Volunteer caretaker, pilgrim rest hut, Kochi. January 31, 2012
If we have been together since beginingless time,
Then we have all been each other’s companions,
Friends, enemies, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children.
My enemy has been my friend — and my friend, my enemy.
Each of us owes an enormous debt, impossible to repay.
Our happiness is the bequest of a staggering chain of causality, the gift of the known,
But also the legacy of the unknown, the unnamed, and the unnameable.
Our happiness is the result of untold acts of kindness, generosity, sacrifice and care.
If this is so, as we know it is, then we owe everything to every other being,
And there are no enemies.
Pilgrim Welcome Committee, coastal Aki, Shikoku. January 2012.
A fool who knows his foolishness is wise at least to that extent, but a fool who thinks himself wise is a fool indeed.
— The Dhammapada, 5:63
We can only begin from where we stand. Gross ignorance is nothing to boast of, but a sincere fessing up is a start. Humility is not merely a pleasant character trait — it is essential. It is simple honesty.