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Re: [U-Zendo] E-Sessin Hell

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  • Lou Anne Jaeger
    I ve had some of my most intense bouts of crying during sesshin. But, to echo your expression of pain, Scott, the hardest and most uncontrolled weeping I have
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 27, 2006
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      I've had some of my most intense bouts of crying during sesshin.

      But, to echo your expression of pain, Scott, the hardest and most
      uncontrolled weeping I have ever done was when I put my last dog
      down.  It was a horrible experience.

      Scott Hutton <scott_1971_h@...> wrote:
      This was the most painful – and revealing – week I have had for quite a while. I had to put my dog to sleep on Friday.
      Looking at the progression of the symptoms of his disease (it ALL happened during e-sessin, which has left me rather stunned – he was in remission for a few months but it came back with vengeance; I can hardly believe that the first swelling I felt was on Monday…) and knowing that his adorable nature was only ever impermanent…
       
      Has anyone else had moments of uncontrollable weeping and crying as things came up, memories, etc., during meditation?
       
      Scott

    • Jakub Jaroszewski
      I cried during a retreat, too. I was kitchen-person during it. It was a break, I thing before meal or something. I was staying by the door close the kitchen,
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 27, 2006
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        I cried during a retreat, too. I was kitchen-person during it. It was a break, I thing before meal or something. I was staying by the door close the kitchen, just staing. One of participants said "Don't worry, I'll serve it instead of you". I've run not too quick to zendo, set on the cussion in the front of the wall and cried. Not loud. Then the meal time came and I had to turn back. I didn't remove my tears nor hide it.
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2006 3:47 AM
        Subject: [U-Zendo] E-Sessin Hell

        This was the most painful – and revealing – week I have had for quite a while. I had to put my dog to sleep on Friday.

        Looking at the progression of the symptoms of his disease (it ALL happened during e-sessin, which has left me rather stunned – he was in remission for a few months but it came back with vengeance; I can hardly believe that the first swelling I felt was on Monday…) and knowing that his adorable nature was only ever impermanent…

         

        Has anyone else had moments of uncontrollable weeping and crying as things came up, memories, etc., during meditation?

         

        Scott

      • Betkowski, Frank (AU - Adelaide)
        I ve been a long-term member of this list, but always in disguise and have never posted before. I ve learnt a lot from this list and appreciate it greatly and
        Message 3 of 18 , Mar 27, 2006
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          I’ve been a long-term member of this list, but always in disguise and have never posted before.  I’ve learnt a lot from this list and appreciate it greatly and I hope everyone will forgive me for this post if it’s considered inappropriate.

           

          However, Scott, I had to respond to your post below because I too had to put my dog to sleep on Friday, an event that plunged our family into terrible grief over the weekend – grief that is only now starting to get a little better.  It’s comforting to know that others are going through the same thing and I hope that you find this too.

           

          I’m not what most people would call a Zen Buddhist, I guess that you’d say that I’m the Zen equivalent of a ‘lapsed Catholic’, only I didn’t practice that much to start with (unlike when I was a Catholic).  However, my Zen learnings have helped me no end through this process, the best one being ‘just let your grief be’.  I agree with you that the impermanent nature of our relationships with our dogs, and others that we love, is what makes it the hardest.  Realising that some of my grief was in reality my ego being bruised helped me to focus on what was important: our little dog ‘Pierre’ and his pain and suffering, not mine and my wife’s.

           

          One of the first Buddhists books I read told the story of how a lot of our pain and suffering is caused by the choices that we constantly make in the pursuit of ‘happiness’.  The point being made was that all this mind chatter about which choice to make in so many irrelevant decisions fills the mind and blocks clarity and understanding.  The author went on to point out that when the time came to make a truly relevant decision, it would be easy.  It was that way with Pierre as the decision to have him put to sleep was one of the easiest to make - but at the same time it was so difficult.  Pierre went down hill extremely quickly; we missed some of the signs, and it was a shock.

           

          We learned lots from Pierre and in many ways he’s been a type of ‘roshi’ for me, but I’ve only just realised it.  Over the weekend, my wife and I wrote down some thoughts on what he taught us:

          • live in the moment – if you’re happy, be happy – be filled with happiness.  If you’re angry  – be angry, swear and curse (perhaps don’t go and wee on the carpet in protest), then, when that moment is gone, drop the anger… completely
          • love unconditionally – don’t give something (anything) and expect something in return – giving is its own reward
          • stop procrastinating – if you want to play fetch (or whatever), do it.
          • nothing lasts forever – but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the effort.  Put more in and get 100 times more out.
          • don’t do things because you think you should – follow your heart and live by it
          • tell people how you feel about them there and then – if the doorbell rings and you smell it’s someone you love, yelp with glee!

