• messenger
  • Questions and Answers
  • Contact Us
  • search
Close
sdgs_goal

3. Good Health and Well-Being

Health and welfare for all

The first thing I would like to suggest is to paraphrase the title of the agenda created by the world leaders gathered at the United Nations in line with the teachings of the Sotoshu School. It should be “ Shakyamuni Buddha’s agenda – Everyone in the world is connected to everyone”.

I would like to compare the 2030 Agenda, signed between nations in 2015, with the Bodhisattva's vow, those beings enlightened and awakened to the truth, who live for the benefit of all beings.

A young Brazilian living in Coimbra, Portugal, taught me that the word “development” in Portuguese idiom “desenvolvimento”, is composed by des (negative term)+ envolvimento (to envolve, to wrap up, to include, to hold), so the word “desenvolvimento” in Portuguese means not being involved. Therefore, I think "Shakyamuni Buddha's agenda" is for everyone to be aware of their ties and to live in relationship with all. Only then can we have a healthy life and happiness for all.

In the chapter of "One Bright Pearl" in "Shobogenzo", Gensha Shibi said, "The only thing that exists is a pearl that has neither inside nor outside. We are the life of this pearl. Dogen zenji quotes that.

Life is a constant series of changes. In line with Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings, we need to work, think, act, and guide change for the benefit of all beings.

In the essay of "Bodhichitta" in "Shobogenzo" it is stated:

Arousing the aspiration for enlightenment is making a vow to bring all sentient beings [ to the shore of enlightenment ] before you bring yourself, and actualizing the vow. Even a humble person who arouses this aspiration is already a guiding teacher of all sentient beings.

The bodhisattva's mind is the mind of those who practice day and night so that all beings can awaken to the truth, and to reach the deepest and highest state is secondary. Those who awaken can feel physically and mentally that all beings are related to each other. Going into the Samadhi of the Samadhi, we are aware of the essential characteristic of life: because it is impermanent, it has a connection/condition, and because it has a connection/condition it is impermanent. From this awakening of truth, we can cultivate the two wheels of Buddhism, wisdom and mercy.

These are all sustainable development goals: to care for babies and small children; to work on prevention and treatment of infectious diseases; to promote mental health and well-being by instructing people not to abuse drugs and alcohol; to reduce deaths from road accidents; and to develop programs on safe sex education, including getting basic educational opportunities.

And now we are in a pandemic with the new coronavirus. In order to take care of everyone, we need to expand our vaccine and drug research and development, healthcare finances, and support for healthcare professionals. We need to detect risks at home and abroad early in order to reduce problems We need to take care of the most vulnerable people on each continent and benefit developing countries. These are also not different from the Sustainable Development Goals. Among them, new mutant strains have appeared in Brazil, medical institutions have collapsed, and people have died in the waiting room without help, and Brazil is considered to be the center of the global crisis.
In addition to the lack of appropriate planning and treatment to deal with the infections caused by the new coronavirus and the diseases caused by the sequelae, the rapid spread of the infection cannot be controlled due to the lack of cooperation from many people. The increases in infections and deaths are affecting the funeral systems such as burial and cremation which cannot attend to families’ needs, and vaccination is still inadequate. On top of that, there is the big problem of "selfishness" from people only thinking about themselves. Some people ignore science, medical, and hygiene guidance, hold parties, attend crowds, don't wear masks, and blame vaccines and death. It is very disappointing!

Many people like them are not awakened to Bodhichitta. Some people did not have the opportunity to meet teachings that change personal and social reality. They are closed to anything outside their personal gains and interests and forget or do not know that everyone's good is also their own good.
However, there is still hope for improvement in this situation. Many people have awakened to Bodhichitta. By working together, they share food and medicine to protect themselves and everyone.
Each person who can see the reality as it is will act as an agent of wisdom and mercy, respect and cherish each other, and lead everyone to a world of harmony. At the moment it is as it is. But this moment is quickly gone, and the new moment depends on our positive action.
Dogen Zenji says in the chapter of "Bodhichitta" in "Shobogenzo": We need a discerning mind called Bodhichitta, a mind which thinks carefully about the reasoning of things and makes deep and thoughtful decisions, in other words, it is a kind, compassionate, wise mind that is the starting point for awakening altruistic action - the healing action.

I wish that everyone can obtain the same wisdom as Shakyamuni Buddha and live in harmony like water and milk, respecting each other and building Shakyamuni Buddha’s agenda for the involvement of everyone with everyone

Gassho
Souza, Coen
Zen Buddhist Community
Temple Taikozan Tenzui Zenji

Kushiki Senauke

Coen Souza is abbot of Taikozan Tenzuizenji
(Comunidade Zen Budista Zendo Brasil)