Bright Aisles, Dark Alleys

‘If we cannot prevent the cruelty they suffer, at least let harm not be inflicted for our pleasure, paid with our money, and executed in our name.

We cannot speak sincerely of compassion while confining, abusing, and slaughtering our fellow sentient beings. Compassion begins in our shopping carts, in our closets, in our kitchens, on our plates.’

Great Middle Way

10349086_10205392592715415_7257494644106864853_n―a brief address by Tashi Nyima to the Richardson Interfaith Alliance (TX) during the Thanksgiving Observance

There is a quote in tonight’s program that reads: “Having abandoned the taking of life, refraining from the taking of life, we dwell without violence, with the knife laid down —scrupulous, full of mercy— trembling with compassion for all sentient beings.”  ―Buddha Shakyamuni

When people think of Buddhist monks, if they think of us at all, they imagine that we dwell in clouds of incense, smiling serenely, unperturbed, meditating on nothing. But, as you just read, we are not called to drift placidly in emptiness, but to “tremble with compassion for all sentient beings”.

I thought that the mention of ‘trembling’ was just a rhetorical device, until late one night, returning with my Teacher from visiting with refugees, when we passed by a dark alley and heard the cries of fear and pain of…

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