Friday, April 30, 2010
Hearts Slowly Opening
The Summerhouse on the grounds of the Capitol. It is one of the most healing locations in Washington DC.
A big ole gassho to Jack Kornfield, the Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzburg and all the many others who brought Buddhism into the minds and hearts of Americans.
Though I am not now, nor have I ever been a Buddhist, I, like many Americans, have borrowed/studied Buddhism. Everything I've learned has helped me so much, as well as benefitting all the people I interact with. Buddhist practice has made me kinder. It's such a good thing! There are so many different kinds of Buddhism, of course, but some of the basic practices, such as the importance of sitting down every day to be quiet for awhile, mindfulness, and non aggression, are absolutely beautiful, practical, and evolutionary, too.
I've been reading this week about how scientists have suddenly discovered that chimps grieve much as we do. Surely it was possible before now to notice this behavior since we've been spying on our cousins for decades. That we have just now noticed, and that scientists are writing about it all of a sudden, is such a great sign of the emerging empathic society. I credit the Buddhists for opening our minds and hearts, I do.
What I hope is that these same scientists put two and two together one of these days. What I'm saying is, I hope they realize, sooner rather than later, that imprisoning monkeys and experimenting on them for our own benefit is absolutely cruel and inhumane. Zoos? Equally cruel. Hello? Are any of you guys listening?
Apparently not. When I googled "grieving chimps" this morning, I found reference to several articles just published a day or two ago by scientists who think further scrutiny is needed to "prove" that the chimps are grieving. Dudes. Sit down and meditate. Watch the footage again. Open your minds and your hearts, please?
Facing west from the front entrance of the Summerhouse.