Right Action is aligning Right View, Right Thought/Intention, and Right Speech into play. It is the "Walking the walk," part of the adage..."If you Talk The Talk You Need to Walk the Walk." Another saying attributed to Gandhi is "Become the Change you wish to see in the world." So using the analytic techniques used in the first three steps, we acknowledge that Noble or Right Action is acting in ways that do not cause suffering to others or ourself. These negations reflect abstaining from behaviors that harm. The first of these align with the sanctity of Life-Do Not Kill, The second is recognizing rights of others by Not Taking What is Not Freely Given. And the third is Do Not Misuse Sexuality.
Killing means taking life from another sentient being. This can be extended in some Buddhist community to include all animal life-but not all. For example all Buddhist are not counseled to eat only vegetables. Taking of animal life for food and only what is needed may occur with the prohibition that a monk or nun does not kill the animal but may eat the meat if offered. This reflects the geographic factors at play in different parts of the world as to what diet options are available. Physical hurting , bullying, or teasing someone represents a kind of killing of the sanctity of the life of a person to find their own way without being attacked-killing dreams for example. Metta, or loving-kindness is seen as offering heartfelt assistance to another.
Not stealing or taking what is not freeing given is Noble. This is important and to an extreme the Buddha spoke of not moving stones from where they rest. This action contributes to responsibility and stands-up to the poison of greed. Taking credit for what others do today speaks to something called intellectual property-the right of another to their creativity. Here again in a monastic setting with so few items we could experience shunning as a form of stealing and killing of spirit. The collectivity of sangha being Noble.
We should not misuse our sexuality. In Buddha's time there was an array of defilements regarding sexual activities. In a monastic sense, sexuality was a human drive to be harnessed or transformed into Metta. It is also a Dharma Gate in that we must face desire as a major aspect of suffering as in addictive-attachment to be understood and transformed.
In today's world we kill to eat, stay clean, prevent disease, and save the lives of others. Doing right by others or the reverse Golden Rule..."Do not do to others what you would not want them to do unto you." Affirming life, we help, assist, relate and interact with others. One of my first memories of right action comes from an affirmation that all parents like to see in their young children, it was the note from Ms. Fambeau, my first grade teacher..."Danny plays well with others."
NO SANGHA MEETING MARCH 14, 2017: Blizzard Warning
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Our Spring Sesshin will be April 28 starting at 6:00PM and concluding at Noon on April 30, 2017. It will be held in Falmouth at the lake house of Enjitsu Chris Charyk, 45 Beebe Acres Rd, Falmouth, MA 02540. You may stay at the house Friday and Saturday night or return for each day's sessions. There will be more about the agenda in the next few weeks. Please RSVP Chris at email@example.com
1. NOTE CHANGE: We will discuss Zen In The Art of Archery, at Sensei's house at 14 Davis Rd. Falmouth, 02540 from 6:30 to 8:00PM Sunday March 19, 2017. You can read more about the book under our archives section of this Blog.
2. Each January-March, we return to the basics, that is discuss the life and teachings of the historical Buddha as the foundation of our Soto Zen practice. This will include the Five Turnings of the Dharma Wheel, The Three/Four Seals, The Four Noble Truths and Noble Eight-Fold Path. This is a good opportunity for new comers to explore these teachings. Please ask friends to join you and us as we do so!
3. Like String for Beads, is a compilation of my Dharma talks, notes, poems and Facebook comments I have produced over the last five years. Special thanks to Enjitsu-san Chris Charyk for pulling the pieces together in this book! There will be copies available every Tuesday night, or let me know if you want me to mail you a copy. The book is $25 for the first copy and $15 for extra copies while they last.
4. Visit our new library named for Diane “Yugen” Tucker. The cart was a donation to the Sangha by Kyoshin Elin Kinney as Dana for her Jukai on November 5, 2016…many bows! The books will be added over the next few weeks and Kyoshin-ni has agreed to be our Librarian. A donation of $1 is recommend to check out books and magazines for up to three weeks. It really is a cute cart drop-by and see it soon. Oh, we wheel it out each Tuesdays and for zazenkai and sesshin, or if you would like to see if we have a book you want, get in touch with Elin <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
5. Meditation is also held each TUESDAY at 10:00AM at the Falmouth Senior Center.
6. Our Zendo is open at 6:30PM (good time for newcomers to get aquatinted) at the UUFF, 840 Sandwich Road, for our weekly service which starts at 7:00PM.
Silent Thunder Order (STO) ACTIVITIES: See our website for details.