26 April 2019

On Loving Kindness

I just finished reading a truly wonderful book called "A Guide for the Perplexed" by Moses Maimonides who was one of the foremost intellectuals of medieval Judaism. Through the "Guide for the Perplexed"  Maimonides exerted a very important influence on the Scholastic philosophers, especially on Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Duns Scotus. His book ends with a word about loving-kindness:

"The perfection, in which man can truly glory, is attained by him when he has acquired, as far as this is possible for man, the knowledge of God, the knowledge of His Providence, and of the manner in which it influences His creatures in their production and continued existence. Having acquired this knowledge he will then be determined always to seek loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, and thus to imitate the ways of God.

God is near to all who call Him, if they call Him in truth, and turn to Him. He is found by every one who seeks Him, if he always goes towards Him, and never goes astray."

The same evening I was watching a three part series by the BBC on the similarities of three ancient Philosophers; Socrates, Buddha, and Confucius who were all born within one hundred years of one another. The program contained a quote from Buddha and when I checked it out I discovered Buddha's beautiful words on loving kindness. Needless to say I feel blessed. They sound like words right out of the Gospel and from the Rabbi Maimonides, even though they come from a non-Deist. It shows that regardless of the time and place of our birth, all human beings are connected through the Creator, whether one believes in Him, or not.

Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-kindness

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

"Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-kindness" (Khp 9), translated from the Pali by The Amaravati Sangha. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 2 November 2013,

25 April 2019

The Uncertainty of Democracy

Democracy is always coming. In your mind's eye you can see it shimmering on the horizon like the dark spot on the road ahead on a hot sunny day where the blacktop meets the sky. Like that mystery spot on the road, true democracy never seems to arrive. It is just always out there on the tip of our tongue and our eyeballs. Democracy is such a fragile thing that is hard to put into words and practice because anyone can use the word "democracy" and some even use it as a disguise for tyranny. If someday true democracy is ever attained it will still confront an uncertainty...the same uncertainty that haunts everything that is deemed "certain." It seems to me that at this point in history, our democracy is just as uncertain as ever.

08 April 2019

Perhaps it is time...

Seek the Lord while He may be found
And call upon Him while He is near.
If we believe in Him and we repent
He will pardon us and bless us.
There is a deep hunger within us
That bread and meat cannot satisfy.
Our souls hunger more than our bodies.
The Lord's table overflows with grace
And as for His mercy, it knows no end.
Man does not live by bread alone, but
By every word that proceeds from God.
Why do you spend money and labor on
Useless things that do not satisfy?
Perhaps it is time to make a decision
To call on God that He may answer you
And show you many and great things.


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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.