What's Left?

Three symptoms of being unawakened are said to be greed, anger, and delusion. Concrete ways to replace them would be to act in accordance with the Four Immeasurables—lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. You could also practice the Paramitas—the Perfection generosity, morality, patience, diligence, meditation, and wisdom. These are often combined into “morality, intense concentration, and wisdom”—or "sila, samadhi, and prajna.” We can intellectualize them, and make up hypothetical scenarios about how we would do all these things, and invariably, we'll be comparing them to the opposites, which is fine—this is greedy, this is being generous. That's not being dualistic, that's a recognition of the reality in which we live. We might reflect that “I shouldn't have taken the last slice of pizza, that was greedy of me. Next time I'll make sure everyone else has had enough first.”

Unless we are deeply reflecting only on our own behavior, the comparison is with someone else will entail duality. “That (political party) (class of people) (race) (gender) (ethnicity) (religious practice) is really evil! Those greedy (fill in blank) are really ignorant! They don't pay attention to anybody other than themselves!” You might even call it a samadhi gap, if you're in a global conflagration frame of mind. You're not in a samadhi race, even moreso when the other party doesn't even know they're competing in the "Who's more meditative" contest. Nowhere in the perfections, Immeasurables, Precepts, Sutras, or what mom told you does it say that having a sense or superiority, morally or otherwise, is proper. “My” righteousness, is more righteous than "yours," isn't a mark of anything other than this sense of superiority. What it makes it even more interesting is that you spout about how the “other” side is trying to divide us into “us” and “them.”

It's as easy as taking candy from a baby to point out the greed in others. It may not even be an incorrect assessment of their actions. We probably don't know what led to this greed—it could be childhood poverty, it could just be because a neighbor or political candidate or even religious figure—said it was alright, that it's understandable and justified. If you're in the 99%, you may feel you're being treated unfairly by the 1%, and maybe you are. The 1% probably thinks they worked hard for their financial success, and the rest of you are just leeches, welfare queens, and maybe even genetically inferior. In some cases a sense of entitlement may trump an equal playing field.

Some may take to physical violence to show their anger over this sense of injustice. If for no other reason than "they're" not behaving as "we" think they should be, and we've got to “show them,” there will always be another “them” to anger us. It could be the result of the other guy “threw the first punch.” What caused this to seem like a good idea? It could be an childhood where beating or at least berating was hanging in the air. Maybe it was “falling in with the wrong crowd.” It could also be some plain old garden variety really misguided thinking.

Some may say things that are perceived as malicious—a form of verbal violence. In response, those who were being maligned may retaliate with malicious vitriol of their own. Sometimes one side of the words may try to prevent the other side of the words from even saying those words, or maybe just to prevent them from saying them to anybody else. There may even provocateurs who are really on one side, who join the other side while not really having forsaken their own side, to contribute some verbal vitriol and to elicit some perceived “intolerant” behavior from the side whom they haven't actually joined, but happen to be on the same side of the barricade, but whose side they really aren't actually on but appear to be. They're loud and obnoxious to the other side, while “telling it like it is” to the first side. Maybe they got yelled at a lot when they were kids, or have a spouse or boss that thinks that whomever yells loudest wins the battle. Just because someone says something you don't like doesn't mean they don't have the right to say it, much in the same way that you can say how you don't agree with them. The "freedom of speech" pendulum swings both ways. No one has a lock on it, regardless of how loudly you say it.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time” isn't going to stand up to any scrutiny in the long run. “I know what's best” may be difficult to prove, especially when the other side says the same thing. “God is on our side” when said by both sides, presents another problem, especially when you can't really ask who is right about it. “It's God's will” is likewise going to be a bit tricky to prove. When clouded by verbal or physical violence, it's easy for thinking to fall into the “fog of war.” That's just what it is though—foggy thinking. That fog can really thicken the thinking when there's a crowd of equally foggy thinkers in our bubble, because when in our bubble, who's going to say anything to the contrary? What brought about the verbal violence or the violent actions? If you're in a Buddhist bubble, some may even confuse “Right View” with Right Opinion, which I'm pretty sure doesn't appear in any Sutra.

