Tsultrim_D in response to my post I’ll Take Responsibility writes-
Thanks for this note…
As one of the organizers of the Lobster Liberation event, I will say that, from our side, there is no anger or frustration at the lobstermen involved, be it a joke or even had it been real. Bluntly, they are doing their job–catching lobsters–and we are doing ours. It is not our place to tell them how to do theirs or to place any judgment on them.
Buddhists have beliefs about hunting as a profession, and those tie in to beliefs about karma and the like, but none of those are matters of judgment. We all do the best with what we are given. And while the joke may have been a bit crass and at our expense, there are no hard feelings. There has been a lot of feedback, from Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, calling the lobstermen involved names and expressing negative emotions toward them. This really is of no benefit, though, and we are sorry it has happened. Buddhist language might refer to them as acting out of ignorance or self-cherishing, but this also isn’t an insult… as humans we spend the predominant amount of our time acting from these things. We are feeling unhappy so we go out and buy a new car, some new clothes, a piece of cake—”This will make me happy!” Well, sure, it does, for a while…. but not ultimately, not real happiness. That deluded belief, that is ignorance. It is a statement about the human condition, not a judgment.
As you mentioned, the article about our lobster liberation had been picked up by a number of news agencies… Reuters, who came with us on the boat, Washington Post, Daily Mail UK, NPR, MS-NBC, and so forth… but now the event is getting even more exposure. Two different news stations came to our Center today to do interviews with some of the people involved in organizing and leading the event (NECN and WBZ-TV). This is wonderful, and I rejoice!
The long story short is, we are all doing the best we can do. Whether in good taste or not, there is no offense on our part from the joke the Degelyse crew members and others put out there with the YouTube video. We urge everyone to maintain hearts of compassion and love, and not harbor any ill will toward each other. Anger and similar negative minds are destructive, and don’t ever accomplish anything substantial or lasting. We offered the ceremony last week not just for the benefit of the lobsters involved, but also for the benefit of all beings. There is always a ripple effect to our actions, and when the intention is pure and good, small actions of putting kindness and love out into the world affect more than just those immediately involved. We want everyone to realize happiness, true, unending happiness… the lobsters and the lobstermen!
Thank you for your kindness and humility. I hope that those involved from your side do not get demonized or any more abuse in the press. In fact, next time we’re in Gloucester we would love to take the crew out for a cup of coffee!
Classy baby! I’d love to take you up on that offer for a cup ‘o joe.