Two additions…

I was talking with a friend yesterday who said she enjoyed my last post and I had forgotten what all I had nattered on about, so I revisited it and noticed that I forgot, in a flurry of nattering, to mention who I was referring in the description of the Marine Corp Major General whom I considered to be an example of a true hero in the classical sense of that word. I was referring to Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC.  He was not a perfect human, like the rest of us, but from what I have read about him he did his best. Plus, a great name.

Also,  I mentioned the “Meal Verse” that I say before a meal and now that it’s Thanksgiving Day I’ll quote a portion of the verse said at the end of the meal in Soto Zen Buddhism, as offered in the booklet, Scriptures and Ceremonies ©  Berkeley Buddhist Priory, Albany, CA).

 

“The universe is as the boundless sky,

As lotus blossoms over unclear water;

Pure and beyond the world is

The Buddha Nature of the trainee;

O, Holy Buddha, we take refuge in Thee.”

I like that, because it addresses aspiration to a spiritual understanding which must go hand-in-hand with living daily life as it comes to us, in this very world.

 

 

Smedley medley motley segue…

(Between the 11th of November and Thanksgiving)

A United States Marine for 33 years. A Major General, highest rank in USMC during his time of service, and twice (2 times!), recipient of Congressional Medal of Honor, and the Marine Corps Brevet Medal.

A true hero by any standards. We live in a time where anyone who wears a uniform is a hero. We live in a time where the leader of the Free World can act and speak like a spoiled child and where more than 1/2 of our population thinks we have the right to oppress the rest of the world as long as we get our way; and we live in a time of change, which we don’t like because it doesn’t seem to be changing in the directions we would variously prefer.

Also, we live at a time in which we live like the Gods of ancient description and wherein the current population of the world is about the same as that of all the humans who have ever lived, ’til now; and we live almost twice as long as those before us. Percentage-wise there is less war and violence than at any time in human history. So things actually are getting better world wide and we have all contributed to that as well.

This coming Friday billions of dollars will be spent on disposable and needless Devices and Things, this spending will be more or less equally spread across all political, social, economic, religious and lifestyle groupings.

We are a mixed bag that needs some sorting out and that is the process we are currently engaged in and will be for some time to come; assuming we don’t wreck the arena for the staging of the process. Earth. As I sit in comfort, free from want in the midst of plenty,  I try to cultivate a sense of being comforted through the understanding of how the world really is. A luxury indeed.

The free-er I seem to be from want, the more I may feel my needs are not being tended to. Yet, all I really need is a steady eye to see the riches laid at my feet day in and day out. This constant opportunity to learn. To accept. Verb!

The plenty that surrounds me is at times oppressive and I can fail to understand that my whole life, right now, is filled with a sufficiency that allows me to sit here, to think and to feel and express these little thoughts.  And then if I choose, I can step forward, head held high and with dignity, express to this life, this world and all the beings in it; my gratitude for being available, in a small way, get it right and be helpful.

We are all participants and volunteers, but there are no trophies or certificates. It is the Way of things.

Yes, there is a lot of hard work that is good and in need of doing and we not only have the sufficiency, we have the adequacy to follow the many courses of correction that are options for us.

I am reminded of the “Five Thoughts” that I say before my meals and how they actually apply to everything

  1. We must think deeply of the ways and means by which this food has come.
  2. We must consider our merit when accepting it.
  3. We must protect ourselves from error by excluding greed from our minds.
  4. We will eat lest we become lean and die.
  5. We accept this food so that we may become enlightened.

 

May Thanks 

Giving

Be more than

A day…

For all.