Zen Zone #42

In zen, some precepts, like taking up the way of not killing, is almost impossible to do.  You can’t walk on a path through the woods without killing insects under your feet. Even breathing draws in bacteria and those organisms perish.  The idea, however, is that we should not cause unnecessary suffering in life, yet we understand that we can’t help it sometimes. Our life on this earth is dependent upon a chain of others, and we depend on each element of that chain.

Even we only ate vegetables, workers toil to harvest those plants.  We clear the fields and animals lose their homes. We eliminate pests to promote growth of the plants, and so, others are always giving their lives for us. We acknowledge these sacrifices when we take the precepts and we acknowledge that we have a certain obligation of service. Gratitude and mindfulness of these sacrifices is appropriate. We have to give back to show that we value the world around us.

Zen helps us to develop integrity. By becoming more introspective, the conflict turns inward.  Even if the challenge really does come from others and their imperfections, we have to see that, perceive it, and decide what attitude to have toward it.  When we can live with that, the persecution will change.  You may still be living through persecution, but your attitude towards it will be really quite different.  You'll be free.

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Michael "Mick" Mayers

Battalion Chief with Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire and Rescue and an Emergency Response Coordinator with the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team.

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Although I am affiliated or employed by certain entities, I in no way speak in this forum or others on behalf of those entities unless I have specifically stated such. Any implication otherwise is doing so contrary to my agreements with those entities. The result is that the observations and opinions by myself or on behalf of Firehouse Zen are not sanctioned by any other entity other than Graffiti Train Sherpa Publications and are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America.

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