"Befriend your anger. Then can you hear the deeper truth that anger is revealing. Sometimes anger tiptoes, a gentle wake-up call slipping into consciousness and building, building, building. 'I think I’m getting angry about this...'May it be so.
Sometimes anger’s ring is musical – a clock radio with a snooze alarm to let you slowly rise to the brightness of its day. 'Maybe I am angry. Maybe I’m just tired.' Sometimes the sound’s a deafening clang – a jolt that throws you out of bed.
Befriend your anger. Only then can you decide the what and when and how of your reply.
Befriend your anger. Learn to stay with it, to play with it, to leap back to its roots. There you’ll find a child in fear and pain – and return, an adult with compassion.
Befriend your anger. When you feel the sting of others’ hurt, welcome the anger of hope: holy energy stirring in your soul, the work of Jesus in a hostile world – atonement.
Befriend your godlike anger, and be at peace." (The Gift of Anger: A Call to Faithful Action)
Yours in faith,
The Liberal Pulpit /New this week:
- We Missed Our Exit (Discovering America, part 3 of 3)
- Reaction to Cultural Difference: First Stages (Learning to Love Diversity, part 1)
- We Aren't All the Same (Learning to Love Diversity, part 2)
Practice of the Week: Trust In Yourself /Others can see things about you that you don’t see, and their perspective can be a big help. There are holes in your self-perception. But even with these holes, you see more of yourself than any other person can see of you. In the final analysis, only you can evaluate and understand your own practice. It's your own sense of your life that makes your life. If you give over that responsibility, then you become a wobbly person, constantly looking to the right and to the left to see what you are supposed to be doing and thinking. READ MORE.
Your Moment of Zen: Vows /This is Gray Wolf's third appearance. She first appeared in #22, when she asked for an explanation of karma. She showed up again in #59, when she questioned whether bushes and grasses could be enlightened.
The four Bodhisattva vows:
- Beings are numberless; I vow to free them.
- Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow to end them.
- Dharma gates are boundless; I vow to enter them.
- Buddha's way is unsurpassable; I vow to embody it.
In another sense, the vows are aspirational. You can't free all the beings, but try to free as many as you can. Continuously work on ending delusions, even though you'll never end them all. Always be watchful for dharma gates, and enter as many as you can. Try to embody parts of the Buddha way.
In a third sense, the vows cannot be kept, even partly. You can never free any beings, can never end a single delusion, or enter a dharma gate or embody any aspect of the Buddha way. Taking the vows is an exercise in humility, a liberating exercise in loosening the grip of the impulse to control.
In a fourth sense, the vows cannot be broken. No matter what you do, your every action in fact frees all the beings, ends all delusions, enters the infinite dharma gates (all of them at once), and embodies the Buddha way.
Raven's final remark in this segment echoes a haiku by Basho (1644-1694):
With awe I beheldCase
All the new green leaves of spring
Glittering in the sunshine
Gray Wolf seemed to attend meetings against her better judgment. One evening she came by anyway and said, "In every service I renew my vow to save the many beings, but, really, how can I do that?"Verse
Raven said, "It's your precious keepsake."
Mallard asked, "How can a vow be a keepsake?"
Raven said, "It reminds you of a loved one."
Gray Wolf sat back and said nothing further.
Owl spoke up and said, "We also vow to waken to the countless gates of the Great Law. I always thought that vow meant I should study all the teachings, but now I'm not so sure."
Raven said, "See all the new green leaves glittering in the sunshine!"
The morning sun behind the branches of black leaves
Long since broken, long since fulfilled.
Nothing is more beautiful,
Case by Robert Aitken, adapted; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
Zen at CUUC: Oct 19-25