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Peaceful Presence Meditation and Story

Two highlights from our February 11 Peaceful Presence, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, were a moving meditation and an inspiring story!

Rev. Yushi Mukojima from the Mountain View Buddhist Temple led our meditation, which included these words:

There is a saying in Buddhism: Let us cease from wrath and refrain from angry looks. Nor let us be resentful when others differ from us. For all men have hearts, and each heart has its own leanings. Their right is our wrong, and our right is their wrong. We are not unquestionably sages, nor are they unquestionably fools. Both of us are simply ordinary men.

Therefore, our spirit of justice should always be based on wisdom, compassion, and loving kindness, without anger and hatred. Even if we are upset with or even hate another person, we should not dwell on our differences, but just try to let them go. It may be very hard, but do not give into hatred. Hatred can never create anything constructive.

To read the full meditation scroll down or click "Read More" below.



We were also inspired with a reading of the story Kamala and Maya's Big Idea. The book is written by Meena Harris, and illustrated by Ana Ramirez Gonzalez. Craig Wiesner and Derrick Kikuchi, long time participants with Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice and owners of the independent bookstore Reach and Teach, read the story to us. To purchase the book visit the Reach and Teach website.


Peaceful Meditation – Rev. Yushi Mukojima, Mountain View Buddhist Temple

(Bell ringing)

In recent years, there have been too many lamentable behaviors like hate crimes. We are all saddened by such selfishness and foolishness. Unfortunately, racism has been deeply rooted in American communities for a long time. Because countless people of color have been killed or their human rights repeatedly trampled upon throughout American history, today there are many innocent children of color who are filled with fear and anxiety during the current chaos in this county. That is why now many thousands of people are joining together to protest this injustice.

In Buddhism, whatever the reasons given, discrimination is unacceptable. Buddha rejected the idea of discrimination outright because all people have Buddha nature. This means that we are equal to all others. To understand this concept is important for all Buddhists, because if we can fully realize this truth—regardless of our differences in age, gender, race, skin color, birthplace, religion—we will be able to love and respect all people just as we do the Buddha.

But Buddha also teaches that the cause of terrible conflicts is the selfish mind. We see it in war, because both sides claim stubbornly that they alone are justified, resulting in the many precious lives injured or taken in the name of justice. It is human folly that, because of our attachment to justice, people on either side of any conflict think of their stance only.

If we become too attached to justice, it is no longer true justice because we are ultimately confused by feelings of anger and hatred. Sadly, the conflict between two groups, each claiming justice is on its side, can result in the sacrifices of innocent people, including blameless women, children, and the weak and the helpless.

There is a saying in Buddhism: Let us cease from wrath and refrain from angry looks. Nor let us be resentful when others differ from us. For all men have hearts, and each heart has its own leanings. Their right is our wrong, and our right is their wrong. We are not unquestionably sages, nor are they unquestionably fools. Both of us are simply ordinary men.

Therefore, our spirit of justice should always be based on wisdom, compassion, and loving kindness, without anger and hatred. Even if we are upset with or even hate another person, we should not dwell on our differences, but just try to let them go. It may be very hard, but do not give into hatred. Hatred can never create anything constructive.

We must never forget that each of us is capable of discriminating against others. That is why, in Buddhism, it is most important for each one of us to reflect deeply on our imperfect selves first. Then we should redirect our self-centeredness to be able to extend our loving kindness to all people without discrimination and prejudice. The Buddha Dharma is our mind’s mirror which reflects back our selfish nature.

As we engage in deep self-reflection, let’s stand in solidarity with those fighting against structural racism. That is how we can create a society where all people can enjoy their lives happily and peacefully without the fear of discrimination or violence.

(Second bell ringing)

With the radiant and boundless mind of wisdom and compassion, may we each regard all living beings with loving kindness. May all beings be happy and well. May they all be free from pain and suffering. May they be free from illness, anguish and grief. May they all be free from discrimination and violence. May this gathering bring blessings to all living beings. May the sound of the bell bless the world and all living beings. May all of our loving kindness ring throughout the ages…

(Final bell ringing)



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