Last Sunday I spoke at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth (UUFF) on the topic of Principles: Sow, Sew and So What. UUFF also affords a speaker the opportunity, if they wish, to meet in an informal discussion about the talk (sermon) right after the service. I like this format. Some 14 people joined in such a discussion for about 45 minutes. It was a meaningful conversation.
My Soto Zen Order, Mokurai or Silent Thunder, does this talk/discussion at each service through what we call a Dharma (search for truth) Talk or Discussion. The point is exploring and sharing of ways to address suffering and following a way of life that we vow to continue.
A principle is a sensation that has risen to a level of conscious value that we see a pattern of interconnectivity that we know has a probability of certain outcomes. I suggest that principles have been sown by others and provide the socio-cultural context of our up-bringing. Our life could then be seen as sutras (stitches) or different principles we sew together. Priests in Buddhism chant when they put on their robe. This Kesa, is a hand sewn tapestry depicting what we say is a "Field of Knowledge." This field of knowledge is SOWN, when we offer that which has been SEWEN by each priest, being offered to other people. In essence we stitch together new combinations of values and offer them to the Universe.
Is that so, is awareness of what we are doing. Our volitional acts impact the universe either adding to, being neutral of, or lessening suffering. Is that so, is a spiritual pause, an awaiting, because we never know fuller what is happening, but being wise enough to intuit that impact and implications are long threads of possibilities we enhance our awareness.
We are weavers and knitters, distributors, hand-holders, translators and menders. Finally, as menders we sew together tears in the fabric of life as well, mending scares with golden threads of compassion, loving kindness, joy and equanimity .
So please be aware of the principles you follow, as it is Your Way...