Jaune Evans is a senior priest practicing with Everyday Zen Foundation, leader of Heart of Compassion Sangha in Pt. Reyes, CA. She is a student of Zen teacher and poet Zoketsu Norman Fischer, and the Executive Director of the Tamapais Trust, supporting Indigenous-led initiatives worldwide. I met Jaune for the first time in 1991 when she was the impeccable retreat manager at Vallecitos where I used to teach for many summers. Howling at the moon with coyotes and wolves, calling the owls, eating dark chocolate in our sleeping bags after a full day of zazen (Zen meditation), we have been friends for 30 years! Jaune has been an important teacher in my life – wise, witty, steadfast, a talented writer, photographer, human rights activist and beloved dharma sister. I thank her for permission to share this prayer with you this morning following Native American Heritage Day.
The Prayer For Our Families
Dear All of Our Mothers and Fathers, Sisters and Brothers, Daughters and Sons, In-laws and Out-laws, Aunties and Uncles, hallowed be your names, your stories come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us your trespasses, your boldest deceptions, your damaging lies. Give us the courage to forgive you, to share with you our daily bread, to trust in your humanness, to accept your everyday wanderings and squanderings, your losses and lovers left far behind. Let us give up temptations to abandon each other or shun, let us ungrasp our deep broken promises, our angers and petty indictments. Let us give up our debts, unpaid or forgotten, bow to all imperfect endings and untrue beginnings. Please give us The Middle Way. Deliver us from evil, all of us, from the prisons of blame and shame, the victimhood of “he did that to me” or “she treated me like this.” Lead us not into abstraction and distraction. Deliver us from bad dreams, and snide dinner table arguments. Remind us of gratitude practice as we put our feet on the floor each morning when we get out of bed. Let us be peacemakers and lovemakers, our stories hard won. Let us be lost now and found now, our traveling done. Let us be seeking the kingdom and queendom of kindness, the power and glory of justice for all. Hallowed be our mixed-up bumbled funny sad lives. May we be listeners, useful to others in some small way. Forever and ever, loving and present, grateful for all. May we be humble, joyful, generous and free. On earth as it is in heaven.
—Jaune Evans, November 25, 2020