Bishop Umezu on Orlando

Response to the Shooting in Orlando, Florida

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We wish to express our profound sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.

When we encounter tragic events such as this, we turn to the Buddha for guidance on how to live our lives without hating and harming each other. We recognize that the root of hatred is very difficult to identify. It comes from deep inside of our karmic consciousness. We live our lives based on emotions and feelings of love and hatred. This is the source of our daily actions.

But there is a true and real realm beyond love and hatred. This is the Buddha’s realm; the realm of Enlightenment. Deeply grieving our condition, the Buddha urges us to listen to the Dharma and to hear the words from the world of true equality. Through this realization, we are able to see one another as fellow travelers on a journey to the world of true equality. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, we should live our lives with respect and kindness.

Namo Amida Butsu
In Gassho (With Palms Together),
Rev. Kodo Umezu – Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America

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