We open our mouths to proclaim how beautiful the world is, how sweet life is and how dear to us you are, Lady, Mother of All Living.
We stand here today to remind ourselves that we are all part of this web of creation. We are all linked, so that what any of us does affects all of us, that we are all responsible for the Earth. That we are all responsible for each other. We have chosen to be here today as a symbol of our commitment, our awareness of this connection.
Even so, we forget our promises and our duties.
We gossip, we mock, we jeer.
We quarrel, we are unkind, we lie.
We neglect, we abuse, we betray.
We are cruel, we hate, we destroy.
We are careless, we are violent, we steal.
We are jealous, we oppress, we are xenophobic.
We are racist, we are sexist…
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It is Yom Kippur. A Monday. I have taken the day off work to walk, meditate, think. I have taken the day of work so I could go to temple the night before and not worry about the time, the hour, how late it was getting, when I would need to get up.
We asked our friends to go with us. In our back yard, playing with clay, our conversation set on cognates and religion. I mentioned the Buddha of compassion, Amitabha, and the other name for him, Amida. How the Amidah is the name of a prayer of compassion during Yom Kippur. How it relates to the fruit, almonds, as the ancient Hebrews saw the almond as a symbol for watchfulness, promises and redemption. How the part of the brain which we know to be the seat of our ability to see things in a global, compassionate way…
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