Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

We celebrated Earth Day in the courtyard this morning in the gentle first light and a fresh spring breeze, sunshine briefly illuminating the upper floors of the building. The sounds of birds and traffic mingled around us - I saw hummingbirds dancing overhead, and at one moment looked up to see a seagull gliding by, looking down at us. During the ceremony, we chanted the Loving Kindness Meditation, the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo for protecting life, and the four Bodhisattva Vows, as well as a series of homages:

Teaching and living the way of awareness,
In the very midst of suffering and confusion,
Shakyamuni Buddha, to whom we bow in gratitude.

Seed of awakening in children, sprouts and all beings,
Maitreya, the Buddha to be born, to whom we bow in gratitude.

Working mindfully and joyfully for the sake of all beings,
Samantabhadra, the Bodhisattva of great action, to whom we bow in gratitude.

Cutting through ignorance, awakening our hearts and minds
Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of great wisdom, to whom we bow in gratitude.

Responding to suffering, willingly serving beings in countless ways,
Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of great compassion,
To whom we bow in gratitude.

Showing the way, fearlessly and compassionately,
The stream of all ancestral plant, animal and human teachers,
To whom we bow in gratitude.

Deepening beyond all ideas and concepts of mind,
The Prajna Paramita Great Wisdom Sutra, to whom we bow in gratitude.

On the altar we had some beautiful pots of starts, and a tiny pear tree, which had been grafted at a workshop at Green Gulch. Marcia had also made a basket full of seed balls, from Green Gulch clay, poppy and bachelor's buttons, for us to take away and scatter around in the city.
Paul said, as he entered, "What day is not Earth Day?"

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