I'm also pretty sure you can pick out a number of the scriptures right from the first spin of the wheel onward that none of these actions, thoughts, and words really contribute to a sense of permanent satisfaction for any period of time, especially when based on the us/them divide. In the heat of the moment though, Right View may just not feel that right. It may even seem so unsatisfactory in the moment, that it can't possibly be Right, right? “Right View is No View” just is not going to cut it when it's all about the "My View". Deep down we really want to be able to justify the adrenaline rush of confrontation, and don't care about whether it's going to last. The “living in the moment” crowd might even use that rush as the justification itself, since it's happening in this moment, and this is the only moment there is, and it feels good, so ergo that's “thusness,” right?

Admittedly, it can be really tough to have those kumbaya, “We are the World,” “I'd like to teach the world to sing,” moments with everyone all the time, especially when they seem really disinterested in sharing that can of soda with you, unless “sharing” equals pouring it over your head. So, what do we do when all this decidedly un-Buddha-like behavior manifests itself in us? For me, the first step is to step back from the abyss and reflect on what is Buddha-like or not-Buddha-like. It may appear at that moment that the sword cutting through my perceived opponent's neck is less appropriate than Manjushri's sword cutting through my delusions. That reflection may even show me that my perception that there are “wrongs to be righted” and “foes to be fighted,” is not quite on the mark. My perception of the wrong and the foe may more accurately start with my perception being the problem, and then maybe everybody else has an opinion and perception that's a misguided as my own. And maybe at that moment, perceiving emptiness and mistaking that for equanimity may be as empty as my previous attachment to the form of fight that seemed appropriate. Half-way is better than no way, but it can just as easily be said not to be “The Way.”

“Not having preferences” might seem like walking away from bombs exploding, but it may also be noticing that there are bombs exploding. The preference in this case that would be “not had” could very well be the preference to not get involved at all. Selfish reasons, lazy reasons, dualistic reasons masquerading as non-attachment would still be subject to Manjushri's slice of wisdom. Then not “having preferences” may first be transformed into “not having a clue” as to what is correct action in a situation. Then what? Chant at least silently, take refuge, until the thoughts of anger can no longer get a foothold. Chant a Sutra if I remember one, mentally bow to all beings, whatever it may take to get out of the cave of aversion and hatred.

Some clarity may come that makes it evident that just as my karma has created the moment I'm experiencing, just as the karma of all others has created the moment they are experiencing. The karma of this moment will create the karma of the next, and that rather than being doomed by my past choices, I can see it as an opportunity to create more wholesome karma. Maybe others will make that choice also, maybe not. But since my choice is as dependent on the causes and conditions of their choices, maybe even my momentary choice sets in motion a cascade of karma that is of benefit to all beings. I can't really be all that concerned with their action.

The tenth of the Oxherding pictures is of the Bodhisattva going into the marketplace with outstretched arms. Outstretched arms in the context of engagement in social change does not necessarily mean taking up arms. Arms outstretched to hurl a Molotov cocktail, is probably not a way to avoid doing any harm. Peaceful engagement may not feel saving all beings, it may not even seem like helping all beings, it may not even be being nice to all beings, but at least I can try to ask if I can help.

When you subtract the greed, the anger, and the delusion, what's left?  I'll leave that answer up to you, Buddha.

Buddha bows to Buddha.

http://nobodhiknows.blogspot.com/2017/02/whats-left.html

New Year, New Opportunities

"When they go low, we go high," Michelle Obama said during the recent campaign. If you're left-leaning, does this "high" mean we satisfy ourselves with a sense of moral superiority and passivity, at best preaching to the choir, to our like-minded FB followers? I hope not. Does it mean we'll take to the streets, but only when the weather is nice? Likewise, I hope not. Does it mean that we wait, giving the new administration a chance? Maybe to an extent on some issues, but not on others. What doesn't seem to bode well--LGBT rights, rights of minorities, respect for the Constitution, the Environment, Education, Foreign Affairs, Energy, Social Security--they are a few that come to mind without pondering too much. On war, I have no clue what the next few years hold. There have been both uber-hawkish AND isolationist messages, although there are an awful lot of generals running about, and about whom the next administration's "leader" says he knows more than in general.  Generals who have seen war are sometimes hesitant to send another generation into the horrors they've known, sometimes they look to prop up the military-industrial behemoth. 

The time for the Left's triumphalism transpired and has expired. The torch has been passed and in new hands, hopefully won't torch everything with it. these people with whom I so fervently disagree, probably felt the same way over the last eight years. Maybe they were inclined to light it up more then than now. There does seem to be a possibility that the Reagan era "Government isn't the solution, it's the problem" thought may be in evidence. Clear-cutting a forest is one thing when it's literal, and it becomes something entirely different when it's metaphorical. The metaphorical may lead to the literal, or vice versa. Nothing like destroying the environment by first destroying the Environmental Protection Agency. Those of us who see these issues as potential train-wrecks, we need to make our views clear. 

