The Sacredness of All Life

Posted to Subscribers on 4 May 2012


Dear Subscribers,

There will be a full moon tomorrow that is the most sacred day of the year for Buddhists. According to tradition, the Buddha was born on the full moon in May, attained enlightenment on the full moon in May, and left his mortal body to enter Nirvana on the full moon in May. Especially in Asia but also worldwide, this day is observed as a time to reconsecrate one's self so as to bring ourselves into alignment with the Dharma. There are various ways to translate this important word. Sometimes it is taken to mean the true teachings whether of the Buddha or any other enlightened being. Others consider that Dharma refers more to duty or destiny whereas some emphasize the etymology of the word and suggest that to "uphold" what is correct or righteous is the responsibility of all those on a path of perfection. Still others, mostly Indian scholars, believe that there are certain immortal and immutable laws that never change. These might be called the laws of nature but they are all focused on the delicate and dangerous issue of avoiding mistakes that create karma, the reactions to actions that are not harmonious and that therefore chain us to existences in which we are constantly struggling to learn our lessons and bring ourselves into harmony. The Path to be followed is the one in which the causes of future suffering are minimized and the rewards of noble effort allow us to share our merit with others.

I have therefore chosen to take this weekend as a holiday in which to consecrate the commitments I am making so as to fulfill my own destiny.

Meanwhile, since full moons tend to shed light on darkness, there are some details we might note, and then we can ask if we are able to see the microcosm in the macrocosm or merely what is outside that we do not see inside.

For instance, Japan has now shut down all its nuclear power plants. Astonishingly, in bowing to public sentiment, the economy has not collapsed and Tokyo Electric Power Company is not in the red. Everyone will probably spin this in his or her own unique way, but my take is that a determination has been made that our fragile planet cannot sustain an indefinite number of immense industrial catastrophes so a path towards eco sanity is being opened. Interestingly, this path will ding Japan's trade balance so the scales are being readjusted. . . gradually.

If everyone who is somehow out of balance took commensurate steps to be in harmony with those who are closest, we would find ourselves on the Path of Awakening and most of our problems would diminish.

Last year, I posted an essay on Wesak that included a short interpretation of the first precept of the Eightfold Noble Path: Right Understanding. It is archived here:

So, this year, I might take up the second precept: Right Intention. This teaching is very appropriate for these times — for all times — because it involves setting our moral compasses so that our actions are consistent with our Truth.

In reality, we cannot master this precept until we know the Truth but once we are aware of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, harmony and disharmony, it is incumbent upon each of us to bring ourselves into alignment with our knowing. The Buddha preached the Path to Enlightenment so the first step is always correct understanding but this is to be followed by correct motivation. As Nechung Rinpoche explained the nuances of karma, he always emphasized that the bulk of karma is in the intention, not in the action or the consequence. The repercussions we feel are therefore stronger where the intention is unworthy, not where there was an accidental mistake or error in judgment. However, to minimize the risks, we try to improve our grasp of reality and position ourselves so as to do the most good and least harm.

This therefore is the time for me to announce that consistent with my intention to undergo kaya kalpa, I will be dedicating energy to the benefit of others, starting with a ceremony this weekend. It is premature to disclose the nature of this commitment. I would simply like to propose that anyone else who wants an auspicious day in which to tweak the trajectory of life consider using this intense full moon period for similar purposes. We are all different. For some people, the intentions we wish to reset are personal and for others they are global or cosmic. I might suggest that we stick to biting off what we can chew. The place to practice is always closest to home and hearth, but we can all of us find something to improve.

It was raining today and I walked outside between raindrops to observe my little "landscaping revolution" and see that my radiation protection plants are struggling a bit, not too much, but they could be much stronger. The ginkgo is budding and seems healthy, but I talked to it about how it will be needed now for thousands of years. It therefore needs to root deeply and strongly and support the health of all who depend on it. Then, I talked to my sea buckthorn trees. They have lots of leaves but the wild critters seem to have stripped it already of berries that were not remotely close to ripe. So we had a chat, too. The female plants are suffering more than the male. I am thinking that it might take more of them to address the crisis, but they are obviously sacrificing already for the sake of wildlife. I am happy that they are so generous but I need to protect them also.

The most interesting observation of all is the bloodroot. It brings tears to my eyes. This year, the leaves are immense. I have never seen such huge bloodroot leaves or rapid spreading. I am sure that Nature is preparing to provide the medicines that will be needed as we wend our way through the perils we humans have ourselves created. I see my medicine chest growing. I hope each of you have made similar commitments:

On this special occasion, I might also note that tulsi, the holiest of the holy, has exhibited radioprotective properties. My personal belief is that the secret of tulsi is that it can share without compromising its own integrity. I do not know how science will one day understand this, but I suspect that the inner nature of tulsi is so flexible and benevolent that it can surrender electrons without risk to itself. If we all exhibited this much generosity and grace, we would be functioning in our heart chakras and perhaps impervious to the ravages of past mistakes.

With many blessings,


Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2012






Seventh Ray Press
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2011

Home || Contact Us

No content on any of the pages of this web site may be reproduced without written permission of
Ingrid Naiman and Seventh Ray Press, publisher of this site.


Design by Damien Francoeur