Warm greetings from the forest, dear friends,
This morning i was reminded that it is Memorial Day. I then asked myself, "memorial for what? In memory of what?"
It is important that we take care with what we keep in memory, with what we keep in mind. And how we keep it there.
The Buddha spoke of wise recollection and unwise recollection. It is important to know the difference. Memory can be like a wild child, an energy gone mad, untrained. Or memory with mindfulness can be a most benevolent helper, a peacemaker. It can be one of the best supports. It is the first factor of awakening. It is the center of the turning of the Dhamma wheel, the wheel of the Path, in our life -- companion and host to so many groups of good, wholesome, healthy and liberating qualities.
Memory in the ancient Buddhist Pali language is sati, the word we normally translate as mindfulness.
On this day dedicated to beneficent memory, let us use our memory, our mind, our heart, and our mindfulness wisely. Let us remember and reflect upon the peaceful, the noble, the true. On suffering, on its causes, its end, and the Path. On the Buddha and awakening (Buddhanusati). On the Dhamma as the truth of all things and on the blessings and benefits of the teachings of the Dhamma (Dhammanusati). And on the Sangha of all of those who have deeply tasted the fruits of the Path, all true saints and sages known and unknown, and on the enlightening, awakening being within ourselves (Sanghanusati). Remembering, recollecting and becoming mindful of these beneficent qualities within ourselves and all of us. Touching into and evoking these qualities through our wise reflection.
Remembering what is wise, what is noble, what is true and what is peaceful,
let us then, recollect all of our loved ones, and all those that have gone before us,
all those whose bodies have returned to the elements that make our world,
and all those whose hearts have become free,
the liberated ones, the arahants --
so too, may we follow in their footsteps.
Let us dedicate this recollection to them.
May we remember wisely, what is useful, what is helpful, beneficent,
and using our minds wisely and benevolently,
let us ourselves cross over the ocean of suffering and sorrow.
Etam santam etam panitam
This is peaceful, this is excellent:
Yadidam sabba sankhara samatho
Namely, the tranquilization of all fabrications
The relinquishment of all attachments
Tanhakkhayo, virago, nirodho, nibbanam.
The end of craving, the fading of obsessions, the cessation of suffering, Nirvana.
With peaceful loving kindness,
from the golden afternoon sunshine, light ocean breezes,
and benevolent-minded forest samanas,
May 28, 2012