What I need to remember is that my "views" are only that--views. They aren't necessarily a reflection of reality, and even if they are, they're not necessarily perceived correctly by me. We can say "Correct View is no view" all we like, until that means relinquishing our firmly held opinions and what we cling to as Truth. Then it starts to require some efort and there are times when self-pity is just easier. Pointing the finger of blame at "these people" takes the onus of responsibility off our backs; creating a demonized "other" relieves us of any responsibility to do anything about this perceived "suffering" we're undergoing. And that can be quite the relief, albeit a short-lived one, in a really perverse way.

I also need to remember that "these people" have experienced struggles (Dukkha) the same as I have, and not just in a socio-political context. They and I and all others have created our current situations through our actions, words, and thoughts. We've created the karma that has ripened into the fruits or weeds of today. We can create karma which will add to the current situation or create karma that sets a new course. Our actions as a society have created our societal situation. We have allowed mass incarceration, a violence culture, a consumer culture, all to be the norm. If you like all of those things, keep doing what you're doing. If not, try something different. We are where we are because we we created it, as unpleasant a thought as that may be. If it is unpleasant, what do we do, think, say that will change that course? 

A bodhisattva adapts to ever-changing causes and conditions. "Saving all beings" is not one-size-fits-all. If nothing else, our baseline needs to be not to do harm. And we have to realize that what seems like it will not do harm may have unintended consequences. We can't possibly predict them all, but when we get a surprise, we have to pay attention and act accordingly at that moment. As ZM Seung Sahn would point out, there is correct situation/relationship/function. "Saving all beings" means just that--ALL. We need to function correctly depending on the relationship in a situation. Even people we don't like experience suffering and deserve compassion for that reason alone, if nothing else. Pay attention! Respond correctly, do no harm! If the action does cause harm, pay attention! Try another tack. But keep trying until all beings are saved. In that context, we'll have ample new opportunities. 

Anchors A Way

“Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher's help."
― Bodhidharma

A Soto Priest once told me that some who practice with the notion of "gradual enlightenment" reach enlightenment sooner than those of the "Sudden School." Great Seon Sage Chinul described the process as "Sudden Enlightenment, gradual cultivation," as in once you have an awakening of some sort, continued diligence is required to keep from backsliding into some unawakened behavior. Whatever the process may be, it's just that, a process. I'm not sure whether I've met a Pratyekabuddha, the one in a million Bodhidharma was talking about. As I'm not quite sure whether I've met a million people, that self-awakened one may still be out there.
It's really not a numbers issue, nor is it a matter of sudden or gradual, or sudden/gradual. It has to do with the Great Way as a way. At some point via reason or practice, we start thinking that what we're doing isn't working, that there must be a better "way". In my case it turned out the way was to be Zen, but only after any number of other attempts at other ways that otherwise weren't the Way. At first I thought that Zen was the greatest thing ever, and that everyone should do it, try it, practice it, that all it took to be "enlightened" was just to sit! Hell, I could do that. I can't say that I went out preaching on street corners or went door-to-door handing out pamphlets, but if you had an ear, I'd fill it with pithy phrases that sounded like they came right out the the Hallmark greeting card Zen collection. Some of them may have been actual quotes, but from sources whom I couldn't cite, and the context of the quote I couldn't place either. Spouting on about "Kill the Buddha" or some other important sounding nonsense was good enough to show you how "Zen" I was, but that was a way to get to be “Zen.” (Whatever that is).
Since then, for the most part I've lost the ability to Zen-speak. When I do sound inscrutable these days, it's usually in as few words as possible, and more often than not in the form of a question. And that's not because the Way is beyond words and scriptures. Even though that may be the case in the final analysis, the Buddha used words and spoke what turned out to be the scriptures for forty years, so there's something to be said about words, and by them. It's just that it's a good idea to have some sort of clue as to what they mean, and if it's a quote by someone else, that the intended meaning or the teaching behind them be ascertained as best we can can before actually using them ostensibly to teach with them. The last thing I want to do is mislead, the next to the last thing is that I don't just want to give away the Way like a kindly old grandmother. It is after all, a means to discovering one's own True Nature, not the one I tell you it is. In that regard, I've already said too much right here, but I'll just keep on going because maybe you didn't quite get my point yet. Is your True Nature the same as my True Nature, or different?
Just as the Way is as simple as washing your bowls or hanging up your coat, it's not as simple as hearing that, repeating it, actually doing the dishes once after breakfast sometime, and then acting like you've got it nailed because you heard someone else tell you that it's that simple. ZM Seung Sahn's Compass of Zen starts at 0 and moves on to 360 degrees. At both points, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers, but he'd ask whether the mountain of 0 degrees and 360 degrees are the same or different? Is washing the dishes just washing the dishes? Answer quickly! I won't give away the answer. It's OK to have a different answer now than you do later. They're not called degrees for nothing,
When I set out to drive, I couldn't drive the Indy 500 when I first got into a car, or even after one lesson. I preferred that my driving instructor not only be able to drive themselves, but that they were taught by someone else who knew how to drive, and who didn't learn to drive just be reading about it, or even worse, only read the first page, said, "Yeah, I got this," and then hit the highway. On top of that, it was a plus when the teacher had some idea of how to teach according to my abilities, not his. No sense in being chauffeured by the Grim Reaper for no reason, or chauffeuring him either. Likewise, there's no sense in leading someone down a path that isn't the Way because of either of those reasons. Both are matters of life and death, albeit possibly one more literal than the other, and maybe not. The teachings of the Buddhadharma aren't supposed to lead to hell, they're supposed to show us how we can be the perfect buddhas we inherently are, and in turn, to lead others to where they can realize their own buddhahood.
We've already chained ourselves to our anchors. No need to add more links to our own anchors, or to anyone else's. The trick is not to think we've mastered the Way when we're still tethered to the anchor, but to use the anchor itself to untether ourselves. There is a way to use the anchor to take the anchor away, and just reading a sailing manual is most likely not it, unless you're one in a million.

