The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sandy Hook--Words From Sensei Tony Stultz, Director of The Blue Mountain Lotus Society

In times like these, my first response is to just sit.  In my sitting, I bear witness to all of the thoughts and feelings arising within me.  A part of me remembers being a lonely and despondent teenager who felt strange and disconnected from the world.  Violent fantasies played through my mind.  I hated the world because through my delusional perception, it hated me.  As a parent, I shuddered at the horror of losing a child in any way, but especially like that--it would seem to me to be unbearable.  As a counselor, I know it is important to let people vent and allow the hurt child to cry out for black and white solutions.  Crimes like this are complicated and many will seek out those to blame, but somehow, we must keep asking the tough questions.
As a Buddhist teacher, I know that deep down, all of this goes back to Oneness.  The more we believe that we are separated, the less we feel that we belong, the more desperately and tragically we will try to connect. And whether that separation is because of mental illness, racism, socio-economic disenfranchisement, abuse, bullying or prejudice, it keeps us dangerously apart from the whole.
So what can we do?  Perhaps we can start with ourselves and look within and try to reconcile the fragmented parts of our own personalities.  Perhaps we can reach out with compassion to the person we know who just "doesn't fit in."  Perhaps we can speak out when others are being pushed further away from the circle before they are brought close to the existential edge.  Many opportunities for healing will arise and then we all need to act on them as best we can, both individually and as a community.

Please remember all of the victims in this horrible event in your prayers and offerings of incense.

For those who are trying to help with their children, I offer the following suggestions:  

1.  Stay calm and collected.  Your child will model your behavior.  Avoid exposing them to the news and gossip.

2.  Let the child lead the discussion.  Only answer questions that are asked.  Don't give more information that isn't requested, and constantly reassure their safety.

3.  It is normal for kids to act out during a trauma.  Hold them gently and resist disciplining behavior that would normally require it.

4.  Show how your faith can comfort and strengthen us.  Light incense for the victims and their families.  Prayer and liturgy (like those found in our Book of Common Meditation) allow us to connect to each other in Oneness of heart and mind.

Peace be with us all.
Sensei Tony

The Blue Mountain Lotus Society
6496 Jonestown Road
Harrisburg, PA  17112
For more information, please call (717) 671-5057
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