           

          Pierre was so mindful all the time, just giving his all to whatever it was he was doing at that moment – a kind of zazen in just doing and being.  I wish I could be like that.

           

          We also realised that you don’t need to understand someone, nor speak their language to have unconditional love and a bond stronger than you could have imagined.  I guess the difficulty is that the bond is a form of attachment, but with the right perspective, I think that even that can be ok - we don’t need to slip into the void in trying to avoid attachment, because that is a type of attachment in itself.  Does anyone agree?

           

          Best regards

           

          Frank.

           


          From: U-Zendo@yahoogroups.com [mailto:U-Zendo@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Scott Hutton
          Sent: Sunday, 26 March 2006 12:18 PM
          To: U-Zendo@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [U-Zendo] E-Sessin Hell

           

          This was the most painful – and revealing – week I have had for quite a while. I had to put my dog to sleep on Friday.

          Looking at the progression of the symptoms of his disease (it ALL happened during e-sessin, which has left me rather stunned – he was in remission for a few months but it came back with vengeance; I can hardly believe that the first swelling I felt was on Monday…) and knowing that his adorable nature was only ever impermanent…

           

          Has anyone else had moments of uncontrollable weeping and crying as things came up, memories, etc., during meditation?

           

          Scott

           



          This email and any attachments to it are confidential. You must not use, disclose or act on the email if you are not the intended recipient. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Deloitte is a member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (a Swiss Verein). As a Swiss Verein (association), neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names "Deloitte", "Deloitte & Touche", "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu", or other related names. Services are provided by the member firms or their subsidiaries and affiliates and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.
        • wreturns@optonline.net
          ... Yes. This is a nice chewy concept. I don t think we can find liberation by denying ourselves bonds, relationships, with others. After my brother had to put
          Message 4 of 18 , Mar 27, 2006
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            Frank wrote:
            > I guess the difficulty is that the bond is a
            > form of attachment, but with the right perspective, I think that
            > even that can be ok - we don't need to slip into the void
            > in trying to avoid attachment, because that is a type of
            > attachment in itself. Does anyone agree?

            Yes.

            This is a nice chewy concept. I don't think we can find liberation by denying ourselves bonds, relationships, with others.

            After my brother had to put down his beloved dog, he vowed he would never again have a dog, because he never again wanted to feel that grief. Of course, without accepting that grief, he would never have experienced the joys he had in loving the dog. The joy and pain are two sides of the same coin, which is Suffering.

            One might think that by "leaving the world" of relationships and becoming a monastic, liberation will be much easier to attain. But if you know any monastic you will know that their lives can be just as vexed as any layperson.

            So the problem doesn't seem to be with bonds, relationships, in and of themselves. The suffering comes from the attachment. The desire to have that which we love. The desire not to be separated from that which we love.

            Can we love without having these desires? I don't think so.

            Does that mean we give up love in order to be liberated? I don't think so.
            Frank wrote:

            > with the right perspective, I think that even that can be ok

            I think so too. It is a matter of perspective. Seeing clearly the inherent Emptiness, Impermanance, No-Self of all the things we love. Here is a line from THE FIVE REMEMBRANCES:
            All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change.
            There is no way to escape being separated from them.

            I think that fully understanding this, and accepting it, can lead to liberation from Suffering. But I don't think that liberation from Suffering means we no longer feel love or grief.

            > we don't need to slip into the void
            > in trying to avoid attachment, because that is a type of
            > attachment in itself.

            If attachment = relationship = bond, then perhaps we can say

            VOID is precisely ATTACHMENT
            and
            ATTACHMENT is precisely VOID

            .Maggie
          • Scott Hutton
            Frank wrote: We also realised that you don’t need to understand someone, nor speak their language to have unconditional love and a bond stronger than you
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 27, 2006
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              Frank wrote:
              We also realised that you don’t need to understand someone, nor speak their
              language to have unconditional love and a bond stronger than you could have
              imagined.  I guess the difficulty is that the bond is a form of attachment,
              but with the right perspective, I think that even that can be ok - we don’t
              need to slip into the void in trying to avoid attachment, because that is a
              type of attachment in itself.  Does anyone agree?
              _________________________________

              Can I offer a quote from Geshe-la:

              Attachment changes. Love does not.

