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letter to M, my friend who practises Zen Buddhism

Hi M:

I am writing on a sunny but cloudy morning in Singapore.

I’ve taken your sugggestion to observe the rhythm of the sun. One of my favourite times of day, when I am working at my part-time job (at a meat-free restaurant), is - can you guess it? - twilight; I like to watch the sunlight fade to blue darkness outside the windows, while the electric lamps indoors provide a warm orange glow.

The fading light, day after day, night after night, reminds me that my busy-ness with myriad operational tasks at the restaurant, is just a small puff of vapour, compared to the vastness and ancient-ness of the Sun, not to mention the galaxies in the emptiness of the Space beyond Planet Earth; the Sun has been rising and setting since the time of the dinosaurs, and what creature am I to presume that I am the centre of the Universe?

But I need a spiritual belief to be my compass in this vast emptiness, and I have found that through a personal relationship with King Jesus, resurrected Son of God, who is alive, active and powerful (even today, at this hour). But I ken that not everyone uses the same compass, and I have been growing in my acceptance of that.

One good thing in my life is like-minded friends who share edifying information with me, through the wonders of the Internet. For example, Jill wants to find out more about the Quakers, so she looks that up on her smart-phone, and tells me about them, reading from her smart-phone, while I sit across from her on a comfortable couch, marvelling at the ease-of-access of such information. In other situations, my Buddhist brother sends me Buddhist Scriptures that is free-of-charge to view at a Web-page.

(For example: https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an11/an11.016.piya.html )

It is true that the Internet can harm us if we let it, but I believe a rich inner spiritual life can steer us towards a more constructive use of the Internet.

Well, my shoulders ache from typing out this email with an awkward posture at my keyboard, so I shall stop writing here.

Yours sincerely, T

On this day, the 23rd of October, 2023 Anno Domini