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Harada Roshi

Guidance at the time of Corona #21

Receiving the Dharma in Thankfulness


Dear All,
 
Are you doing fine?


Japan is already for one month in a lockdown and it has been extended for one month. The main question for us is, how do we live while we are being restricted?
Also the medical staff is working hard, doing over time since staff is rare to cover the next shift. At the same time in many countries protective clothing is scarce. In some hospitals it seems that the situation is similar as if at war.


The numbers of people committing suicide is rising, Such intense times, yet we can do so little about it. We can be thankful for the medical staff, we can support in which ever way possible to stop the infection chains and clusters to come about. We need to be aware of those people who are caring for the sick.
 
There is the Vimalakirti sutra, which is about the lay person Vimalakirti. He was wealthy while at the same time caring deeply for people, Vimalakirti himself worked in society for others. Yet finally he became sick himself. The Buddha was sorry for Vimalakirti being sick, and wanted to send his disciple to give greetings. Yet the disciples did not feel that they could manage to go and greet Vimalakirti. Finally Monjusri agreed to go.
When Monjusri entered the room, Vimalakirti was lying in bed. Monjusri asked: Why is it that you got sick? – Vimalakirti replied: I am not sick, but because many in society are sick, I cannot stay healthy and am taking on this sickness of society.
Just as a parents feels the sickness of the child as their own, wanting for the child to be healthy even one day soon, they will make any effort possible
 
Vimalakirti said as well, if society is sick obviously I am sick as well. He said: This happened because I am so concerned about society. Thus there was no way out but myself getting sick as well. If the sickness of society heals, then I will also heal.
These are famous words of the Vimalakirti sutra.
 
We cannot simply say now, that we are doing fine, that we are not sick. But rather see the suffering of the others as your own. We can actually experience ourselves right now what Vimalakirti was talking about. We do need to keep this in mind.
 
The Buddha said himself: In this world all places are my home. In this world, all people are my children.
 
When our mind becomes purified, we let go of an ego centered view where we see the problem of the other as their problems.  When we are pure in mind, we act like a mirror, the other is a reflection in the mirror of our mind, of ourselves. This is being experienced as a fact. Those suffering children are myself, are my children. This is how the Buddha experienced the world from his purified mind.
 
We need to purify our mind. We need to see this is reality, we are all one. We need this correct way of seeing the world. Aligning ourselves in this way, we then know exactly what we need to do. It is important now more than ever that we find a way of living together with others, with society.
 
This is where we need to make efforts,  to not let our mind get moved around by greed hate and delusion, to not drown in these emotions. Here and there people are unsettled and stressed, crimes happen and even increase. This teaching of Vimalakirti is what we need to protect nowadays.
Please continue your work, please purify your mind and align yourself. Then you know what you need to do next.
I am asking this from you all, please continue to purify your mind.
 
 



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