WHAT IS THE SILENT THUNDER ORDER?
In anticipation of our upcoming annual Silent Thunder Order (STO) conference this July 15th, and under the influence of the inordinate amount of attention being consumed around the ongoing debate about our country’s founding and the state of the union, it occurred to me to attempt a gloss on Abraham Lincoln’s famous address at Gettysburg, delivered at a turning point in the Civil War. Please read lightheartedly:
Three score and eighteen years ago our founding Dharma Father brought forth on this continent the Great Way, conceived in Zen meditation, and dedicated to the proposition that all humankind are equally capable of spiritual Awakening.
Now we are engaged in a great cultural transition, testing whether that Way, or any way so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met at a turning-point of that transition. We have come to rededicate ourselves at a practice place for those who commit their lives that that Way of living might live on. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate -- we cannot consecrate -- we cannot hallow -- this Way. The Ancestors, who transmitted this practice of Zen, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say -- but it can never forget what they did.