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Zen is simple and revealed...
Harada Roshi

Guidance at the time of Corona #20

Dear All,


Today is the first of May. Nature is filled with bright green leaves, bright colors are bringing joy to our eyes. Nature does teach us about change. This virus shows us how we as humans have created pollution.


When we see the numbers of the infected and of those who have died, we feel deep sorrow, and our emotions feel stuck within. Yet when we see the bright colors of spring, there is the place where we can not ignore the mistakes humans have made.


Experts say that this situation will take a year to be resolved. Many countries are facing restrictions already longer than one month. And many countries have extended these for another month, like Japan. And even that, it may still be prolonged. Experts say if we take it lightly now, the numbers may increase again. Yet in our mind we feel restricted and controlled, this is being experienced as a big pressure.


2600 year ago the Buddha said:
“we are what we think, having become what we thought. Like the wheel that follows the cart pulling ox, sorrow follows an evil thought.
we are what we think, having become what we thought. Like the shadow that never leaves one, happiness follows a pure thought.”
 
The Buddha did not say these words knowing about our present situation, he simply speaks from his own experience of mind. In our mind we experience decadent greed and excessive emotions, which we need to align and purify. This is necessary in our human society.
 
We always look outside for something more, rather than noticing that which we have already which can bring us great joy and we then can appreciate it with great thankfulness. This is where we now need to reflect and realign ourselves. If we lose this, we will drown in our thoughts and emotions and end in a dead end road.
 
When we are being restricted in our activity, we feel this pressure, but we cannot at this point stop our efforts to find the solution within. What is that solution ?
 
We need to know that we cannot be excessive about anything, neither about emotions nor about thoughts. What is our true base of mind?
 
When a baby is born, it does not have any attachment and greed. Simply receiving that which it is being given.  That is all that it can do. Within this, according to the karmic connection to our parents, receiving support from society, we grow up and are being protected.
 
But if we take that for granted and even want more than that, we will end up in some kind of trouble. We need to again learn to stay with that which we have been blessed with and truly feel thankful for that. To feel this joy is our true human mind when it is pure and clear.
 
To be pure and clear in mind shows itself that each encounter, whatever is given to us, is being received with a thankful heart. This is the truth. If we believe that we have not enough, that we are not enough, we will only confuse ourselves further.
 
That is how I see the situation, that humans suffer now because this simplicity of mind has been lost. It is not something evil in the outside which is bringing this pain to us now. But it is our misunderstanding of life and the fact that we have let greed and hate grow enormously.
 
This is where we can perceive this bright colours of nature, which has not forgotten to present these to us. When we then think about our situation, we can clean our mind of taking things for granted. The corona virus is showing us how unbalance our lives had become. If we simply want to continue as before, we will only add on further pressure to our mind.

Each person needs to align the breathing, each person needs to find that place within of true thankfulness, of being blessed with so much already. With deep humility we can feel thankful for our lives. This is how we should position ourselves and deepen even further. Not holding onto some idea of clarity and serenity, this does not help us the slightest bit.
 
This is a time where we have to stay healthy in our body, and stay balance in our mind. How can we get there? This is how we simply are from the origin. Only greed has pulled us off center. Our desires have grown and with that our essence has weakened. This is obvious. Please look at this carefully for yourself, with each breath we are being given life. Maybe we are not completely satisfied, but today, now we are alive. This fact is what we need to see, each person can repent for themselves and deepen in essence so that you may stay healthy in body and in mind.
 
In the olden days the first of May was a day of thankfulness for the workers. These days many cannot work, many factories stand still, the economy is weakened. This is a heavy pressure for us all.
 
If we feel that life energy of this very moment, we can do small actions right where we are, we can create balance all around us, we can stop extraneous thoughts and deepen within. This is what is most important now.

 



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