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INTEGRITY




STO Dharma Cloud Book Study 2024

Unshin Sangaku Dan Joslyn-sensei

Standing at the Edge by Roshi Joan Halifax: January 9 - June 4, 2024

Second Tuesday 8:00 PM/ET


Thanks to Chang he’, here is a PDF of the Book:


MARCH 12, 2024 INTEGRITY


Hello, and welcome to the next six months of Roshi Joan and the tour de force of Standing at The Edge. This book is Zen in practice and comes from a person of many interest and experiences focusing all of this on the edge through Zen into Six states: 

  • Altruism

  • Empathy

  • Integrity

  • Respect

  • Engagement

  • Compassion


Chapter 3 INTEGRITY  


Integrity is the interweaving of values, morale, sensitivity, decrement, and action. Resilience is the restoration of setbacks, standing strong…Kintsugi, reforming brokenness in the right conditions and variables. Incorporating suffering into a stronger gratefulness of life requires deep honesty. It is upright-ness at all times even when pulling oneself-up after falling down. Integrity if demonstrated in actions, not just words is at the heart do no harm–reduce suffering in self and others. This edge-state is “charnel ground”. How when facing the most painful horrors does one come back and be able to live with conditioned trauma?  By vow, by responsibility, and by staying the course we mend the cracks (kintsugi) and strengthen resolve which brings us thankfulness and a sense of gratitude which enable us to carry-on an.  (Sangaku) 

   

Please Watch:


Chapter Notes: 3.  INTEGRITY 


I. STANDING AT THE HIGH EDGE OF INTEGRITY 

Moral Nerve and Radical Realism Living by Vow 

II.  FALLING OVER THE EDGE OF INTEGRITY: MORAL SUFFERING 

Moral Distress 

The Pain of Moral Injury 

Moral Outrage and the,

Stickiness of Anger and Disgust 

Moral Apathy and,

The Death of the Heart 

III.  INTEGRITY AND THE OTHER EDGE STATES 

IV.  PRACTICES THAT SUPPORT INTEGRITY 

Expanding the Circle of Inquiry Vows to Live By Practicing Gratefulness 

V.  DISCOVERY AT THE EDGE OF INTEGRITY


I. STANDING AT THE HIGH EDGE OF INTEGRITY 


  1.  Without integrity, our freedom is compromised.Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 91). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  2. Moral suffering is an emotional complex that my friend and colleague Dr. Cynda Rushton, endowed professor of clinical ethics and nursing at Johns Hopkins University, defines as “the distress or anguish experienced in response to moral Wrongs, harms, or failures..Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 92). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition.

  3. The Oxford English Dictionary defines (integrity) as “the state of being whole and undivided.” When our integrity is compromised, we feel divided inside and separated from our values, as I’m sure my father did. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 92). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition.

  4. Bearing witness to her father (p. 91-93). 

  5. …that notions of what is right and wrong vary from culture to culture, even from person to person. Yet Buddhism gave me a new way to understand integrity—one that looks through the lens of suffering. When we cause suffering to others or ourselves, our integrity is violated. When we alleviate the suffering of others, our integrity is affirmed. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 94). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  6. I have seen that integrity can have a fragile edge—perhaps more fragile than that of the other Edge States. By this I mean that it often takes an experience of moral anguish, a push, a slip, or a tumble over the edge into the chasm of suffering, to affirm or reveal integrity.Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 94). 

  7. Moral anguish can affirm or reveal the shape of our integrity (p.94) 

  8. “Lines-in-the-sand”

  9. Moral Nerve and Radical Realism the story of Fannie Lou Hamer (p. 95)

  10. The Civil Rights Movement as a spiritual path–Hamer (p. 96)

  11. Living by Vow points to our moral sensitivity (p.97)...a strong back and a soft front..

  12. The vow to be of help…(P. 99)

  13. Vows of living a larger identity…(p. 100) Inpermanance, interdependence, unselfishness, and compassion


II.  FALLING OVER THE EDGE OF INTEGRITY: MORAL SUFFERING 


  1. Falling over the edge— Moral Suffering of Distress, Injury, Outrage, and Apathy (p. 101)

  2.  Social psychologists have studied the effect of disgust on moral discernment. In one study, when jurors in mock trials were exposed to a disgusting smell, they meted out harsher verdicts against the defendant. Disgust seemed to amplify their experience of moral outrage, leading to stricter judgments.

Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 111). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  1. When moral outrage is episodic and regulated, it can be a useful instigator of ethical action.Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 113). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  2. Author Sarah Schulman notes that instead of confronting the moral transgressions of our society, too many of us have opted for “mental gentrification” by letting our common sense and decency be colonized by privilege. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 114). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  3. James Baldwin (p.115)

  4. We suffered from the worst kind of apathy—the apathy that is born out of objectifying the other and denial born out of living in a bubble of privilege.Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 115). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  5. Student privilege: My isolation eventually moved beyond healing and became a crutch: I became apathetic and safe.Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 116). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  6. By taking plunges, we can transform ourselves—and, ideally, we can also help to transform the institutions and cultures that engage in harm. But to take a plunge and be in a charnel ground—like Syria, a prison, or illness—we need will, determination, staying power, and finally love and wisdom. These environments are where moral character is shaped and where real integrity can be born.

Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 117). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 


III.  INTEGRITY AND THE OTHER EDGE STATES 


  1. Street Retreats ( starting p.118)

  2. Seeing everything as ‘us versus them’ can be a way of coping with pain and feeling safe, but it’s in the avoiding of feeling the pain of privilege and oppression that grasping (suffering) emerges.”

Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 120). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  1. From our reaction of moral suffering, we can so easily harm ourselves and those whom we wish to serve. Kosho learned that moral injury and outrage, which are often sourced in empathic distress, can lead to pathological altruism. Moral injury and outrage can lead to behaviors that are unintentionally disrespectful and destructive. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 121). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  2. When your heart breaks and your conscience leaks through the cracks, you’d better look deeply not only into your own heart but also into the hearts of those who suffer, and into the hearts of those who harm. This is how we can acknowledge the truth of suffering and commit to standing on the high edge of integrity, where we can see both difficulty and dignity. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 122). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 



IV.  PRACTICES THAT SUPPORT INTEGRITY 


  1.  When we are confronted with a moral issue that threatens our integrity, it’s good to ground ourselves by noticing what the body is telling us. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 122). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  2. Our emotions can influence how we perceive moral dilemmas, Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 123). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  3. Rainer Maria Rilke said in his poem “Go to the Limits of Your Longing”: No feeling is final. From tuning into our feelings, we turn our attention to whatever thoughts are arising. Being aware of our thoughts in this moment might help us become more consciously aware of how we are conceptualizing our experience. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 123). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  4. boundaries. Somehow, I knew I needed a set of practices that would support opening my heart, opening my life to others, and expanding my potential to serve. I also needed guidelines on how not to harm. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 124). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  5. We can see  guidelines, pvows as promises,ractices, and values. In Buddhism, they are the pivot that turns us toward stability and wisdom. They also reflect our commitment to live a life of integrity: to treat others and ourselves with consideration, Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 124). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  6. 1. To not harm and to revere all of life 2. To not steal and to practice generosity 3. To avoid sexual misconduct and to practice respect, love, and commitment 4. To avoid harmful speech and to speak truthfully and constructively 5. To avoid intoxicants and to cultivate a sober and clear mind. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 124). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  7. Living by vow is an invitation for us to take responsibility for our own suffering and our own awakening, and it often entails difficult choices. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 125). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  8. A person of no integrity is ungrateful and unthankful. This ingratitude, this lack of thankfulness, is advocated by rude people. It is entirely on the level of people of no integrity. A person of integrity is grateful and thankful. This gratitude, this thankfulness, is advocated by civil people. It is entirely on the level of people of integrity.” Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 125). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  9.  Sometimes, though, our ability to give or receive gratitude is blocked by “the mind of poverty,” a state of mind and heart that has nothing to do with material poverty. When we are caught in the mind of poverty, we focus on what we are lacking; we feel we don’t deserve love, or feel alienated from love, and we ignore all that we have been given. The conscious practice of gratitude is the way out of the poverty mentality. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 126). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  10. I believe that, like compassion, the practice of gratitude benefits both giver and receiver and enriches the experience of connection. Meditation also nourishes gratitude, as it can make us more aware and appreciative of the present moment. Meditation enhances our ability to view moral dilemmas with greater clarity and gives us a level of emotional equanimity that supports gratefulness. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (pp. 126-127). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 


IV.  PRACTICES THAT SUPPORT INTEGRITY 


  1. (Kintsugi) Kintsukuroi is the art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold or platinum mixed with lacquer, so that the repair reflects the history of breakage. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 128). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  2. The object returns to wholeness, to integrity. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 128). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 

  3. This, I believe, is how moral transformation happens and integrity opens—not by rejecting suffering but by incorporating the suffering into a stronger material, the material of goodness, so that the broken parts of our nature, our society, and our world can meet in the gold of wholeness. Halifax, Joan. Standing at the Edge (p. 129). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition. 


Our next meeting is April 9, 2024,

and cover Chapter 4:

RESPECT

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