Be Decent

"Be Decent" number 90 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Decent and decency are words not usually associated with Zen practice.

Being decent reminds me of being upright. The ten grave precepts. To be decent is something that comes with time, with maturity. We have to continuously mentor ourselves and be reminded to be decent. Decency is a synonym to kindness with a little more formality.

In our book group yesterday, someone referred to my confession of my occasional lack of kindness as me being judgmental. The reaction would have been the same had I used the term decent. I have to agree that to sit here and talk about some past interaction and measure the level of decency would indeed be a form of self-judgment. And yet, when in the midst of life, we can feel in our skin whether or not we are being decent. The more we practice the less we can hide from that fact.

I want to mention again my Dharma friend Robert Thurman and his most excellent podcast. Listening today as I circumnavigate the cemetery on my lunch time walk and was deeply moved. Buddhism is unabashedly about reality.

"If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview." Dalai Lama

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time.