              Scott



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            • Scott Hutton
              WomanReturns wrote: One might think that by leaving the world of relationships and becoming a monastic, liberation will be much easier to attain. But if you
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 27, 2006
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                WomanReturns wrote:
                One might think that by "leaving the world" of relationships and becoming a
                monastic, liberation will be much easier to attain. But if you know any
                monastic you will know that their lives can be just as vexed as any
                layperson.
                ______________________________

                Do you think that people who are in a monastery have left the world of
                relationships? I think they sometimes have quite terrible relationships with
                their fellow monks.
                They might relinquish sexuality in relationships (some don't though ;-) ),
                but not relationships.

                Scott



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              • wreturns@optonline.net
                ... No. That s why I said their lives can be just as vexed as a lay person s. :) ... I used to have a very idealistic view of monastics, until I had occasion
                Message 7 of 18 , Mar 28, 2006
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                  > Do you think that people who are in a monastery have left the
                  > world of relationships?

                  No. That's why I said their lives can be just as vexed as a lay person's. :)

                  > I think they sometimes have quite terrible relationships with
                  > their fellow monks.

                  I used to have a very idealistic view of monastics, until I had occasion to work closely with some. Now I know people are people, robes or no.

                  Of course no one can live in community without relating to other people. But, part of the idea of "leaving home" to become a monastic is SUPPOSED to be leaving the world of personal relationships. That's one thing that made me feel cold inside, and probably a big reason why I left my teacher for 16 years.

                  Maggie Woman Returns
                • Scott Hutton
                  Woman Returns wrote: Of course no one can live in community without relating to other people. But, part of the idea of leaving home to become a monastic is
                  Message 8 of 18 , Mar 28, 2006
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                    Woman Returns wrote:

                    Of course no one can live in community without relating to other people. But, part of the idea of "leaving home" to become a monastic is SUPPOSED to be leaving the world of personal relationships. That's one thing that made me feel cold inside, and probably a big reason why I left my teacher for 16 years.

                    _______________________

                     

                    Leaving the world of personal relationships (not exactly sure what that means) or leaving attachments to relationships, and possibly even specific individuals, and delusions of “this relationship is more important than that one”?

                    Anyone here had any “close encounters” with monasticism and have anything to suggest?

                     

                    Scott

                     

                  • Richard Horvitz
                    ... A quote from Alan Price, from the movie O Lucky Man: Everyone is going through changes No one knows what s going on Everybody changes places- but the world
                    Message 9 of 18 , Mar 28, 2006
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                      On Tue, 28 Mar 2006, Scott Hutton wrote:

                      >
                      > Can I offer a quote from Geshe-la:
                      >
                      > Attachment changes. Love does not.
                      >
                      > Scott
                      >
                      A quote from Alan Price, from the movie O Lucky Man:

                      Everyone is going through changes
                      No one knows what's going on
                      Everybody changes places-
                      but the world still carries on

                      Love must always change to sorrow,
                      Everyone must play the game.
                      Here today and gone tomorrow-
                      but the world goes on the same.


                      I thought this was a wonderful film (though not all agree). The final
                      seen, though it does not say so, is clearly meant as a scene of Buddhist
                      enlightenment, complete with the wakee getting a whack from the teacher.
                      Anyhow, this song expressed a slightly different view of love.
                    • Richard Horvitz
                      ... One could, in principle, take the extreme route and become a hermit somewhere. But even then... you still have your relationships with you in your mind,
                      Message 10 of 18 , Mar 28, 2006
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                        On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 wreturns@... wrote:

                        > > Do you think that people who are in a monastery have left the
                        > > world of relationships?
                        >
                        > No. That's why I said their lives can be just as vexed as a lay person's. :)
                        >
                        > > I think they sometimes have quite terrible relationships with
                        > > their fellow monks.
                        >
                        > I used to have a very idealistic view of monastics, until I had occasion to work closely with some. Now I know people are people, robes or no.
                        >
                        > Of course no one can live in community without relating to other people. But, part of the idea of "leaving home" to become a monastic is SUPPOSED to be leaving the world of personal relationships. That's one thing that made me feel cold inside, and probably a big reason why I left my teacher for 16 years.
                        >
                        > Maggie Woman Returns

                        One could, in principle, take the extreme route and become a hermit
                        somewhere. But even then... you still have your relationships with you in
                        your mind, and even if this dissipates, is there any guarantee that it
                        won't all come right back if you reenter civilization?
                      • Scott Hutton
                        Hi Richard, This line: Love must always change to sorrow Is interesting. I still love my dog just as much. On Friday night, I took his 2 favourite tennis balls
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 28, 2006
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                          Hi Richard,

                          This line: Love must always change to sorrow

                           

                          Is interesting.

