A supporter of Field of Merit offered to make a Facebook page for Field of Merit and here it is, large as life. I have to confess to not having a FB account and neither does Rev. Alicia. I guess it is only a matter of time before we do.
Quietly I think to myself, Would Dogen have used Facebook to spread the word about Zazen, had it been available back then? Zazen was, as I understand, recommended universally to be taken up by lay and monastics alike. Another thought, or question, that comes to mind: Is being ‘out there’ – on Facebook, on this website, and elsewhere incompatible with being ‘in here’ which is the call of the Hermitage? To stop and be still, to reflect, to contemplate and to turn within. To turn the stream of Compassion within.
These questions are not so easy to answer, we don’t know what Dogen would have done to spread the word had the Internet been available then. However his life was about unstintingly offering the Dharma and he certainly did that. In terms of us in modern times, and using modern means, we too are about offering the Dharma widely. The important thing is for us to take care that our attitude of mind behind what we do around Field of Merit, as with all actions, is truly good and indeed wise. Part of me wonders if Rev. Master Jiyu turns in her grave at the modern means of spreading the Dharma developed since her death! And part of me thinks, Perhaps not.
I would hope however, and it is our background intention, that all of our out there activities will draw those who encounter it to be reminded to draw within. Wherever you might be in this wide world. That’s to withdraw in here within our own body/mind. Zen Master Dogen says in his Rules for Meditation, Withdraw within and reflect upon the self. Our on-line efforts have the potential to reach a very wide audience and we are bound to offer the teaching freely and do so gladly.
Used wisely the Internet is in the service of the Buddha Dharma – deep religious teachings which have deeply transformed lives for a very long time.
See also the article Transfer of Merit by Rev. Master Mokugen.