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Lions Roar : May 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 54 We are being consumed by our suffering. We are a people who have always loved life and loved the earth. We have noticed earth. How responsive and alive it is. We have appre- ciated it. We have been a nation of creators and farmers who adored the earth even when we were not permitted to own any part of it larger than our graves. And then only until a highway needed to be built or a condominium constructed on top of them. I remember distinctly the joy I witnessed on the faces of my par- ents and grandparents as they savored the sweet odor of spring soil or the fresh liveliness of wind. This compassionate, generous, life-affirming nature of ours, that can be heard in so much of our music, is our buddhanature. It is how we innately are. It is too precious to lose, even to disap- pointment and grief. Looking about at the wreck and ruin of America, which all our forced, unpaid labor over five centuries was unable to avert, we cannot help wanting our people, who have suffered so grievously and held the faith so long, to at last experience lives of freedom, lives of joy. And so those of us chosen by life to blaze different trails than the ones forced on our ancestors have explored the known universe in search of that which brings the most peace, self-acceptance, and liberation. We have found much to inspire us in Nature. In the sheer persistence and wonder of Creation Itself. In Indigenous wisdom. In the popular struggles for libera- tion around the world, notably in Cuba, where the people dem- onstrate a generosity of spirit and an understanding and love of humankind that, given their isolation and oppression by our country, is almost incomprehensible. We have been strengthened Church Picnic