                           

                          I still love my dog just as much. On Friday night, I took his 2 favourite tennis balls for a walk and gave his favourite 4-legged friends he usually socialized with on the way one of his biscuits each…… (Don’t think that makes me psychopathic, only weird; he was not through the dying stages)

                           

                          It’s the self-centred point of view that is sorrowful. God I miss him. Why? Because I love him. Always will.

                           

                          Scott

                           

                        • Lee Love
                          ... people. ... reason why I left my teacher for 16 years. I think this is a hinayana perspective about relationships. The home leaver leaves home, not to
                          Message 12 of 18 , Mar 28, 2006
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                            On 2006/03/29 0:37:13, Richard Horvitz (rhorvitz@...) wrote:

                            > > Of course no one can live in community without relating to other
                            people.
                            > But, part of the idea of "leaving home" to become a monastic is SUPPOSED
                            > to be leaving the world of personal relationships.
                            > That's one thing that made me feel cold inside, and probably a big
                            reason why I left my teacher for 16 years.

                            I think this is a hinayana perspective about relationships. The home
                            leaver leaves home, not to escape relationships, but rather, to have
                            equal relationships with all who he meets. In shunyata we cut
                            attachments. In karuna we reform wholesome relationships.

                            Let me telll you a personal story. I missed taking monks vows
                            because of my teacher's appreciation of the institution of marriage.
                            When he was in remission, I asked to take the monks vows. He told me,
                            yes, he would make me a monk. But he wanted me to talk about it with
                            my wife Jean and think about it for one year. He said, "all my marred
                            priests ended up being divorced. Marriage is important. You need to
                            take care of jean and your marriage." I told him Jean and I had
                            talked extensively about it. It is the reason I came to study with him
                            and the reason we met and got married. But I respected his advice and
                            would examine it with Jean and then take vows in one year. About 6
                            months later, my dear teacher died. His youngest son told me that his
                            fathers very last action, was to give his wife a kiss.

                            So. I know human relations are important. I think, because
                            of equality and birth control, marriage is not the hinderance it once was.

                            We Americans really need to spend more time with Avaloketisvara.
                            Following only Manjusuri makes us sick


                            --
                            Lee In Mashiko, Japan
                            http://mashiko.org
                            http://seisokuro.blogspot.com/
                          • Lou Anne Jaeger
                            Maybe we re getting relationships mixed up with interactions with other people. Interactions with other people are essential to practice, especially
                            Message 13 of 18 , Mar 28, 2006
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                              Maybe we're getting "relationships" mixed up with "interactions with other people."  Interactions with other people are essential to practice, especially interactions with annoying people!

                              I think there's a aphorism that's something like this:

                              "Rough stones will become smooth if carried in one's pocket."

                              Meaning, of course, that it's the jumbling against one another that counts, even if you don't like it too much at the time.

                              And as far as the hermit thing, let me make an analogy.  I've known people who strove to keep the house _absolutely_ silent when the baby was taking a nap.  The result of this was that the slightest noise would either keep the baby awake or wake the sleeping baby up.  On the other hand, I had friends who made no attempt to provide a special environment for their baby's nap.  Eventually, that mom could run the vacuum cleaner right under the baby's crib and he could sleep through it. 

                              LA




                              Richard Horvitz <rhorvitz@...>
                              wrote:

                              One could, in principle, take the extreme route and become a hermit
                              somewhere.  But even then... you still have your relationships with you in
                              your mind, and even if this dissipates, is there any guarantee that it
                              won't all come right back if you reenter civilization?


                            • Lee Coffey
                              Deep bows to you Frank. Thank you so much for posting this. be well budd d. lee Betkowski, Frank (AU - Adelaide) wrote: I’ve
                              Message 14 of 18 , Mar 29, 2006
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                                Deep bows to you Frank. Thank you so much for posting this.
                                 
                                 be well budd
                                  d. lee

                                "Betkowski, Frank (AU - Adelaide)" <fbetkowski@...> wrote:
                                I’ve been a long-term member of this list, but always in disguise and have never posted before.  I’ve learnt a lot from this list and appreciate it greatly and I hope everyone will forgive me for this post if it’s considered inappropriate.
                                 
                                However, Scott, I had to respond to your post below because I too had to put my dog to sleep on Friday, an event that plunged our family into terrible grief over the weekend – grief that is only now starting to get a little better.  It’s comforting to know that others are going through the same thing and I hope that you find this too.
                                 
