May 21, Harada Roshi Guidance #29

Today is the 21st of May, we let go of all the corona information for a while and 27 people did sesshin. In two  days we will have our next sesshin, the time in between is used by the people of training to look around and see the situation.

The lockdown is being reduced in many countries, with many cities moving one step ahead. Yet the data is shows that many people are still being infected, and many people are dying.

I just found a DVD in my cupboard from 15 year ago, a documentary made by the BBC . For my own study I watched this DVD and was most astonished to see that the situation happening now is exactly being described in that documentary from 15 years ago.

At that time it was certain that this would happen, all types of information pointed  in this direction. This possibility was already know by the experts, politicians, and economists. Even though it had not happened recently, yet the documentary was warning that a pandemic would bring great distress to all people. In the past we have been through many pandemics, the Spanish flu in 1918 for example, so many people died at that time. Nowadays we are lucky that medicine has developed and can support people to some degree who have become infected.

Experts say that humans evolved while fighting viruses. Our evolution was urged on by the viruses afflicting  us. A virus is not an enemy, it brings forth our life force. 

We do have desires and seek personal satisfaction, with this being our base, we do things not without meaning, but bring forth confusion for ourselves.

While we try to take one step ahead, we still need to be responsible, we cannot only follow our own desires and self satisfaction. This is important for all of humanity. If we learn this now, we can develop as humans and create a society where we can help one another. How is this achieved? This is where we need to focus.

In Buddhism it says: If you want to know the past, look at the present. If you want to know the future, look at the present. This is the teaching of Mahayana Buddhism that all is based on cause and effect.

We were just living according to our desires and wishes. Now the corona virus is showing us that we need to cooperate. We need to help one another. This is what is right in front of our face.

Countries need to see clearly how they can continue helping the people so that each person may be supported in their wish to live. For those who have become unemployed because their company became bankrupt, they don’t know how to go on when not receiving any income–those people need our support now. This is our actuality. 

The corona virus is our enemy yet also the source of us being able to evolve at this moment. We have been falling apart into many different classes and countries, yet now we need to support one another, this is our lesson now.

We can review our selves, not just following along but checking for ourselves, how can we open our eye of wisdom, this effort is needed.
In Mahayana Buddhism self and other are not separated, this is the mysterious not two. This world and me are one, past and present and future are not separate, they are tied together.

In the Dhammapada the law of cause and effect is taught through the example of a lotus flower. The lotus flower does not grow in the pure mountain waters. The lotus only grows from mud and from there it blossoms. While it rises up from the mud, the flower and leaves are beautiful and have not the slightest bit of mud or drop of water stuck to them. This is the mysterious not two.

Not running away from challenges, from a difficult situation, but by using all our strength each person can let their flower blossom. Not just as a mental idea, but in our hands, in our feet, in our efforts we need to embody the truth. These efforts cannot be abandoned.

This fall, whether there will be rain or storm, I still keep picking the weeds today.

Whether it will be gain or loss, joy or sorrow, this is not what we look at, but how we can live in a straight forward way, that is what we need to look at, or else it becomes mental, hoping for something better in the future. This is not a healthy way of living.

We learn from yesterday, we have hope for tomorrow and walk each step now strongly connected to the ground. Each person needs to reflect upon the value of their life. A seed of grain was the beginning, bringing forth uncountable grains. Thus we have our karma of the past, and according to our wish for the future, we can bring forth the result we have hoped for.

The pain, suffering, anxiety, loneliness of each person cannot drown us, but by taking each step with all the life energy we have, a new path opens up. This is my great wish for all.