Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Resting, Working

(This) story is about when Suzuki Roshi was moving lots of large rocks and boulders around Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center, to build walls and to create a rock garden. Suzuki Roshi was in his 50’s and is just over five-feet tall. He was working with a group of healthy, young, men mostly in their 20’s. Someone approached them and noticed that the young men were panting and sweaty, while Suzuki Roshi, who apparently had done as much or more work than the others, was breathing normally, and barely sweating at all. When asked about this contrast, Suzuki Roshi replied, “Even while I’m working, I’m always resting.”

From Accomplishing More by Doing Less blog by Marc Lesser

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Charter for Compassion

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.
We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.
Click here for more information on the Charter for Compassion.