On MLK, Buddhism & Interrelatedness

During this week between MLK Day and a truly historic set of protest marches set to take place across the country, I'm finding even deeper meaning in the words of Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, a Soto Zen Buddhist priest of African descent:

King was trying to deliver the same message as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching of interbeing. He wanted us to understand interrelatedness.

So when a young black child is murdered we are all being killed. But that understanding is difficult to cultivate in our hearts. Not because there are lines seemingly drawn between us but because there is no heart when we live in fear, only anger and violence. We are afraid of who is going to own the country or the world.

We are all vulnerable—but we are all also powerful.

We fear that hate will win because it has killed millions of people—both literally and in spirit—over the centuries. There is certainly evidence that we could perish under hate-filled regimes. And yet the power of love can be as strong as the power of hate. There is also evidence that love could prevail.

Read the full piece here.