To listen to the talk, click the title, or navigate here:
https://soundcloud.com/onemindzen/anchors-a-way

Claw Marks

Imagine that Nagarjuna was at a dinner, and he had the job of serving the dessert. “Ok, Bob, you and Mary, you both get pie. Now, Bob, you get pie, and Mary, you get no pie. Now Bob, you get no pie, and Mary you do get pie. Now, neither of you get pie.” And so the dinner is ruined. And he wonders why he sees all these dinner invitations go out and they all say, “And don't bring Nagarjuna. He's such a killjoy.”

The Three Dharma Seals are impermanence, no-self, and dissatisfaction (sometimes called suffering). I think it's pretty easy to wrap our heads around impermanence, things go impermanent on us all the time. It got to the point where the string on my mala didn't break, the mala just “went impermanent.” Have a bad day at work or an argument with the spouse, and unemployment or sleeping on the couch make suffering very obvious. But this no-self thing…just seems that  “if I want pie, then I WANT PIE. The only way I'm going to be “one with the pie” is when it's settled in my stomach.”

I've been talking a corresponding with someone who is totally befuddled by “no-self.” He's gotten to the point where he's hesitant to use the word “I,” at least when speaking in Zen context. I'm not sure, but I can imagine him having some guilt in everyday conversation. “Who wants more pie?” “Me!” “I do!” “Er, hmmmm, um eh…” and Greg gets no pie. 

And there's the rub. We hear we're “one with everything,” so technically eating pie should be satisfying, but right now, the lack of blueberries is causing me great dissatisfaction. But we keep hearing that “I, I, I,” “me, me, me," ”mine, mine, mine” is bad. “I'm so confused….er, somebody's confused, no, wait, All is confused! Now give me pie, and make it all better!”

“All beings are no-beings, thus are they called ‘beings’.” The Diamond Sutra teaches us this, but without a teacher, it's probably inscrutable, unless you're Huineng or Seung Sahn. The Heart Sutra says “Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.” Again, with no teacher, blank stares most likely ensue. There are a couple of problems most people have with these Sutras, starting with the paradoxes and apparent contradictions they have in just about any given sentence. The second is that they appear contradictory to “real life.”

