“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

jury summons

Who woulda thought? Once upon a time I looked forward to participating in this civic duty, I thought then that there was such a thing as justice and that it was conducted in a fair and beneficial manner. Ok, so I do not think that any more but now this is further complicated or simplified (depending on your POV) by having ordained as a Buddhist nunk.

I welcome the summons as an opportunity to reflect on what it means to abide in the Dhamma  - and even writing this provides further insight. I do not abide by the Dhamma, I abide within it, I dwell within the Dhamma, in this place there is no concept of 'justice,' consequences are a natural unfolding of events.  Within the world of  Dhamma we are each responsible for our own actions, attitudes and achievements. We recognize that greed anger and delusion are problems for each and every one of us. Change, pain and loss are inevitable but suffering is optional. We don't achieve anything by punishment or retribution. Sensei likes to say "Life's not fair, now get over it."

Within the Dhamma the justice system has no place, makes no sense and in a way being asked to serve on a jury is like being asked to jump on a speeding train. I cannot quote chapter and verse prohibiting serving on a jury, there are so many that apply, but I rely on the grounded evidence that only by acting from noble intention with compassion generosity and wisdom can we create a better world. From that informed perspective we know that all beings desire happiness. We know that sometimes some of us become so hurt, so consumed with either greed anger or delusion or a combination of them that we then hurt others and our selves and the ripples that spread from that are never stilled until met by their opposites which are generosity compassion and wisdom.

That balm or healing ointment, is how suffering is ended and happiness achieved. And it is such a beautiful thing to witness. That is how our justice system works in the Dhamma. We apply the balm and the suffering stops and all the universes are suffused with love and pleasure at the creation of such beauty. Imagine if courts were gathered to bring acknowledgement and forgiveness into being. That is where I live.

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