Eco/Social Justice

Kyoki Roberts Obituary

With family bedside, ROBERTS, Christine Kyoki, died December 19, 2023, at the age of 72 in Omaha, Nebraska. She is survived by her son, Joe Eliason, her daughter-in-law, Isabel, her three grandchildren, David (Amber), Tristan and Krista, by three great-grandchildren, Scarlet, Liam and Oliver, as well as her two sisters, Melinda Jane Roberts and Jean Shaw Roberts.

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Thanksgiving Message

Prison is not just a place in our minds.  In Buddhism we talk about how the mind is our worst prison, but that the mind can also liberate us.  However, there are real prisons all around us…

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A Global Ethic

Precepts can provide a supportive system in which to live out our personal vision for what we want to contribute to this world before we die.  Precepts also guide whole communities of people to act for the welfare of the planet, rather than simply for human self-interest.

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My Spiritual Ancestors are Japanese, Chinese, and Indian

With the rise of recent hate crimes targeting the Asian American community I feel it necessary to share my love, appreciation and dedication to the people that have fed me spiritually for the last 30 years.  American Zen is indebted to countless Japanese Americans, Chinese-Americans, Korean-Americans, Tibetan-Americans and Indian-Americans who have over the past two centuries brought with them the spiritual teachings from their lands of origin.

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Out of the Woods?

Out of the Woods? While hopes of the vaccine for Covid are high, we are in a position to prevent future pandemics like this from happening.

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Choice: Laying the Foundation for Living Ethically

The Abrahamic faiths as well as Buddhism offer ethical guidelines for how to attain their respective goals – whether it be intimacy with God or Awakening. The Hebrew Bible talks about, among other things, Commandments. But just the word, “Commandment” can be problematic if we have not properly developed our ability to choose from an early age, prior to understanding right from wrong. The 10 Commandments are really an advanced kind of practice, in my view, once an understanding of choice has been well established. If choice has not been well established during youth, in other words if a young person is consistently denied opportunities to make choices, or even consistently given things that they would never choose, then that person will not be prepared to even consider living by the 10 Commandments. I think the same can be said of the Buddhist precepts. The flip side of this is that – considering that the mental factor of choice has not been well developed – then precepts or “commandments” will most likely be followed blindly without the ability to question them.

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SZBA Statement and Call to Action on Systemic Racism

Today, we see and hear the searing pain and anger of Black people, who have endured centuries of oppression in the United States and who, as a community, continue to suffer acts of violence and discrimination, including at the hands of law enforcement. We grieve the disproportionate number of people of color who have died of the coronavirus, and see that many people of color performing essential functions of society are undervalued and oppressed economically.

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