All or any of those statements may be effective in giving the shock to the system that gives rise to the “Don't Know Mind” of being awake. Conversely, certitude is the gateway to hell. “Oh, no! Not another paradox!” Knowing and understanding don't serve a purpose. Given everything being in a state of flux, what is there we can successfully hang onto?  If we take a step, will the ground be there to support us? Sure, in most cases, but there's always the possibility of the earth opening its gaping hungry-ghost-like hole and swallow us whole. Ask anyone who has lost a car in a sinkhole. Go to bed one night, your wife is there, wake up the next morning, she and the kids are gone. That's a concrete example of the rug, chair, and the rest of the house and everything you've come to expect to be there, and then not, all being pulled out from under you. The issue comes not from contradictions, or paradox, maddening wordplay, or general madness. Where is the “self” that can be assumed to exist predictably? Where is the self that exists in flux and paradox.

The Four Attachments are “Sensual attachment,” “Attachment to opinions,” “Attachment to rites and rituals,” and “Attachment to the idea of self.” Sensual attachment? As simple as “I like pie, pie makes me happy. No pie, no happy.” It's comfortable for home to be home, until home is no longer home. We assume it will be home, because it's always been, and it's been as predictable as foot hitting ground when walking. I get pie because I always get pie. But then, no home, no pie. Attachment to opinions? Name it, politics, religion, anything we’ve been warned against talking about at the dinner table. “Apple is better than rhubarb!” “Them’s fightin’ words!” Attachment to rites and rituals? Anything from, “I practice Soto Zen, and we face the wall, so you Seon guys are just plain wrong,” to “Dinner is always at 6:00, why isn’t it ready? And where's the pie?”

Attachment to the idea of “self?” All the above, plus anything else that shows “I” to be separate all the time from “you,” like I'm right and you're wrong. Note that it’s attachment to the “idea” of self. “Ideas” are something we make up in our heads. Conventionally, “I” go to work at “my” job. “I” sleep in “my” bed. If I find you in it, I may have an issue with it, not only because of my attachments, but because it’s incorrect behavior for you in this situation. It’s up to me to respond in appropriate way in turn to that though. Showing more “me,” will most likely get you to show “you.” It’s very easy to be threatened by someone else’s attachment the the “idea of self” when it comes in conflict with my “idea of self.” Even being hesitant to use “I” as the subject of a sentence does no good if there's an underlying “I” who secretly still is attached to it.

We need to admit to having attachments though, especially if we ever want to become non-attached, much like an alcoholic needs to admit to having a drinking problem before anything can be done about that. Denying attachment doesn’t help, and acceptance without realizing that change is possible and inevitable is likewise no help. Despite the inevitability of the object of attachment changing, unless we put in some effort, the change may not be a change into something more wholesome. Being a drunk and turning into a junkie isn’t quite as wholesome as being a drunk and recovering by whatever means keeps you from getting drunk again. 

An alcoholic who is still drinking can’t help someone who is trying to get sober if he isn’t at least making an attempt himself at getting sober. A bodhisattva can’t be of much help to a sentient being unless there is active effort in an attempt to be less attached, especially to the idea of self. We traverse the path of the bodhisattva without attachment to the “idea of being a bodhisattva,” or the attachment to the idea that a bodhisattva can “save” another being, or to the idea of “other beings” for that matter.  Attachments are attachments, and as such are hindrances to uncovering the True Nature of compassion. Diligent effort is required, and once one attachment is shed, we need to vigorously cultivate the shedding, and also cultivate not creating new attachments, and then cultivate not clinging to non-attachment as well. 

But let’s face it, we really like some of these attachments. Some have worked well, until they no longer do. What good is something that no longer works, even though we still want to think it does? We may fight against letting go of it, we may cling with all our might, dig our claws in, but it does no good. Just think, how does pie look if it's covered in claw marks?

Not-Wobbling

I won't say there's more now, but there seems to be as much polarization today as there probably has ever been. Part of the human condition is to think dualistically. We like to categorize, fit things in little boxes so that we think we know what they are, what they mean, who they belong to. At best that only works on the most surface of levels, and even then, it's still illusion. That's not only the “all perceptions are empty” level, although that's certainly true, it can go to wobbling between misguided action and inaction.

Some people hear a chant of “Black lives matter,” then contrarily jump to “All lives matter.” Of course all lives matter, none more than any other. Maybe “Any life matters” or “Every Life Matters” would be a more accurate slogan on the macro level. But on the micro level, “Black lives” matter serves as a reminder that “Black Lives” constitute part of “All Lives” and that seems to be overlooked. It doesn't mean that if Black lives matter, others don't, or that the others matter less. If an arsonist is burning down all the Cape Cod houses, that doesn't imply that split levels don't matter, or matter less. It's a fairly straightforward “somebody is setting fire to this type of house, maybe we should keep an eye on that, be a little more vigilant if we want to catch the arsonist.” It would be easier to find the arsonist torching the Cape Cods by watching the Cape Cods rather than the ranches. Split level and ranch houses aren't diminished by that;  they just aren't the ones being burnt down.

