Saturday, January 24, 2015

Love Is Not Rude

"At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love."
--Saint John of the Cross

With the approach of another Saint Valentine's day, retailers remind us there are wide swaths of the world taken over by its sentiments.
While Saint Valentine was a real person in history, very few greeting cards, retailers or restaurateurs, candy makers or the like recollect this. Saint Valentine's belief and message to mankind was essential and simple. Like Saint John of the Cross he believed:
"as the bee draws honey from plants and makes company with them for that reason, so must the soul most easily draw the sweetness of love from all that happens to it. It makes all things subservient to the ends of loving God, whether they be sweet or bitter. In all its occupations, its joy is the love of God."
--Daily Readings with St. John of the Cross, ed. by Sr. Elizabeth Ruth, ODC

He followed in the way of the teaching to 'love one another.' But what does that mean? His view was something like this:  
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, It is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians chapter 12:31-13:13 or 13:4-13

Charity is the greatest social requirement. It recognizes and respects others and their rights. Charity requires the practice of justice, and charity alone make us capable of doing so. Charity is love. Because love has the function of uniting persons and communities, love is the center of human life.
 Celebrate the feast day of Saint Valentine, and Saint Valentine is with you, building your spirit in love.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Heart of Mahayana Buddhism

"To say that you don't know, is the beginning of knowing."   
-- a Chinese proverb

Cultivating the Mind of Love i
s one of many titles written by Vietnamese Buddhist monk and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. Many think many things about practices originating from the East, some are interpreted accurately and some less so. Hanh makes it his endeavor to bring what he calls "engaged Buddhism" to the west. A prolific scholar-translator, writer and teacher, Hanh writes many things in his book. He wants above all to give instruction about Mahayana Buddhism.

Reminding readers that 'the raft is not the shore... we see many waves.... the wave is, at the same time, water..." Hanh continues with his teaching: "The first aspect of Buddhist meditation is samatha (stopping and calming), and the second is vipasyana (insight, looking deeply). If we study Mahayana Buddhism, we will see that vipasyana, looking deeply, is very much at its heart...'

' Its attitude of openness, non-attachment from views, and playfulness serves well as a dharma door to enter the realm of Mahayana Buddhism, helping us to see clearly that all the seeds of Mahayana thought and practice were already present in the early teachings of the Buddha."