June 9, 2020
As all of us are aware, and which most of us have witnessed, the precious lives of Black people, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, were taken without show of mercy in the past few months.
Unfortunately, this reprehensible action was not limited to just this case, because racism has been deeply rooted in American communities and history for a long time. Because countless people of color have been killed or their human rights repeatedly trampled upon throughout U.S. history, there are many American children of color who are filled with fear and anxiety during the current chaos of this country. That is why now many thousands of people are joining together to protest this injustice.
In Buddhism, whatever the reasons given, discrimination is unacceptable. Buddha rejected the idea of discrimination outright because Buddha teaches us that everyone has Buddha nature. This means that we are equal to all others and that each one of us has a precious, irreplaceable life illumined by the light of Buddha’s wisdom and compassion. To understand this concept is important for all Buddhists, because if we can fully realize this truth – regardless of our age, gender, race, skin color, culture, country of origin or religion – we are able to love and respect all people just as we do the Buddha.
The Mountain View Buddhist Temple Sangha acknowledges that it is time for a Sangha of love and kindness to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter and think deeply about how we can create a world where all people can enjoy their lives happily and peacefully without the fear of violence or discrimination.
For the realization of a society free from this injustice, as Jodo Shinshu Buddhists, each one of us must be able to recognize and fight the deep-seated racial discrimination that exists in ourselves and others so that such tragedies will cease. Let us in this meaningful way accept the responsibility to acknowledge and mourn the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Reflect deeply on the Buddhist spirit, “May All Beings Be Happy and Well,” let us also contemplate a world without hatred, racism and violence for all people who have this hope in our hearts.
In Gassho (with palms together),
Rev. Yushi Mukojima and the Mountain View Buddhist Temple