In Memorian Doreen Hamilton 1938-2011

This post courtesy of For Our Grandchildren

About six months ago Doreen expressed her desire to work on behalf of For Our Grandchildren (FOG). During the fall she participated in the meetings of the steering committee. She was firm minded and fair, with a talent for thinking and speaking clearly.

As a grandparent, her commitment to the mission of FOG was evident. What may not have been as evident was the source of her commitment: Doreen became a Shin Buddhist and in 1988 was ordained as an assistant minister of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. She later served as an assistant minister at a Toronto Buddhist temple, and as a Buddhist Chaplain for the University of Toronto and for Federal Prisons.

Of all the great religions, Buddhism gives the most emphasis to the identification of humans with the natural world. Our self-deification as the controlling species is inconsistent with this teaching. Such deification regards nature as a resource, a means for increased consumption with its attendant over-population and pollution of the environment. Climate change is only one consequence of that attitude. In Buddhist thinking, ecological balance is restored through the philosophy of Sarvodaya (uplift of all), which is based on loving kindness, compassionate action, and altruistic job.

In Doreen’s words: “As Buddhists we have a deep sense of respect for nature just the way it is. We seek to understand and harmonize with nature rather than conquer or improve it.”

Doreen died on January 3, 2011 – a great loss to us as individuals, and a misfortune for FOG. She would not have considered her death in such negative terms. In the words of two poems she wrote:

Our short life.

Our short life can’t matter much.
What matters is what we leave when we die.
Will I leave love?
Will I leave beauty?
Will I leave peace?
Will I leave others stronger than before I came?
I’ll do my best!

Human Life.

We are briefly here,
like fish leaping out of the ocean!
“The Ocean of Infinite life”.
In human life, it is our thoughts that make our life here heaven or hell!
At human death we all return to the blissful emptiness from which we came.

READ MORE OF DOREEN'S POETRY...
READ DOREEN'S OBITUARY...
LEARN MORE ABOUT DOREEN'S WORK...
COURTESY FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN...