Any thoughts on my situation?

Ed Evans, modified 5 Months ago at 11/4/23 12:38 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/4/23 12:38 PM

Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/28/22 Recent Posts
Hi guys.

A brief intro: I've been in this game a while. I was practicing Zen with a roshi since my early 20s and had an abiding shift that re-contexualised everything when I was 26. I'm now 37. I'm not really involved with Zen in quite the same way any more due to how the sangha developed and my own personal circumstances, but my whole life is oriented around spirituality and continued waking up.

As a default, I experience no thoughts, but they sort of bubble up somewhere in the periphary sometimes and don't attract attention. Personal will is very low. Emotionality is very low. Things are very peaceful with little suffering, and I'm able to function in society without much of a problem.

Since the awakening, I'd been aware of a misalignment that manifested as a tight / trapped feeling below my right shoulder. Years of trying to meditate it away had a limited effect, and I resorted to every kind of mind or body practice I could think of for several years. One of which was quite extreme (I wore a postural device in my teeth for two years that ruined my dental occlusion and meant I had to shell out a lot of money for braces).

I eventually discovered the Wim Hof Method and had such a positive response to it that it almost completely replaced my formal sitting practice. I've been praciticing that for about 4 years now daily, and managed to get some sitting back in to my routine too.

The misalignment is now almost totally gone, which is wonderful. What I do find though is that I'm lacking the real love/heart energy that was such a feature of the earlier years of practice. When I hear teachers like Adyashanti or Rupert Spira talk, their words do not land in me anywhere any more, but I do get curious as to how and why the shiny warmth that they possess isn't really happening here these days.

My hunch is that the Wim Hof Method targets the lower chakras mainly, and that the earlier years of my practice were really hitting the upper chakras, so I needed to balance it out. Now I'm wondering what's next. If I need to cultivate love in some way, I'm not too sure how to do it. When I sit, I vanish quickly. There's no time to do anything.

My guess is that I'm somewhere around the end of 3rd path, but I'm not too familiar with this model or particularly interested in models at this stage.

Nevertheless, I'd love to hear from anyone who can relate. Cheers.
shargrol, modified 5 Months ago at 11/4/23 5:55 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/4/23 5:55 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2410 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Out of curiousity, what does this mean specifically (as specific as you want to be)?: "Personal will is very low. Emotionality is very low. Things are very peaceful with little suffering, and I'm able to function in society without much of a problem."  
Ed Evans, modified 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 8:47 AM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 8:41 AM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/28/22 Recent Posts
Fair enough. It's hardly obvious is it? I'll do my best

"Personal will is very low": - I'm mostly just moving in harmony with my circumstances. There's little desire, in the sense of actually feeling a desire, to be somewhere else or to be doing something else. There is a sense of what needs to be done in the moment and then the step gets taken. Another way of saying it might be "free will is very high" but I expressed it as "personal will is very low" because if and when something does becomes disharmonious, it's as if I arise in opposition to the circumstances and want to impose my will on them somehow. That will is quite uninhibited but also very weak. It yields after a few moments and there is little to no fear in its arising.

"Emotionality is very low:" - I'm open to emotion and do feel things, but they also have little sustaining power in them. They don't cause much confusion in the sense of changing how I navigate through my circumstances in that moment. If I feel something, the overriding impulse in the moment is to return to equilibrium not to act on behalf of what I'm feeling. I don't seek to feel or not feel anything, and I don't relate to the world as a means to make me feel things. Emotion no longer feels particularly native to this body and it doesn't embody it well. Anger for example, if and when it arises, causes me to shake and become breathless but I'm not having angry or hostile thoughts with it. It's the same with "positive" emotions too. I'm open to them and feel them, but equanimity is overwhelmingly what is in the picture at all times and seems to be where I have to operate from.

"Things are very peaceful with little suffering, and I'm able to function in society without much of a problem." - There is a quality of suffering, or maybe I should say mind or consciousness, which was a near constant presence during my adolescence and early 20s which is now, apparently, totally gone. I haven't felt it in several years and wouldn't even know how to go about feeling it again. I can't imagine a situation that could cause it to arise again at least for the rest of my life (after death, who knows) and the only reason I remember it at all was a little glimmer of that quality some years ago that lasted for a minute or so. When it arose, I vividly had the sense that it used to be the norm.

I also had several years, post awakening, of not understanding how to function in the world without breaking my own heart considering all I wanted to do was disappear into myself/God. It felt like becoming a hermit or a monk was the only possible way of life open to me as I was utterly unwilling to work, couldn't connect with others and couldn't have a relationship. It was a phase that lasted long enough for me to relate to it as if it would never end, and I did drop out of society for about 18 months during this time. What happened was the slow drip-feed of feeling more and more like I could do certain things without losing myself, and then I started making major choices from this basis. I now have a career, home and fiancee but it doesn't feel like a compromise has been made. Somehow I started to understand how to relate to these things in a way that continued the spiritual development.

It's a bit like how a young tree needs a lot of support and protection in order to survive, but a mature one can handle strong wind and rain without a problem. The development of the awakening mind operates in much the same way in my experience, and takes about the same amount of time, which might have something to do with why trees are a popular image in spiritual cultures around the world. And of course, the germination of the seed is of primary importance, otherwise nothing will grow.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 12:23 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 12:21 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 358 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
The misalignment is now almost totally gone, which is wonderful. What I do find though is that I'm lacking the real love/heart energy that was such a feature of the earlier years of practice. When I hear teachers like Adyashanti or Rupert Spira talk, their words do not land in me anywhere any more, but I do get curious as to how and why the shiny warmth that they possess isn't really happening here these days.

Yeah, my sense is that Zen doesn't do much in terms of loving kindness. There are Theravada practices that help cultivate this called metta (ie loving kindness).

The way you're describing things sounds like you might be around high equanimity with respect to the Theravada maps, that's generally when things chill out a massive amount with respect towards things thoughts/emotions/body etc, and "detaching" around the remaining stuff (ie the body in your case) is what that stage does. It also becomes more obvious that things like feelings and thoughts coming and go automatically. My two diagnostic questions would be

1. Can you describe this awakening a bit more? Like what did stuff feel like before and after
2. Have you had any subtle blips that have caused things to change a bunch before and after the blip?
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 12:53 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 12:53 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Ed Evans
Hi guys.

Now I'm wondering what's next. If I need to cultivate love in some way, I'm not too sure how to do it. 


aloha ed...

​​​​​​​
   Rinzai says, "Ordinary mind is the way" (burton watson) or "Ordinary heart is the way" (imogene schloegl).

   Practice love for your family, love for your friends, love for strangers, love for society, love for animals and plants, love for clouds and waves. Love the sun and moon and stars. Love your body. Love your mistakes, and those of others.

   Love the planet as your mother.


   This isn't buddhism, the buddha doesn't recommend love, quite the contrary. Love does not bring you happiness, or contentment. Love brings grief and longing. Tears and sighs.

   Love makes us human, which is a much different outcome than becoming a buddha. The bodhisattva sacrifices buddhahood for love.

   Love connects us.  Our practices often set us apart, quote deliberately as we are dissatisfied with the conventional path to human happiness. 

   So you are faced with a dilemma. Pursue individual enlightenment or wait with the rest of us.

   I think there is a balance between love and self interest.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 3:25 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 3:25 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2733 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
To really get to know your "love" , get to know your "ill will" first? 

Maybe we have no ill will to be known? 

Maybe there is only love to be known? 

Maybe there is no love to be known? 

Maybe we only have ill will to be known? 

Unknown? 

​​​​​​​
brian patrick, modified 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 7:06 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/5/23 7:06 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 51 Join Date: 10/31/23 Recent Posts
Ed Evans
Hi guys.

A brief intro: I've been in this game a while. I was practicing Zen with a roshi since my early 20s and had an abiding shift that re-contexualised everything when I was 26. I'm now 37. I'm not really involved with Zen in quite the same way any more due to how the sangha developed and my own personal circumstances, but my whole life is oriented around spirituality and continued waking up.

As a default, I experience no thoughts, but they sort of bubble up somewhere in the periphary sometimes and don't attract attention. Personal will is very low. Emotionality is very low. Things are very peaceful with little suffering, and I'm able to function in society without much of a problem.

Since the awakening, I'd been aware of a misalignment that manifested as a tight / trapped feeling below my right shoulder. Years of trying to meditate it away had a limited effect, and I resorted to every kind of mind or body practice I could think of for several years. One of which was quite extreme (I wore a postural device in my teeth for two years that ruined my dental occlusion and meant I had to shell out a lot of money for braces).

I eventually discovered the Wim Hof Method and had such a positive response to it that it almost completely replaced my formal sitting practice. I've been praciticing that for about 4 years now daily, and managed to get some sitting back in to my routine too.

The misalignment is now almost totally gone, which is wonderful. What I do find though is that I'm lacking the real love/heart energy that was such a feature of the earlier years of practice. When I hear teachers like Adyashanti or Rupert Spira talk, their words do not land in me anywhere any more, but I do get curious as to how and why the shiny warmth that they possess isn't really happening here these days.

My hunch is that the Wim Hof Method targets the lower chakras mainly, and that the earlier years of my practice were really hitting the upper chakras, so I needed to balance it out. Now I'm wondering what's next. If I need to cultivate love in some way, I'm not too sure how to do it. When I sit, I vanish quickly. There's no time to do anything.

My guess is that I'm somewhere around the end of 3rd path, but I'm not too familiar with this model or particularly interested in models at this stage.

Nevertheless, I'd love to hear from anyone who can relate. Cheers.


Can I ask, if you are moving with "spirit" what need or desire could you have beyond that? 
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/7/23 4:08 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/7/23 4:08 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
To really get to know your "love" , get to know your "ill will" first? 

Maybe we have no ill will to be known? 

Maybe there is only love to be known? 

Maybe there is no love to be known? 

Maybe we only have ill will to be known? 

Unknown? 

​​​​​​​

    I have been thinking a lot about love and hate lately.

   There is an experiment where foxes were bred to be more friendly. Within six generations the foxes were barking and wagging their tails. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsIibD-TLcM

   We have buddhist training in peace and non-violence. With repetition haters can be turned into lovers, is my thesis.

   Genetically, we have the genes for love, for love hormones such as oxytocin. Dogs have more and more frequent oxytocin releases than wolves, they are bred to want to be friends with other species, including humans. But wolves and wild foxes can be tamed as well.

   Hatred is attractive to right wing politicians - that is, politicians with no principles at all - because it is a sure fire way to unite people against the object of their hatred. People like being angry and aggrieved when their comforts are threatened or withheld and politicians love to deflect blame on innocent but powerless scapegoats. It is easy and simple to just get rid of the offending party, race, religion or minority. Jail them, execute them, deport them, cleanse society of the vermin and animals. 

   To unite people with love is more difficult. But in truth we are all fundamentally united by love, so we need only appeal to essential nature.

   I rarely talk about buddhsm in hawaii because it is hardly "pragmatic" in the sense of the word used here. But I have buddhist friends. One dear friend, a nurse, xray tech, med tech and butcher of pigs and cows, converted from buddhism to mormonism, because the "old priest" at the buddhist "church" only spoke japanese and none of the young people wanted to attend services. She later regretted converting because they got a new english speaking priest and all the young people were coming back but she didn't want to switch again, at her age. Another friend was a member of her local hong wan ji's "peace committee" which organized food distribution and communal meals, which ended up nearly a full time job, for which the peace committee paid her.

   We need more peace committees in contemprary western buddhism. And we need to expand their brief. Supply training in nonviolence at the tip of the spear.
   
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/7/23 4:14 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/7/23 4:13 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
brian patrick Can I ask, if you are moving with "spirit" what need or desire could you have beyond that? 
​​​​​​​



  It often seems that when newbies purport to ask for help with their practice they are actually seeking praise and recognition for their attainments.
brian patrick, modified 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 4:48 AM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 4:48 AM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 51 Join Date: 10/31/23 Recent Posts
terry
brian patrick Can I ask, if you are moving with "spirit" what need or desire could you have beyond that? 
​​​​​​​



  It often seems that when newbies purport to ask for help with their practice they are actually seeking praise and recognition for their attainments.

It is the oddest and most profound thing at the same time. So close at every second. The truth of it is everywhere and in everything, as though the universe were screaming it at you. The most adept teachers are standing right next to you but utterly invisible through the filter of the mal-adapted ego. When the switch happens you see it all. You see these teachers who've been gently meeting you at every moment. People you may have thought were odd, or crazy, or misguided and in need of help themselves. 

in the interim adjustment period a part of you may think, why don't they just tell everyone directly, it's so obvious, but as it sharpens you know that they are and always have been. It just can't be told. It is not in any words. It is utterly before them. It is not in any system or religion or science or anything, because it is in everything all the time. It has never been hiding or secret but is in a perpetual state of loving what is essentially itself. 

jiddu Krishnamurti said in a Q and A:

questioner: "what do you think about the Buddha?"

JK: *repeating the question "what do I think of the Buddha. (Pause)  I do not think about the Buddha."



Ed Evans, modified 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 11:12 AM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 11:06 AM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/28/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for your replies everyone. It probably is true that newbies are mostly seeking praise and recognition but that isn't the case here. I suspect what I'm seeking is connection with people with a similar quality of mind so that we can learn from each other, but I'm happy for all voices to contribute and I'll try and stay open to whatever is being said.

Brian, you said:

Can I ask, if you are moving with "spirit" what need or desire could you have beyond that? 

There is always that aspect, yes, and just reading that sentence and reflecting on it helped me settle in a little deeper and I thank you for that, but the subtlety to the process means it's not always applicable to take the stance of "why not just live your life?" which I think is what you're getting at here.

I get very occasional migraines, and for me they always start with a distortion in my vision where I can no longer see the exact centre of where my eyes are focused. Wherever I look, in the centre of the focus is a blind spot, but in the periphary everything is still seen and it sort of fades into existence out from the centre. For me, awakening is a bit like this. After the shift, it's like you're gone at the centre, but you're not because there is still a world of experience that exists on the periphary (not in the sense of 3D space periphary, but subjectively on the periphary of where "you/reality" feel yourself to be) and that is relevant, because it's the stuff that suffering is made of.

It's intuitively known that "I don't live up to myself". I'm not embodying what I know myself to be, and the entire inner dimension of experience (thoughts, feelings, etc) carries this quality to it. This recognition enables the slow reconfiguration of the entire inner dimension until inner and outer become completely one. In other words, the path begins when one is moving in spirit. It begins when you're always already at the end, and there are still things to be communicated from this place and potentially even practiced as if one was a seperate entity who could practice. I've found that, as long as there is still effort possible, it's good to find the most skilful use of that effort. Sometimes surrender is definitely the only game in town, but not always.

--

Thanks for your insights Geoffrey. I might try some metta practice. It's been a long time since I did. Have you ever practiced metta yourself? Have you benefited from it?
brian patrick, modified 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 1:29 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 1:29 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 51 Join Date: 10/31/23 Recent Posts
Ed Evans
Thanks for your replies everyone. It probably is true that newbies are mostly seeking praise and recognition but that isn't the case here. I suspect what I'm seeking is connection with people with a similar quality of mind so that we can learn from each other, but I'm happy for all voices to contribute and I'll try and stay open to whatever is being said.

Brian, you said:

Can I ask, if you are moving with "spirit" what need or desire could you have beyond that? 

There is always that aspect, yes, and just reading that sentence and reflecting on it helped me settle in a little deeper and I thank you for that, but the subtlety to the process means it's not always applicable to take the stance of "why not just live your life?" which I think is what you're getting at here.

---------------------->

in a very broad sense "just live your life" sure. But I'm more talking about surrendering to it. And I mean completely surrender. 

you don't have to leave your family, your wife, your job, your friends, but you absolutely have to be willing to.

you don't have to live a life of poverty(of any kind), but you have to absolutely be willing to.

you don't have to die, but you absolutely have to be willing to.

I mean complete and total surrender.

the suffering comes when you can't or won't surrender. and what this means in any individual life will be very different for each person.
only an individual can know or discover what it means for them. It's not the universe or god or the trickster or anything but your own mal-adapted ego that's created all the trouble, the bad coping mechanisms, the chaos, all the "weird" idiosyncratic behaviors, and misused emotions etc. every shred of it must go down to the most subtle of thoughts. Each human mind is so made by each individual (conscious of it or not) that only that same individual can unravel it. 






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Chris M, modified 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 3:23 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 3:23 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 5164 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
you don't have to leave your family, your wife, your job, your friends, but you absolutely have to be willing to.

you don't have to live a life of poverty(of any kind), but you have to absolutely be willing to.

you don't have to die, but you absolutely have to be willing to.

I mean complete and total surrender.

This "surrendur" thing referenced often in traversing the path of awakening typically means surrenduring completely to what is happening right here and right now, including those things that cause suffering. It can mean surrenduring to the precepts, or to the path itself. It does not mean giving up those things that make you sane and human (wives, children, etc.). That, in any reasonable system I know of, would be very counter-productive. It would cause suffering, not relieve it.

Just sayin'

​​​​​​​
brian patrick, modified 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 4:01 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 4:01 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 51 Join Date: 10/31/23 Recent Posts
Chris M
you don't have to leave your family, your wife, your job, your friends, but you absolutely have to be willing to.

you don't have to live a life of poverty(of any kind), but you have to absolutely be willing to.

you don't have to die, but you absolutely have to be willing to.

I mean complete and total surrender.

This "surrendur" thing referenced often in traversing the path of awakening typically means surrenduring completely to what is happening right here and right now, including those things that cause suffering. It can mean surrenduring to the precepts, or to the path itself. It does not mean giving up those things that make you sane and human (wives, children, etc.). That, in any reasonable system I know of, would be very counter-productive. It would cause suffering, not relieve it.

Just sayin'

​​​​​​​
----->

yes, that's what I said. It has nothing to do with outside circumstances, and everything to do with letting go internally. Being willing to live with what is. It's the willingness to surrender to anything and everything that is. 

​​​​​​​problem is, from one side of the fence, one can't know what really is because everything is filtered. From the other side it's perfectly obvious what is. 
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Chris M, modified 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 4:15 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/8/23 4:15 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 5164 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I was "violently" agreeing with you  emoticon
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:05 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:05 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
brian patrick

It is the oddest and most profound thing at the same time. So close at every second. 


​​​​​​​
quran 50 16

We indeed created man; and We know what his soul whispers within him, and We are nearer to him than the jugular vein.
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:09 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:09 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts

It's intuitively known that "I don't live up to myself". I
  

   Counter intuitively,you might try living down to your self. Works for me.
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:10 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:10 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry

It's intuitively known that "I don't live up to myself". I
  

   Counter intuitively,you might try living down to your self. Works for me.



be what you are...
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:12 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:12 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Chris M
you don't have to leave your family, your wife, your job, your friends, but you absolutely have to be willing to.

you don't have to live a life of poverty(of any kind), but you have to absolutely be willing to.

you don't have to die, but you absolutely have to be willing to.

I mean complete and total surrender.

This "surrendur" thing referenced often in traversing the path of awakening typically means surrenduring completely to what is happening right here and right now, including those things that cause suffering. It can mean surrenduring to the precepts, or to the path itself. It does not mean giving up those things that make you sane and human (wives, children, etc.). That, in any reasonable system I know of, would be very counter-productive. It would cause suffering, not relieve it.

Just sayin'

​​​​​​​

   The buddha did it...

​​​​​​​you have nothig to lose but your fetters...
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:14 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 3:14 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts

​​​​​​​problem is, from one side of the fence, one can't know what really is because everything is filtered. From the other side it's perfectly obvious what is. 


the problem...

is that there is no problem and the mind can't think without something to chew on...

​​​​​​​spit it out...
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 11:36 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/9/23 11:36 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
one may be inwardly poor,
inwardly homeless...

lonely forlorn unwanted


"and we gazed upon
the chimes of fteedom
flashing"




tao te ching, trans feng

​​​​​​​Forty-two

The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.

The ten thousand things carry yin and embrace yang.
They achieve harmony by combining these forces.

Men hate to be "orphaned," "widowed," or "worthless,"
But this is how kings and lords describe themselves.

For one gains by losing
And loses by gaining.

What others teach, I also teach; that is:
"A violent man will die a violent death!"
This will be the essence of my teaching.

 
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terry, modified 5 Months ago at 11/10/23 12:57 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 11/10/23 12:57 PM

RE: Any thoughts on my situation?

Posts: 2431 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry
Papa Che Dusko
To really get to know your "love" , get to know your "ill will" first? 

Maybe we have no ill will to be known? 

Maybe there is only love to be known? 

Maybe there is no love to be known? 

Maybe we only have ill will to be known? 

Unknown? 

​​​​​​​

    I have been thinking a lot about love and hate lately.

   There is an experiment where foxes were bred to be more friendly. Within six generations the foxes were barking and wagging their tails. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsIibD-TLcM

   We have buddhist training in peace and non-violence. With repetition haters can be turned into lovers, is my thesis.

   Genetically, we have the genes for love, for love hormones such as oxytocin. Dogs have more and more frequent oxytocin releases than wolves, they are bred to want to be friends with other species, including humans. But wolves and wild foxes can be tamed as well.

   Hatred is attractive to right wing politicians - that is, politicians with no principles at all - because it is a sure fire way to unite people against the object of their hatred. People like being angry and aggrieved when their comforts are threatened or withheld and politicians love to deflect blame on innocent but powerless scapegoats. It is easy and simple to just get rid of the offending party, race, religion or minority. Jail them, execute them, deport them, cleanse society of the vermin and animals. 

   To unite people with love is more difficult. But in truth we are all fundamentally united by love, so we need only appeal to essential nature.

   I rarely talk about buddhsm in hawaii because it is hardly "pragmatic" in the sense of the word used here. But I have buddhist friends. One dear friend, a nurse, xray tech, med tech and butcher of pigs and cows, converted from buddhism to mormonism, because the "old priest" at the buddhist "church" only spoke japanese and none of the young people wanted to attend services. She later regretted converting because they got a new english speaking priest and all the young people were coming back but she didn't want to switch again, at her age. Another friend was a member of her local hong wan ji's "peace committee" which organized food distribution and communal meals, which ended up nearly a full time job, for which the peace committee paid her.

   We need more peace committees in contemprary western buddhism. And we need to expand their brief. Supply training in nonviolence at the tip of the spear.
   


"We will nver forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill their children."
​​​​​​​~golda meir

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