Saturday, August 12, 2006

Thank You

Dear Friends,

In the midst of preparations for my departure to Lebanon, I wanted to take some time to thank all of you who have so generously supported me in this endeavor, both with monetary support as well as spiritual support. I will carry your messages of peace and generosity with me, not just on this trip, but always.

I will carry this generosity each step of the way, as I offer what I can to the victims of war. As is always the case, innocent people have suffered, and are suffering still. How can we even begin to measure what has happened over these past 34 days? This war, so cruelly identified as an “opportunity” by our President and a “birth pangs” by our Secretary of State, has not brought about a “new Middle East”, but only reinforced the futility of war as a means to peace. As each “side” declares victory, citizens step gingerly into the streets, avoiding the pulverized concrete and broken glass, wondering how long the ceasefire can last.

Last evening, our Zen group had a discussion on Dana paramita, the unsurpassable giving in our lives. I reflected on all that I am receiving, and how lucky and grateful I am for each thing given. I in turn, will give what I have received. Maezumi Roshi offers a second definition of Dana paramita as “giving yourself away”. He goes on to say, “As a standard of giving, we say the best thing to give is no-fear.”

So how does each of us manifest this “no-fear”? Is it not true that this “no-fear” is already manifesting each moment, in all of our lives? If so, can we avoid giving this “no-fear”?

May each step of our journey be a reminder and an example of this beautiful gift.

Peace, Salaam, Shalom.

Thank you, Johnny