Jay Shinseki Watsonville

“May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all beings never be parted from freedom’s true joy.
May all beings rest in equanimity free from attachment and aversion.”

The above quote comes from the Metta Sutra, the sutra of loving kindness. It was and still is an important message from Shakyamuni Buddha. As the Buddha observed suffering around him, he wished for everyone to achieve happiness and freedom from suffering. He wanted all beings to experience the true joy that comes from awakening to the truth of life. And finally, he wanted all of us to be treated equally as fulfilled human beings.

This month is the beginning of Pride Month, and the Metta Sutra is a good place for all of us to start the practice of loving kindness toward ourselves and all others. We support, encourage and are one with the LGBTQ community in their continued struggle to be accepted and recognized. Pride means to be comfortable in who we are, it means to be true and real to oneself and we wish that for everyone.

Throughout the history of the world groups have had to struggle to be recognized and treated equally. In the ‘60s, groups of many different persuasions marched in protest working toward equality and recognition. Today many groups still struggle to be recognized and accepted. The primary wish is to be treated equally in the hopes that there will not be a need for separate groups but a oneness of all beings.

The differences between people and groups are only a perception created through prejudice and ignorance, and in truth does not exist. The Buddha clearly saw each person as part of a whole and saw oneness in all things and did not discriminate between young and old, rich and poor. He believed and practiced gender equality. In his time India had a caste system that divided people into classes that protected the powerful and wealthy. He did his best to eliminate that system and encouraged everyone to see all beings as equal.

Over time, individuals who looked different, dressed different or lived different lifestyles were considered “different.” In the eyes of the Buddha there are no flaws, there are no quirks, there are no weirdos, there are just human beings, each unique and each with value. He saw beauty and strength in all beings.

As we celebrate Pride Month, we embrace all beings and support their lifestyle with wisdom and compassion. “May all beings be happy.”


Rev. Hosei Shinseki leads the Watsonville Buddhist Temple. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent those of the Pajaronian.

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