Human Rights March in Houston
April 29th, 2008 · 2 Comments
Houston, TX. April 25, 2008
All of us can feel anger. Likewise all of us can feel fear. We fear death. But death is inevitable. What is not inevitable is anger. Anger is the single most definable detriment to living beings everywhere. Anger and violence are branches of the same tree. They are like fire. Engage the anger and violence and you yourself are consumed.
The Buddha spoke of compassion and forgiveness, and how even words can be hurtful. We must ask ourselves what path we take. What are we to do with the emotions, fears, and anger we feel with regards to the people and monks of Tibet and Burma alike?
Many times you hear the word compassion. How do we love every person with equanimity? When doing evil the evil doer is obvious. It is the same by those who would do good. They are also seen. We are seen. We are heard. Compassion does not mean we sit idly by while evil is exercised all around us, but rather to not become engaged in it. Whenever an oppressor by any force harasses, gives pain, devastation, broken body, grave illness, mental anguish, government harassment, violence, slander, loss of loved ones and death, these persons will reappear with no discernment in hell.Compassion is not cowardice.
We can not judge the Chinese government or their motives. We can only speak to the actions they have carried out. They have their own karma. It is the same for us. We must understand that the actions of yesterday are responsible for the reality of today. What we do today will affect our lives tomorrow.
When we are shaken from our peaceful lives by the beliefs, statements, and actions, of any one person or government we must in solidarity with the oppressed make a commitment of support. Through your commitment to non violence, mindful conduct, and virtue, you become the voice and energy that causes change. Violence is never quenched by violence.
This action we are engaged in today is not about who they are and our response to hated, violence and death. It is about whom we are and our ability to effect change through forgiveness and compassion. The actions of the Chinese government against the peoples and monks of Tibet and Burma are their own. Our response to that aggression is our own. It is incumbent on a people seeking peace to act peacefully, to speak out against aggression without becoming the aggressor. We can not condemn the people of China. In the same way we ask them to understand that we are simply people of our country. There is a difference between the thoughts and minds of a people of every land and the government that rules them. We are not governments. We are people.
We must stand in solidarity with those who are everywhere oppressed. We must become the light that shines into the darkness of tyranny, evil and oppression. If the governments and beings of the world need a model for compassion and peace, let us be that model.
Heal your minds of anger. Sign petitions, walk in solidarity. Voice your concerns, and open your hearts.
“When one person passes, his life force dies like a candle hushed until rebirth, when hundreds perish the darkness is undeniable. Standing here our thoughts transcend the distance as we open our hearts of compassion.We breathe into this world a hope of great peace. We may be able to do nothing more. But we are able to speak. Our voices like thousands candles shine. We, each of us, will join our single voice in a chorus of compassion and sing the songs of peace. So when the last leaf falls from this tree of life, it may rest until reborn, as all this anguish comes to completion. When those who have fallen strain to hear the outcry of the world, we pray they hear our songs of peace.”
I Wish You Peace,
Bhante n. Kassapa Bhikkhu
Buu Mon Temple
Port Arthur, Texas, 77640