Happy New Year one and all!
May we receive and share life blessings in 2010!
On New Year Day we ring the bells 108 times to remove our transgressions and to celebrate the New Year with clarity and resonant good will. There is much focus this year on Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion. I've spoken about it here and I emphasize it again as Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, "She Brings Light," the One Who Listens to the suffering of the world with compassion, is foremost in our practice. There is much in our daily happenings around the world that calls us to be aware of the condition of the suffering earth and its peoples. Hardly a day goes by without some heartrending news of environmental stress and cultural, racial, gender, religious, or territorial conflict. We are called to work within ourselves to see the presence of the Compassionate One in the midst of turmoil and pain.
I'm recalling a Psalm I wrote a number of years ago for the invocation for the opening of the meetings of Buddhism, Christianity, and Global Healing: The Nonviolent Struggle for Economic and Social Justice, held at Pacific Lutheran University. I'm inclined to reprint it here for New Year 2010. With blessings to all!
We have come in faith and good will, peace and
integrity, to answer the cries of suffering,
the mistaken voice of consumption,
greed, anger and delusion.
We have tasted the bitter water of pollution, of toxic
and hazardous waste and swallowed poisons
from the deep places of the earth.
We have heard the silence of children stitching
seams of the very garments we wear,
have seen the eyes of women taught
political lessons through sexual violence.
We have seen the broken untouchables denied a
place in the classroom, killed or abused
at the hands of force.
We have inhaled the industry of prisons,
the cold, racial walls of fear
that penalize by lethal injection.
We have touched the poor in the barrios,
gripped the ragged bones of economy
with the frayed hem of the mother's skirt.
We have been made to face ourselves in the great
long-standing suffering mirrors of humanity,
and we are bowed down at the altar of
repentance melted like wax
in the earth's cradle.
Let us come then to polish the mirror in the light of
grace, freeing ourselves from the rusty views
of despair and complacency.
Let the bright, divine reflection breathe a language
of truth and truthfulness, openness and
receptivity in all our proceedings.
Let us persevere in our personal practice, making
ourselves tabernacles of light that we may
teach with insight and clarity and we may
learn with gratitude and humility.
Let all beings in our interconnectedness signify their
original natural spiritual illumination
in a nonviolent unfolding
of peaceful repair and progress.
Let the mercy and light of global healing sing in the
reflective capacity of every heart.
O let us give thanks that we are lifted here to
begin this New Year of practice and peace.
Eido Frances Carney
Ryoko-an, Olympia Zen Center