Taking Courage

Nonviolence is the highest form of unpretentious humility. It is ultimate courage. Anyone who avoids using violence has strength. The real conflict of the 21st century is not between cultures or even religions. It is between violence and nonviolence. It will be between inhumaneness and human progress in the truest sense. To end the institution of war and consign it to history, along with such barbaric practices as slavery — once considered a accepted and preordained “part of human nature” — we must establish respect for the inviolate grandeur of life as the core value of our time. No matter how moral the cause may seem or in whose name it is wielded, the use of force etches resentment in the hearts of the next generation and risks embedding and spreading conflict. This takes courage.

Courage is the force that makes our lives vivid. Those who lack courage run away from even the most insignificant adversity, pursuing only to live a life of ease and comfort. One without courage there can be no compassion and we cannot help others. True courage and exploration is found in uncovering the meaning of life and discovering the reason for our existence. Even greater joy and fulfillment is found in the persistent struggle to contribute to the happiness of others. The secret to courage is faith. Faith is the secret to a robust life force. When we possess a wealth of faith, it gives rise to courage and other riches, too. Faith draws out our inner potential and strength. Faith is a magical defense that empowers us to make dreams come true. As long as we have faith, there is nothing we cannot achieve; everything is born from faith. With faith and courage violence is absent from our lives, our community and our world.

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About Sensei Mui

Sensei Mui is a Buddhist monk who took formal refuge and bhikkhu ordination as a Theravada monk in Thailand during the early 1970s. Since those days he has both studied and was ordained in multiple Mahayana lineages. Today the main focus of his practice and teaching is from the Pure Land perspective. He currently acts as the Director and Administrator for Hongaku Jodo, an educational and practice oriented organization of Buddhist teachers of Dharma, pure and simple.
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