Statement of Rev. Zenji Nio on Covid-19 on behalf of the Buddhist community
On behalf of the Buddhist community, I convey my sympathies and compassion for all victims of the Coronavirus - and I applaud the efforts of all care-givers, doctors, nurses and workers in the essential services sector. These troubling times remind us of how transient life is - and how it's essential to prioritize one's spiritual practice or Dharma over merely mundane worldly matters or Samsara. For when all the trappings of modern society are "shut down", we must spend a few moments in silent reflection, meditation and prayer - that can enable us to stay positive despite the “gloom and doom” scenarios prevailing at present. When you cannot "go out", take some time to "go in" - deep within your own mind to cultivate mindfulness, and deep within your own heart to foster compassion.
Furthermore, may we ensure that we do not use the origins of the virus to promote bigotry or hatred towards the Chinese or any ethnic community. In addition, we also applaud the exceptional work done in Korea towards curtailing this pandemic. We are also optimistic that Japan may soon approve of a drug to combat Covid-19 - and we support all Olympians putting their dreams on hold - while we globally “team-up” to overcome this challenge.
In honor of Japan, China, Korea and all Buddhist nations - as well as mankind in general, we offer prayers in Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Sanskrit
We pray to the Almighty, Supreme & Limitless Buddhist Goddess - Senju-Kannon-sama (Kwanyin in Mandarin, Kwanseum in Korean, Kwanam in Vietnamese, Kunyam in Cantonese, Chenrezig in Bhutanese and Avalokiteshwara in Sanskrit) to assist humanity through this crisis - and for us all to serve like Her 1000 arms in assisting all sentient beings. In the iconic Lotus Sutra, Lord Buddha declares in a Lion's Roar that "This 3 fold world is His (Buddha's) domain - and all who suffer are His children". May we thus serve Lord Buddha Lokapita (Father of all beings) by serving His children - especially the most vulnerable, sick and the elderly, regardless of caste or creed, religion or nationality,
Let us also reflect the Boundless Light and Compassion of our eternal Lord and Savior Amida Buddha (Amitabha in Sanskrit, Amituofo in Chinese, Amita Bul in Korean, Adida Phat in Vietnamese) and may we ourselves be like instruments to serve humankind. May we grow spiritually and mentally from this crisis - and be like earthly Bodhisattvas that strive to alleviate the suffering of all sentient beings.
Namu Zenno Dai Kannon (In the Name of the Almighty & Unexcelled Kannon-sama)
Namo Kwan Shi Yin Pusa, Namu Kwanseum Bosal, Namo Arya Avalokiteshwara
Namo Amitabha, Namu Amida Butsu, Namo Amituofo, Namu Amita Bul
Om Mani Padme Hum, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
October, 2019: Rev. Nio represented Japan at the Climate Change Summit in Toronto. He also raised millions for the poorest students in India in association with Bollywood's biggest financiers and producers.
September 2019: The Indo-Japan Samurai Center is pleased to co-host with IONS a presentation of Padma Shri Winner Subhash Kak at our center in the heart of Toronto. Rev. Nio will also be hosting a charity gala fundraiser for a UN-based charity linked to Swami Dayanand, mentor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Please email us for details.