militarism, which are now manipulated by moneyism devastating and destroying so much.
Unless we squarely face our own death or seriously sit and stop our karmas, we cannot be truly freed from our fundamental delusion of the separated self scarcely seeing and solving death of ours and others. That is why we run after or away with craving and anger.
Buddhism teaches the four noble or holy truths: suffering, source of it, solution of it, and the path leading to solve it. We may not want to hear about sufferings and problems, but unless we truly witness and work with them, we cannot truly make effort to solve them.
The antidotes for the three poisons are the triple learning of sîla (morality, lit. pillar or backbone), samâdhi (concentration, lit. integration), and prajña (prognosis, lit. far-sight). These make our three pillars: Awakened Way, global ethic, and voluntary simplicity.
As Dogen said, we must verify all dharmas (law/phenomena, lit. norm/form) to drop off the bodies and minds of ourselves and others. We must awaken ourselves and others, as we share this one world like Indra-net whose knot-crystals reflect each other limitlessly.
As some of you teach zazen and send us information about our problems, please work with others to solve our problems and to lessen our sufferings in our shared life systems. Unless we work, our world with other species and generations will be doomed to death.
Video: Colombine Shooting: The Final Report:
Photo by Erin (恵林), able editor of this blog and dedicated bodhisattva for all beings