Monday, June 29, 2015

Nothing Extra



Nothing extra nothing lacking.
Right now our universal life
provides exactly what is needed,
right now is our opportunity
to manifest this Bodhisattva life.

If we are self-entangled about circumstances,
caught in reactions,
looking for something else,
whether in zazen or throughout daily life,
right here practice effort is needed.



(c) 2015 Elihu Genmyo Smith


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Freedoms

In my opinion, the Bill of Rights and the freedoms enumerated therein and elsewhere are significant factors in making possible the spread of Buddha's Teaching and Practice in the USA and elsewhere in the West. I have briefly touched upon this in a number of places, including in a recent Dharma Talk "Freedom of Thought, Freedom from Thought" at
 http://prairiezen.org/Sesshin_audio.html 
and intend to clarify this further in future writings.

The following is from an interesting article about the Magna Carta and freedoms/rights:

"There was a divergence between English and American conceptions of Magna Carta. In the Old World, it was thought of, above all, as a guarantor of parliamentary supremacy; in the New World, it was already coming to be seen as something that stood above both Crown and Parliament. This difference was to have vast consequences in the 1770s.

The American Revolution is now remembered on both sides of the Atlantic as a national conflict—as, indeed, a “War of Independence.” But no one at the time thought of it that way—not, at any rate, until the French became involved in 1778. Loyalists and patriots alike saw it as a civil war within a single polity, a war that divided opinion every bit as much in Great Britain as in the colonies.

The American Revolutionaries weren’t rejecting their identity as Englishmen; they were asserting it. As they saw it, George III was violating the “ancient constitution” just as King John and the Stuarts had done. It was therefore not just their right but their duty to resist, in the words of the delegates to the first Continental Congress in 1774, “as Englishmen our ancestors in like cases have usually done.”

Nowhere, at this stage, do we find the slightest hint that the patriots were fighting for universal rights. On the contrary, they were very clear that they were fighting for the privileges bestowed on them by Magna Carta. The concept of “no taxation without representation” was not an abstract principle. It could be found, rather, in Article 12 of the Great Charter: “No scutage or aid is to be levied in our realm except by the common counsel of our realm.” In 1775, Massachusetts duly adopted as its state seal a patriot with a sword in one hand and a copy of Magna Carta in the other."

The full article is here:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/magna-carta-eight-centuries-of-liberty-1432912022?mod=trending_now_2