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The stone lantern doesn`t need to explain oneself. Neither does a tree, the sun or the rain...
Harada Roshi

The beloved flowers fade and fall

Hana wa aiseki ni yotte chiru
The beloved flowers fade and fall

This line forms a couplet with "The endangered weeds come up once again."
As long as humans have existed, we have appreciated the bounty of nature, cultivating food and gathering what we need while discarding what we can't use. We have domesticated animals and designed tools to assist us in our work. At the same time, we have tried to eliminate plants that are poisonous to us and to destroy beings such as cockroaches and ants that we consider bothersome. We appreciate flowers for their beauty, and we pull plants we consider weeds. In pulling the weeds we are subjecting those plants to our preferences, even though in nature flowers and weeds are equal.
Without thinking of good or bad, how, at this moment, do you receive the world? This is the foundation of the truth, a truth that can be directly realized only from within. To see what is true we must let go of our selfhood, our personality, our entity, and our separate individuality. These limit and restrict, putting us in the shadow of I, me, mine and making this world a hell. The idea of a "me" is incompatible with humans' basic way of being, and when we act from there we destroy the world. We must have a vow that reaches beyond our own limited interests and extends not just to all beings but to everything in the natural world as well. Our ego is not necessarily bad. But if we only use it for self-satisfaction, instead of for all beings, we're ignoring a wider responsibility. We have to take care of the ecosystem and not just use its bounty for our personal needs. We have a responsibility to save this world for all future generations, without resenting the effort this requires. 

Roshi Shodo Harada


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