TUESDAY 22 Mar am. Peace and War

Here at Eleusis we are enjoying lovely sunshine. Over breakfast we watched the robin and identified other birds as we ate our cereals under the walnut tree. At the moment, Elja is working in the front garden and Josephine and Adam are laying paving stone at the back. A happy tranquil scene.

However, as breakfast came to an end we started to get news of the attacks in Brussels. I skyped Cecile anxiously and was pleased to see that she was at home, having not gone to work this morning. her office in the European Commission is a stone's trow from where the bombs went off in the metro. As we talked on skype she was watching the news coming in and also receiving texts from friends all checking on each other's safety. One friend was at Brussels airport when the explosion occurred there.

So, as the day goes on we shall be here in the tranquility of this rural retreat, but closely following developments in the European capital. The pictureof Brussels airport is from the BBC European news site http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35869519 I have myself flown from this airport on a number of occasions.

These events also bring back, for me, memories of childhood, living in Cyprus during the independence struggle and counting bombs going off at night. Though big wars are becoming less frequent, violence is spreading in the world and fewer and fewer places are immune. Here in our retreat we are far from the action, but our hearts are with those closer to the devastation.

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  • Namo Amida Bu

  • An important reminder. Thank-you.
  • I think we have to put things in perspective. It is terrible when a bomb explodes among people that we know or identify with, but, in fact, there is hardly a day goes by without a bomb exploding somewhere on the planet and many of them are dropped by "our people" too. Perhaps we are shocked when this terrible business comes closer to home, but why were we not moved by it happening further away? Our world is changing - this is always the case - and some of the stress and strain of those changes erupts as violence. Let us pray for patience and reconciliation. The result, all too often, is simply more escalation of similar trouble. As the Buddhadharma tells us, for the unenlightened, dukkha raises passions that lead to more dukkha. Only by turning those passions in a more constructive direction is there any really positive change.

  • This morning in Canada the Bussels attacks are front and centre in everyone's minds. Good to know Cecile is safe but terrible for the victims and their families. What suffering for the perpetrators and all those affected. Equanimity is not easy. Namo Amida Bu.
  • Thank you, Sujatin. Namo Samantabhadraya.

  • Feeling for all affected, all their friends and family - Namo Quan Shi Yin Bosat.

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