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A Zen Teacher's Thoughts on the Anniversary of September 11:
Inner Peace World Peace
By Cheri Huber

THE SAME QUESTIONS that motivated the Buddha's search for enlightenment face us all in the aftermath of September 11. He wondered how anyone could be happy in a world of suffering, how anyone could find peace or joy when all ends in death. Everything the Buddha taught was designed to awaken us to the reality that answers these questions. That reality is the accept-ance we find in conscious compassionate awareness. What are we required to accept in compassion? Our conditioned minds that we mistake as ourselves; the illusions that bedevil us, masquerading as truth. How can we reveal these illusions? Thoreau offered a clue when he wrote, "The unexamined life is not worth living" To end suffering, dissat-isfaction, fear, deprivation, and ignorance we must look carefully at what we have been taught to believe, embrace it all in compassion, let it go, and be willing to live in the present. This is what the Buddha taught 2,500 years ago. It can serve us well today. As we sit still, as we see through our conditioned beliefs and assumptions, our hearts open to the possibilitv of a life beyond suffering. This compassionate acceptance is ours today, now, in this moment, with every breath to which we are present. Everything we are seeking the end of fear, hatred and violence-is just a breath away. This breath, right here, right now.

Copyright 2003-2011 Cheri Huber