Share and list upcoming or annual events.
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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. It's also a very turbulent time on the planet, with wars going on still and talk by some of the need to bomb Iran, crush ISIL or go to war with Russia or China… Some are suggesting that tactical nuclear weapons should be used. Here in Asia where I live there is a lot of tension between Japan, China and Korea. Its also a difficult time in the U.S. with recent issues of racism, many people seem to be spiraling into fear and hatred.
I recently shared this idea with some ZFI members over on Facebook. What of a Global Day of Peace and Rememberance Day or days (August 6 through 9) where Buddhists could help lead ceremonies in cities and communities all around the world, perhaps joining with leaders from other religions, to remember what happened 70 years ago and reflect on the suffering and madness of extreme racism, nationalism, nuclear weapons and war? A Day to reflect on War and send out our prayers for Peace.
My friend Clelia (who resides in Italy) shared this video of a lighting of the lanterns ceremony initiated this week by Zen Buddhists in Milan that drew about 100,000 people. A similar ceremony takes place in Hiroshima every summer to commemorate the anniversary of the atomic bombing. If done around the world in August the lanterns could symbolize not only those killed by the atomic bombings but all those who died (soldiers and civilians) in all wars.
Earlier this year I worked with others on Facebook to publicize an Earth Day tree planting event in April. We got almost 200,000 people to join us. Right now a number of meditation themed Facebook pages are sharing the idea of a synchronized global meditation each Sunday. The Nagasaki bombing anniversary is on a Sunday, so these two events could be tied together with people from other religious traditions invited to join us for 20 or 30 minutes of silence, global prayers/meditations for peace on August 9th.
My Tao & Zen page on Facebook reaches a pretty wide audience, so I can help to get the word out if something develops, but I think for this to happen it would best be led and organized by the Buddhist community and networks in the real world.
There is an "engaged" conscious activism rising up now, I sense, being led by the world's spiritual communities and leaders. The Catholic pope made a great speech recently talking about poverty, ecology, consumerism and the need for people of all faiths to come together for a "Revolution to Save the Earth."
All these issues are interconnected.
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Also the 46th anniversary year, on July 20, of the first landing by Humans on the Moon!
Kudos!, USA, and planet Earth.
ps the " 'extreme' racism" was clearly from the Japanese side, if you know your history. Please get THEM engaged with this also, if anyone, and TNX for it. Too late though: almost all the old-timers have died. Never mind. But I'm relieved that Stimson and General Groves moved to remove Kyoto from the target list, even completely from the list for "conventional" bombing. On December 7th, we'll have another anniversary.
I have friends here in Japan who can help me to translate and "seed" this idea for the entire country, but it first has to be considered i think by Zen Buddhists outside Japan as a worthy and wise idea to invest energy in. So far I have not heard back from the Western Zen Buddhists I've contacted.
To the best of my knowledge there has never been a coordinated global action by Zen Buddhists, so this simply may not fly...
As for extreme racism, yes, that was true. I think though the problem existed everywhere. For Americans to drop nuclear weapons on non-military targets- cities populated by civilians- there had to be the mindset of racism on our side as well, imo.
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