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A Bodhisattva In The Neighborhood

The movie about Fred Rogers is not what you think. It is about relationships. A Bodhisattva is a person who helps others find their true-self, their awakened self. The movie explores a teacher-student relationship and role-plays using the journalist Lloyd Vogel as the grown child of ignorance.

This role play in Soto Zen is called skillful means, whereby all discussions are meaningful. This emersion in the intimacy of feelings/awareness was the feature of the television show aimed at 2-5-year-olds (and beyond). However, it is the broader life-affirming day-to-day interactions and being a friend that is explored in the movie.

The skillful means used are conversations. We know this when it happens because we feel safe, heard, and appreciated, just as we are. Self-awareness becomes extra-awareness, Or we could say, we lose any sense of separateness from the other. The movie shows there is no distinction between children and adults in experiencing or feeling. Being sad, angry, and lashing out happens to all of us and requires other skillful means to address.

Shakyamuni Buddha taught the arising of compassion is seeing we are not alone. The theme line is the way to end our sense of suffering is knowing it is common to us all. For example, on the television show, puppets became archetypes.

Daniel the Tiger is Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva exploring cause and effect. Daniel (that is Mr. Rogers) looks deeply into these conditions and variables, seeing casual relationships that foster responses of loving-kindness, joy, and equanimity.

Everything is the moment breathing in and out in seeing me as other in the unfolding awareness of One.

Fred Roger's: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Matsuoka-Roshi: Every day is a good day...

Taiun Elliston-Roshi: Regardless...



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