My son, Leon, asked if he could sit-a-long today. I am always glad to have him plop down in my lap during Zazen. Since it is “Children’s Day” in Japan next week, I thought to let Leon pick the theme. We had been watching news reports of that terrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so he suggested I talk a little about that. What does Buddhism have to say about preserving the environment and this planet for our kids?
[Click through to read more and "sit-a-long" with today's video.]
Well, of course, we should cherish this amazing world. Moreover, this planet could use lots of us living a bit more like monks with few possessions. The value that “Zen culture” places on simplicity, natural beauty and non-materialism may guide us to turn away from our current rampant consumerism and buy-and-throw-away culture. We should, instead, cherish the small things, that which money cannot buy… like the joy of having a child sitting in one’s lap during Zazen.
Leon usually lasts just a few minutes sitting Zazen with me. I do not insist he sit, and try to make it pleasant for him. So, after two or three minutes, he usually is ready to go. However, today he made it the whole 25 minutes! (Well, he was sleeping for the last 20!)
(Oh, and I apologize for the sound today… computer issues… )
Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.