But lumping all “Black” lives together is just another way we try to pigeonhole people and polarize further. It's a symptom of American culture, where if one is white, preferably WASPY and male, then you're in the one non-hyphenated American. Everyone else becomes an African-American, or Irish-American, Asian-American, and so on. I'm a middle-aged white male. That doesn't mean that the so-called “American Dream” is a given, but it probably does mean that I didn't come to bat with two strikes against me to start with. I'd imagine that a Cuban refugee who doesn't speak English, has dark skin, and is a female besides, may be coming to the plate not only with two strikes, but also possibly without a bat. We make projections, we make assumptions, we make metaphors about baseball based on where we put the hyphen.

Saying that her life is identical to every other Black female Latina is every bit as inaccurate as saying my life is typical of all white males. And yet, somehow it's easier to construct a monolithic “other,” to call them welfare queens, and that if someone doesn't have citizenship or at least their papers in order, that somehow they simultaneously are here “to take MY job and collect welfare paid by MY taxes”. Even if we don't carry it out to that wide side of the pendulum swing, we can very easily come to some equally absurd generalizations of our own. ALL Republicans are ignorant, gun-toting, religious zealots...ALL Democrats are spineless tree-hungers...ALL Protestants are imbued with a work ethic...ALL Jews are money-grubbers...ALL Muslims are terrorists...ALL Buddhists are shaven-headed pacifist vegetarians with that peaceful, calm equanimity that raises us above the fray. I think it's safe to say that in that multiple choice quiz of stereotypes, the correct answer would be “none of the above”. Pigeonholing people into boxes based on hyphens arbitrarily separates what is inherently not separate. I’m not a Black Latina, and she’s not a white male, and neither is she all Black Latinas any more than I’m all white males. Each being different renders difference moot. Recognizing what differences there are can be skillful; her needs are not necessarily my needs, but there are some common, basic human needs we share. Hyphens work well when writing; they don’t work when it comes to people.

Sengcan says not to pick and choose, Seung Sahn says don't make bad and good. Does that mean stereotyping is not-good/not-bad? That genocide is not-good/not-bad? Is making any “good” or “bad” characterization not-good/not-bad? If your answer is yes, you're making emptiness. If you answer no, you're making “good and bad” and attaching to form. This is what the Heart Sutra refers to in “form is emptiness” and “emptiness is form”. The Zen approach is not to be dualistic, not to attach to either form or emptiness, accept but not settle. So more accurately, maybe we don’t make good and bad out of the fact that people think stereotyping and arson are OK, and just accept that people do think these things. But that doesn’t mean we have also just accept, and tacitly endorse, the acts of stereotyping and killing. To go back to the house metaphor, if the inaction of not paying attention to the Cape Cod house fires gives license to the arsonist to move on to ranch houses, then split levels, townhouses, and so on, they all burn until there's nothing left but the arsonists.

Under the supposed guise of no-preference, a choice is made regardless. Allowing injustice to one is allowing injustice to all. The nihilistic choice has effectively been made that no houses matter. Not recognizing how differences between houses are indeed no-differences results in literally no houses. Cape Cods are not split levels, but they are both houses, not-one and not-two.

The Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World) summed this up with “an injury to one is an injury to all,” and I doubt that anyone in the “one big union” was particularly well-versed in the Heart Sutra, or if they were, that they based their Union’s platform on it. Yes, they put labor and management into different categories, but “all” includes both. An injury to one worker would have ramifications across the spectrum, including to management. That would not be in the interest of any. It’s a no-brainer, and what could be more Zen than a no-brainer? One thing that’s more Zen might be to take that idea and put it into action. Before any thought, act to save all beings. What’s more “True Nature” than acting out of lovingkindness and compassion with no discrimination?  

Zen puts us squarely into experiencing reality directly. Some houses are burning, that’s reality. If we do nothing, other burning houses may be the next reality. We can live righteously, we can be indignant, but equivocating and being righteously indignant and leaving it at the level of thought and theory and inaction, eventually all houses burn. We choose not to wobble; and act like a Wobbly.

Source: http://nobodhiknows.blogspot.com/2016/08/n...