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Indras Net Image - Cropped

The image of Indra’s Net:Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out indefinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel at the net’s every node, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite. The Hua’yen school [of Buddhism] has been fond of this image, mentioned many times in its literature, because it symbolizes a cosmos in which there is an infinitely repeated interrelationship among all the members of the cosmos. This relationship is said to be one of simultaneous mutual identity and mututal intercausality.”
– Francis H. Cook, Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park and London, 1977








Until further notice, Indra’s Net will not be meeting.

However, some of us will be participating as a team with the Village Support Network, and others of us may try to connect with people from other Buddhist groups in the area who are interested in the intersection between practice, social responsibility, climate change, direct action, and those kinds of things. Stay tuned!

If you are curious about my recent thinking on these matters, you may want to check out these blog posts. Take care! Domyo

More Reflections on Activism as a Person of Faith

Let’s Start a Global Movement!

Back to the Drawing Board with Meditation for the Homeless

When It’s Time to Speak Out as a People of Faith

At Indra’s Net, for the better part of a year, we came together monthly to:

  • To support, inspire, and challenge one another to fulfill our bodhisattva vows. In particular to emphasize the outwardly focused, active aspects of the bodhisattva path in order to balance the inner work we do in other practice settings.
  • To balance honesty, education, and truth telling with respect for people who come to different conclusions than we do. In particular, to save debate for other venues, honor a diversity of opinions, and return to common ground.
  • To explore together how Zen practice supports and informs our bodhisattva activity, and how our bodhisattva vow supports and informs – or is in fact inseparable from – our Zen.

We discussed how to fulfill the Bodhisattva Vow and keep the Buddhist Precepts as we participate in social, and ecological systems. 

The Bodhisattva Vow is to save all beings, including ourselves:

Beings are numberless; I vow to free them.
Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow to end them.
Dharma gates are boundless; I vow to enter them.
The Buddha way is unsurpassable; I vow to embody it.

We believe the Bodhisattva Vow calls us to go above and beyond – to give up making a distinction between my spiritual practice and what I do for the world. These are one and the same, and learning how to make them so is a great challenge. If we get too caught up in activity and neglect what grounds and centers us, we get lost. If we put too much emphasis on fixing ourselves before we try to help others and effect change, or on maintaining our own happiness and peace, our spiritual practice remains stunted.

The Zen Buddhist Precepts are a traditional part of Zen Buddhism and reflect the truth of interdependence. In essence, they point out that when we gain advantage by causing harm to other beings, there is a cost to both self and other:

  • Cease from harm – release all self­-attachment.
  • Do only good – take selfless action.
  • Do good for others – embrace all things and conditions.
  • Do not kill – cultivate and encourage life.
  • Do not steal – honor the gift not yet given.
  • Do not misuse sexuality – remain faithful in relationships.
  • Do not speak dishonestly – communicate truthfully.
  • Do not become intoxicated – polish clarity, dispel delusion.
  • Do not dwell on past mistakes – create wisdom from ignorance.
  • Do not praise self or blame others – maintain modesty, extol virtue.
  • Do not be mean with dharma or wealth – share understanding, give freely of self.
  • Do not indulge anger – cultivate equanimity.
  • Do not defame the three treasures – respect the buddha, unfold the dharma, nourish the sangha.