Kushin Seisho Maylie Scott was a beautiful bodhisattva who packed a lot into her 65 years of life. A Zen practitioner based for many years at Berkeley Zen Center, Maylie received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1998. She then founded Rin Shin-ji (Forest Heart Temple) in Arcata, California, in 2000, shortly before her death.
Throughout her life, Maylie was passionately committed to justice and devoted much of her time to work in prisons and homeless shelters throughout California. She was also very involved with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, where she served on the board of directors and helped to envision both the Buddhist Alliance for Social Engagement (BASE) and BPF’s Prison Program.
Maylie died in May, 2000, not long after she was diagnosed with cancer. I only met Maylie a few times before her death, but she had a remarkable presence.
This week’s quote is Maylie’s rendition of the Metta Sutta, written in 1994. It feels wonderful to recite it out loud…give it a try.
This is what should be accomplished by the one who is wise,
May I be well, loving, and peaceful. May all beings be well, loving, and peaceful.
May I be at ease in my body, feeling the ground beneath my seat and feet, letting my back be long and straight, enjoying breath as it rises and falls and rises.
May I know and be intimate with body mind, whatever its feeling or mood,calm or agitated, tired or energetic, irritated or friendly.
Breathing in and out, in and out, aware, moment by moment, of the risings and passings.
May I be attentive and gentle towards my own discomfort and suffering.
May I be attentive and grateful for my own joy and well-being.
May I move towards others freely and with openness.
May I receive others with sympathy and understanding.
May I move towards the suffering of others with peaceful and attentive confidence.
May I recall the Bodhisattva of compassion; her 1,000 hands, her instant readiness for action. Each hand with an eye in it, the instinctive knowing what to do.
May I continually cultivate the ground of peace for myself and others and persist, mindful and dedicated to this work, independent of results.
May I know that my peace and the world’s peace are not separate;that our peace in the world is a result of our work for justice.
May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.
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We read Maylie’s aspiration prayer aloud today as part of our meditation group’s contemplation on the cultivation of loving-kindness and compassion for self and others. It felt as though Maylie guided us right to the core of the practice. Many asked for copies of this aspiration for use during their daily practice. Thanks for sharing this gem!
Diane, so happy to know that Maylie’s words were nourishing to your sangha. Be well, Maia