The Kenai River flows into Kenai Lake, in Cooper Landing, Alaska, Aug. 9, 2019. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file)

The Kenai River flows into Kenai Lake, in Cooper Landing, Alaska, Aug. 9, 2019. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file)

Minister’s Message: A mind full of compassion

It’s fairly easy to have compassion for family and friends, but what about the cashier at the grocery store?

Rev. Diane Jishin Dunn

What does it take to have a mind full of compassion? It takes a lot of effort for one thing. It also takes a willingness to open one’s heart and mind to those around us.

It’s fairly easy to have compassion for family and friends, but what about the cashier at the grocery store? The cashier may have received bad news or had an argument prior to coming to work and it is weighing heavy on their mind. Do not take it personally. Why not show a bit of compassion and share a smile or a kind word? I try to keep this in mind everyday. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes not. It’s tough being an unenlightened being!

I am new to living on the Kenai Peninsula. I am in awe of the beauty and kindness of the community.

Living on the river in Kenai along with my parents, I am blessed with the beauty of the ever changing river. There is not one moment that the river is the same. The constant flow of the water along with the ebb and flow of the tide, reminds me that we too, are constantly changing.

Our emotions ebb and flow. Our hearts feel full one day and empty on another. This is the ebb and flow of life itself.

Take the time to recognize that having a mind full of compassion for others must begin by having compassion for ourselves. Strive to keep your heart and mind full of compassion. May we work towards a goal of spreading peace and understanding within our communities.

Rev. Dunn was ordained in Kyoto, Japan, in 2003 at the Nishi Hongwanji Temple. She was the first Buddhist priest to form a temple and reside in Alaska (Anchorage 2000-2009). She also became the first Buddhist to become a member and president of the Interfaith Council of Anchorage. She now resides in Kenai and is planning to hold Buddhist services that are open to everyone.

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