May 09, 2011

Maylie Scott

maylie1 copyTen years ago on May 10th, Maylie Scott, a Zen teacher at Arcata Zen Center, died.  Alan Senauke who was her Dharma brother and friend, inherited responsibility for her teaching in Arcata.  He writes in his blog today at Clear View Blog about Maylie.  Maylie had a particular interpretation of the Metta Sutta and I print it here while remembering her on the anniversary of her death.

"Maylie reworked the Metta Sutta, the Buddhas discourse on lovingkindness into a prayer, blending her own words with the Buddha’s.   The unique point of this prayer emerges in the next to last line: “…our peace in the world is a result of our work for justice.”  The notion of  “justice” is not commonly found in the Buddha’s teachings, and some people are uncomfortable with it.  The Buddha often spoke of “just” or correct, in balance.  The Western image of Justice is a blindfolded woman, impartial even to her own preferences, holding a scale.  Justice is about balance, finding the proper balance in our lives and in our society. Maylie was passionate about social justice without turning away from her adversaries, without seeing them as less than fully human.  And in her steady everyday devotion to zazen, she was again and again finding balance, finding what was just in her own life."— Hozan Alan Senauki

Metta Prayer
May I be well, loving, and peaceful. May all beings be well, loving, and peaceful.
May I be at ease in my body, feeling the ground beneath my seat and feet, letting my back be long and straight, enjoying breath as it rises and falls and rises.
May I know and be intimate with body mind, whatever its feeling or mood, calm or agitated, tired or energetic, irritated or friendly.
Breathing in and out, in and out, aware, moment by moment, of the risings and passings.
May I be attentive and gentle towards my own discomfort and suffering.
May I be attentive and grateful for my own joy and well-being.
May I move towards others freely and with openness.
May I receive others with sympathy and understanding.
May I move towards the suffering of others with peaceful and attentive confidence.
May I recall the Bodhisattva of compassion; her 1,000 hands, her instant readiness for action, each hand with an eye in it, the instinctive knowing what to do.
May I continually cultivate the ground of peace for myself and others and persist, mindful and dedicated to this work, independent of results.
May I know that my peace and the world’s peace are not separate; that our peace in the world is a result of our work for justice.
May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.
— Maylie Scott, 1994