Friday, March 10, 2006
More on Tom Fox
We renew our plea for the safe release of Harmeet Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember. Each of our teammates has responded to Jesus’ prophetic call to live out a nonviolent alternative to the cycle of violence and revenge.This message is as essential to Christianity as it is to Buddhism.
In response to Tom’s passing, we ask that everyone set aside inclinations to vilify or demonize others, no matter what they have done. In Tom’s own words: "We reject violence to punish anyone. We ask that there be no retaliation on relatives or property. We forgive those who consider us their enemies. We hope that in loving both friends and enemies and by intervening nonviolently to aid those who are systematically oppressed, we can contribute in some small way to transforming this volatile situation.”
You have heard that is was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:43-44)
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will. (Metta Sutra)
35. People hurt themselves with thorns and the like out of negligence, with fasting and so on out of anger, and by desiring to obtain inaccessible women and so forth.
36. Some kill themselves by hanging, by jumping from cliffs, by eating poison or unwholesome substances, and by non-virtuous conduct.
37. When under the influence of mental afflictions, they kill even their own dear selves in this way; then how could they have restraint toward the bodies of others?
38. If you do not even have compassion toward those who, intoxicated by mental afflictions, commit suicide, then why does anger arise?
39. If inflicting harm on others is the nature of the foolish, then my anger toward them is as inappropriate as it would be toward fire, which has the nature of burning. (Shantideva, Bodhicaryavatara, Chapter 6)
I pray that all sentient beings find the courage and fortitude to live by those words!