Hope in Hard Times
Apr 30, 2020 09:00AM
By Vajracharya Dechan, Charlotte M. Steen
As we look out into our current pandemic-focused world, perhaps it is difficult to imagine or even to hope for a better future. So much is uncertain, and yet it is in this time and space that it is imperative to bring forth the light, love and happiness that is within us in order to create a new world.
Sometimes it is easier to be complacent
and even to sleepwalk through life, as if we no longer have a choice about our
now and our future. But when we do this, we are wrong. In fact, each second
that we are “giving up”, we are actually killing what is holy and precious
within us. Don’t do this. Don’t kill what is holy and precious within you.
Each moment that we choose to acknowledge
the divine and to envision a better future, we are able to become co-creators
of this better world, this new world. In order to become co-creators of a new,
better world, we need to be good people. We need to be good men and good women
who honor and respect others and our Earth, who forgive all things, who learn
from others and who want to help others without expecting anything in return.
Right now we have been given the time and
space to be with our families and loved ones and to clearly cherish one
another. Perhaps that is one gift of this pandemic time. Another gift is now
that most of us are not on our daily work and school-life treadmills, we can
step back and look at what is working and what is not working in our lives. Do
Take this time to acknowledge the good in
your lives and in each other. Magnify this good through mutual admiration.
Take this time to accept what is not good
and not working in your lives and to change it. If you notice a fault in
someone else, let it go and then examine yourself and how you manifest this
same shortcoming. Once you can see yourself and know yourself in this
way—change yourself. Be willing to change and to let go of what doesn’t work
for you or for those around you. And then, embrace the beautiful new self that
Let us heed the
advice of this Cherokee legend*:
“A Cherokee chief is talking to his
grandson. ‘We all have a great battle going on inside us,’ he told the boy. ‘It
is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
‘One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow,
regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies,
false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good–he is joy, peace, love,
hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth,
compassion, and faith.’
The elder went on and told the boy that
this fight was going on inside him right now. And it would continue all his
life. The little boy sat thoughtfully for a moment then turned to ask his
grandfather a question.
‘Which wolf will win?’ he said.
The Cherokee chief
smiled at him and said simply: ‘The one you feed.’”
Colin. By Your Side. May 2010.
feeding the good wolf inside of you. Some call the good wolf your Buddha
nature. Some call the good wolf your Christ-self. By whatever name you call the
good wolf in you, focus your energies on sustaining it, on nurturing it, on
allowing it to flourish. The more we focus on good and on being good, the more
it multiplies. This is the universal law of cause and effect.
Not everyone is a
visionary or a leader, but everyone can be good. Everyone can be
holy. Everyone can begin today to create a new world of hope, of joy, of
loving-kindness, of forgiveness, of peace.
It is easy to believe our actions and
beliefs are small and will not impact anyone else. Frankly, impacting and
transforming your life is a holy miracle in itself. Know this. In addition,
your actions and your beliefs resonate throughout the world. Notice how one
gust of wind moves the trees, the leaves, the clouds. Notice how the bright
sunrise warms our hearts, warms our earth, makes life possible. Notice how the
rain showers nourish and cleanse the earth and ourselves. Notice how a smile
and a wave to a stranger or a loved one transforms your day. Notice how taking
out the garbage makes your world cleaner. Notice how receiving a dog’s wagging
tail or a child’s smile or approval from a colleague makes your day brighter.
You may not realize the impact you make in
the world or how your sunshine brings light to others’ lives. This is because
we don’t always share that kind of information with one another. That means you
will have to just trust and have faith that your goodness matters. And if you
need proof as to how much you matter, go back to noticing how blessed you are
by others’ goodness and mirror that blessing back to your heart.
We have this amazing holy opportunity
right now to bring forth a new world that is not corrupt, that is not abusive,
that is not evil. The only way to do this is to be just and honest, to respect
and honor everyone, to be good women and good men. Our lives depend on our
living our goodness. The future of our
world, the future of our children’s and grandchildren’s world, depend on our
willingness to be the grand, holy, good people we were always meant to be. Know
this. Here and now, we are creating a new world, at this very moment.
Vajracharya Dechan, Charlotte M. Steen is the
founder and Abbot of Upper Midwest Hanmi Buddhist Association (UMHBA), home to
Minnesota’s Chinese Mystery School Buddhist Temple, 80 County Rd. C W., #804,
Little Canada. UMHBA offers Spiritual Healing services, Meditation classes and
Hanmi Buddhist Dharma Rites (prayer services) to relieve suffering and to
support those in transformation. Know yourself. Change yourself. Overcome
yourself. BE your change! For more information, visit MN-Hanmi-Buddhism.org.