                                I’m not what most people would call a Zen Buddhist, I guess that you’d say that I’m the Zen equivalent of a ‘lapsed Catholic’, only I didn’t practice that much to start with (unlike when I was a Catholic).  However, my Zen learnings have helped me no end through this process, the best one being ‘just let your grief be’.  I agree with you that the impermanent nature of our relationships with our dogs, and others that we love, is what makes it the hardest.  Realising that some of my grief was in reality my ego being bruised helped me to focus on what was important: our little dog ‘Pierre’ and his pain and suffering, not mine and my wife’s.
                                 
                                One of the first Buddhists books I read told the story of how a lot of our pain and suffering is caused by the choices that we constantly make in the pursuit of ‘happiness’.  The point being made was that all this mind chatter about which choice to make in so many irrelevant decisions fills the mind and blocks clarity and understanding.  The author went on to point out that when the time came to make a truly relevant decision, it would be easy.  It was that way with Pierre as the decision to have him put to sleep was one of the easiest to make - but at the same time it was so difficult.  Pierre went down hill extremely quickly; we missed some of the signs, and it was a shock.
                                 
                                We learned lots from Pierre and in many ways he’s been a type of ‘roshi’ for me, but I’ve only just realised it.  Over the weekend, my wife and I wrote down some thoughts on what he taught us:
                                • live in the moment – if you’re happy, be happy – be filled with happiness.  If you’re angry  – be angry, swear and curse (perhaps don’t go and wee on the carpet in protest), then, when that moment is gone, drop the anger… completely
                                • love unconditionally – don’t give something (anything) and expect something in return – giving is its own reward
                                • stop procrastinating – if you want to play fetch (or whatever), do it.
                                • nothing lasts forever – but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the effort.  Put more in and get 100 times more out.
                                • don’t do things because you think you should – follow your heart and live by it
                                • tell people how you feel about them there and then – if the doorbell rings and you smell it’s someone you love, yelp with glee!
                                 
                                Pierre was so mindful all the time, just giving his all to whatever it was he was doing at that moment – a kind of zazen in just doing and being.  I wish I could be like that.
                                 
                                We also realised that you don’t need to understand someone, nor speak their language to have unconditional love and a bond stronger than you could have imagined.  I guess the difficulty is that the bond is a form of attachment, but with the right perspective, I think that even that can be ok - we don’t need to slip into the void in trying to avoid attachment, because that is a type of attachment in itself.  Does anyone agree?
                                 
                                Best regards
                                 
                                Frank.
                                 

                                From: U-Zendo@yahoogroups.com [mailto:U-Zendo@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Scott Hutton
                                Sent: Sunday, 26 March 2006 12:18 PM
                                To: U-Zendo@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [U-Zendo] E-Sessin Hell
                                 
                                This was the most painful – and revealing – week I have had for quite a while. I had to put my dog to sleep on Friday.
                                Looking at the progression of the symptoms of his disease (it ALL happened during e-sessin, which has left me rather stunned – he was in remission for a few months but it came back with vengeance; I can hardly believe that the first swelling I felt was on Monday…) and knowing that his adorable nature was only ever impermanent…
                                 
                                Has anyone else had moments of uncontrollable weeping and crying as things came up, memories, etc., during meditation?
                                 
                                Scott
                                 


                                This email and any attachments to it are confidential. You must not use, disclose or act on the email if you are not the intended recipient. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Deloitte is a member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (a Swiss Verein). As a Swiss Verein (association), neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names "Deloitte", "Deloitte & Touche", "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu", or other related names. Services are provided by the member firms or their subsidiaries and affiliates and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.

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                              • Lee Love
                                ... Well said Frank! In Buddhism, because there are no subjects and objects, no I/Thou , there are only relationships. We cannot practice the eight fold noble
                                Message 15 of 18 , Mar 30, 2006
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                                  "Betkowski, Frank (AU - Adelaide)" wrote:
                                  > We also realised that you don’t need to understand someone, nor speak
                                  > their language to have unconditional love and a bond stronger than you
                                  > could have imagined. I guess the difficulty is that the bond is a form
                                  > of attachment, but with the right perspective, I think that even that
                                  > can be ok - we don’t need to slip into the void in trying to avoid
                                  > attachment, because that is a type of attachment in itself. Does
                                  > anyone agree?
                                  >
                                  Well said Frank! In Buddhism, because there are no subjects and objects,
                                  no "I/Thou", there are only relationships. We cannot practice the eight
                                  fold noble path without others. We cannot be enlightened without others.

                                  --
                                  Lee In Mashiko, Japan
                                  http://mashiko.org
                                  http://seisokuro.blogspot.com/

                                  "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should
                                  transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both
                                  the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense
                                  arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual as a
                                  meaningful unity. If there is any religion that would cope with modern
                                  scientific needs, it would be Buddhism."

                                  --Albert Einstein
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