Beneficial action is action that contributes to any path that leads to understanding the inherent nature of reality. Through contemplation there is the realization that inherent nature is reality and reality is inherent nature. That the absolute manifests as the relative and the relative reveals the absolute.
When contemplating action (or non-action) that is seeded in clinging, attachment, expectation, fear, anger, conceit or thoughtlessness, it is revealed that the result or reaction points back to the causes of those seeds. The suffering that arises from actions sprouted from the seeds of self-fullness, are like gutter rails in bowling, they guide the path back to the middle. In this same way, global environmental catastrophes, wars of greed and anger, and all the subsequent suffering point us back to seeking and end to suffering and actions that will lead to an end to suffering. When contemplating even the smallest of sufferings this understanding is revealed. In some cases the ball is so wildly thrown down the lane that it ricochets from on rail to the other, all the way down the lane until it ends in the gutter without striking a pin. Then the ball is sent back to try again.
When contemplating action that is seeded in the desire to end suffering through generosity, loving kindness, compassion, unconditioned joy and equanimity, it is revealed that the result or re-action, is ease of being, openness, clarity and goodness; the songs of the inherent nature of reality. This beingness in balance is like finding the sweet spot just to the side of the head pin, yielding a strike. And the ball is sent back to go again.
And like bowling (with repeated practice and observation of the causes of the gutterballs and the strikes), repeated contemplative practice, and beneficial actions seeded in kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity will, in a moment or over time, yield the understanding of the causes and conditions of suffering, the liberation from suffering and the manifestation of goodness, for oneself and for all our relations.
May all beings throughout all times and all directions be free from suffering.
Through regular practice of attending to our breathing and inquiring into the causes of our suffering and the suffering of others, we may begin to experience a growing ease of being. As Thich Nhat Hanh explains, this first hand experience may lead to an arising of spontaneous compassion and a motivation to act in a way that brings this ease to all beings who experience suffering.
According to many wisdom teachings, in order to be of help to others, we are advised to realize our interdependence and interconnectedness with all beings and then to act out of that understanding. How can we do this in a way that recognizes the infinite experiences that have led to suffering, and honor the infinite ways that point to or offer relief from suffering, without judgment, recrimination or any other type of diminishment of those who may be suffering.
Please feel free to join us in practice once, intermittently or as often as the inspiration arises! Your presence and insights contribute to this practice and the end of suffering for all beings in all directions and in all times.
We practice on ZOOM:
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9 AM Eastern Time
Sunday at 10 AM Eastern Time
Wednesday evening at 7:30 PM Eastern Time
ZOOM Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89989680789
Sangha of the Pandemic
Brian, Linda, Chuck, Paul, Paul, Ginny, Jeff, Ned, Richard, Timmer, David, Christo, Angie, Damien, Mike, William