October 8, 2012

Cherish Life Monday

Cherish life - we are all in this together

Some Buddhist scholars believe that the Sutta Nipata describes some of the oldest Buddhist practices. It reads like a manual for living gently with ourselves, each other, and the Earth.

The following are Buddha's words on cultivating a heart filled with loving-kindness (metta) towards all beings. Many of the world's challenges can be met by adopting an attitude that cherishes, and shows respect for, all living beings.

Yes, that includes mosquitos.

"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 only child,
so with a boundless heart
should one cherish all living beings."

- Sutta Nipata, 1 8


  1. Beautiful Post. We are overwhelmed with stink bugs at the moment. I'm trying to honor them as living beings. :-)

    I saw a logging truck full of large trees the other day and was moved to tears. It took me rather by surprise, that I would feel such emotion. I realized that my connection to all living things has deepened.

    1. Because some living beings are incompatible with us in our homes (if they can cause harm, are poisonous, or carry disease...), it is sometimes necessary to remove them. I try as much as possible to physically remove offending creatures and set them free outside.

      When that isn't practical, I use a process I read about somewhere. First, you have to give the noxious beings notice that if they don't leave on their own, you will have to remove them.

      After they have been given notice, and a fair amount of time to take action on their own, if they are still around the householder is free to deal with them as necessary.

      I hear you about the trees as I live in an area with some of the largest, tallest, and oldest trees in the world. It is hard for me to believe, with most of the big ones now gone, that there are people that can continue to cut ancient living things up to 1500 years old.

      We have to cut some trees, but the way we are doing it shows a complete lack of respect for the forest, and for future generations.

      Loving kindness is the answer, as is cultivating a deep connection to all living things.

    2. Great advice about warning (or asking) the being to leave on it's own first. The stink bugs are harmless, so I do try to just take them outside. I am however very allergic to bees and wasps, so sometimes it has to be me or them.

      We also have trouble this time of year with mice and chipmunks coming indoors. If anyone knows of a humane solution, I'd certainly like to hear about it.


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