No Peace In The Garden

Nanki-Poo at peace

4th July. American Independence Day. Much flag waving going on all over the nation. And here in the monastery there is the Ceremony of the Fourth of July. We bow, we sing, we sing some more, bows again then offer the merit to all beings. I met somebody wondering aloud about a Buddhist ceremony to celebrate nationhood and whether or not she would be able to be join in. Hum? Well that had me thinking about people who are stateless. They don’t have a country, they officially don’t ‘belong’ anywhere. So I shared this thought and, well, it seemed I had a point. We are always offering gratitude to the Four Benefactors, one being the country one is able to practice peacefully within. So I sang along about peace in the land and similar sentiments. I missed that one of the invocations we sang was set to the music of the British national anthem!

Our country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee we sing;

Anyway, with the ceremony nearly over a very loud cat fight started up outside the hall. I caught the eye of the monk facing me who was stifling a giggle. I struggled to maintain my composure, with moderate success! One can not help but see the funny side. After the ceremony the Abbess greeted everybody and remarked in her lovely English accent; There may be peace in our land but there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of that in our garden!

What ever one might feel about ones nation, it’s actions and policies etc. One can at least be grateful for having a place of relative peace to practice.

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