July 12, 2016
‘Only Love Dispels Hate’: A Statement from Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts

On behalf of San Francisco Zen Center I join with all of you in grieving over the violence in the past weeks throughout the world.

Courtyard Buddha: Statue by Amy Evans McClure; photo by Shundo David Haye

Massive bombings in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Turkey, mass shootings in the United States in Florida, fatal-shootings of two Black men in Minnesota and Louisiana, and the killing of police in Dallas. The lasting pain and trauma of these occurrences is truly inconceivable.

These acts of violence are not the way to address the great problems of injustice, implicit bias, poverty, racism, and division.

The Buddha said in the Dhammapada, one of the earliest teachings:

In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.

And from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that.”

Let us find a way to work together, to support and help one another, to create conditions for safety and protection for all so that everyone can unfold their lives in dignity and equality. Let us recommit ourselves to loving kindness and with eyes wide open see what changes can and must be made. And let us continue to speak and act with love and peace and in our anguish and outrage, raise our voices to heal one another, to understand each other, and to counter the conditions of hatred and violence.

May all precious beings be free from suffering and the conditions of suffering, may they be safe and protected, and may they find healing. Please join me in speaking out against violence, and continuing our practice to benefit the world.

Central Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts