Engaged Buddhism... what is it?

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Engaged Buddhism... what is it?

Postby tellyontellyon » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:02 pm

AlexanderS wrote:Of course, the Buddhas teach through skillfull means. The former example used before was advice given to a monarch and not to a modern day democracy. What I mean about realized beings words carrying more weight is that their teachings come from their wisdom minds and not from delusion.


Yes, I see.

Though at the same time , there really is a lot of wisdom in ancient teachings that have been proven over many generations to still be beneficial. I was watching a video earlier by a monk who was talking about all the rules a monk has to follow. Apparently they are not allowed to wear a robe that is perfectly clean, there must be some sort of mark on it. It reminds me of the Islamic carpet makers that always put a deliberate mistake in their carpet designs.
The humility of such an act is a valuable way of remembering our 'pride' when we start to think we are perfect, or have nice clothes etc. So these instructions can go very deep and work on all sorts of different levels, not just a literal practical level. I suppose this comes about through practice and may not be self-evident from simply studying the 'rules' from an abstract, uninvolved perspective.
I really admire what these monks have to cope with in order to keep all their vows.

:bow:
“Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
― Søren Kierkegaard
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Re: Engaged Buddhism... what is it?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:57 pm

tellyontellyon wrote:Like in the Kalama sutra? yes?


The Kalamas sutra is the most misunderstood sutra in the Pali canon. It was a teaching to a tribe of nonbuddhists confused about the various gurus who visited them and tried to convert them. It does not mean that once you have taken Buddhism as your path you are free to just interpret everything anyway you want. Of course, you must test everything, like one would test gold, to make sure it is authentic, but that is because you understand the value of real gold.

I mean, if Nagarjuna says put taxes up, or put taxes down or whatever, that is not some sort of creed or confession of faith that we must accept or otherwise not be 'proper' Buddhists, just because 'Nagarjuna says so'... you're not implying that are you?
:namaste:


What I am saying is that one does not need to inform one's politics by anything outside the Buddha's teachings, and that most political doctrines are not consistent with Buddha's teachings, increasingly the further right and left that you go.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Engaged Buddhism... what is it?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:00 pm

tellyontellyon wrote:
AlexanderS wrote:Of course, the Buddhas teach through skillfull means. The former example used before was advice given to a monarch and not to a modern day democracy. What I mean about realized beings words carrying more weight is that their teachings come from their wisdom minds and not from delusion.


Yes, I see.

Though at the same time , there really is a lot of wisdom in ancient teachings that have been proven over many generations to still be beneficial. I was watching a video earlier by a monk who was talking about all the rules a monk has to follow. Apparently they are not allowed to wear a robe that is perfectly clean, there must be some sort of mark on it. It reminds me of the Islamic carpet makers that always put a deliberate mistake in their carpet designs.
The humility of such an act is a valuable way of remembering our 'pride' when we start to think we are perfect, or have nice clothes etc. So these instructions can go very deep and work on all sorts of different levels, not just a literal practical level. I suppose this comes about through practice and may not be self-evident from simply studying the 'rules' from an abstract, uninvolved perspective.
I really admire what these monks have to cope with in order to keep all their vows.

:bow:


If you want to live in a true socialist community where there is no property, become a monk. That is the only way to become free from markets and market capitalism.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Malcolm
 
Posts: 11726
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Engaged Buddhism... what is it?

Postby tellyontellyon » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:13 pm

There is a part of me that would like to be a monk. I remember, years ago, while doing some voluntary work in Korea, we stayed at this zen temple helping to put up lanterns and preparing rice for the Buddha's birthday. Getting up at four and spending hours bowing in the morning and then having a bowl of rice at abot 6am then more bowing and chanting. It was the most amazing tasting rice you could imagine... if you know what I mean.

Otherwise my practice has been a bit hit and miss. I did spend a week on retreat last year: http://www.palpung.org.uk/
Lama Rabsang is a wonderful teacher, and he's got a lovely dog who lives at the centre too. It was just great to stay there and just let go of the world outside and just practice.... even though I'm not much of a meditator, and my knees are like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz! Lama is such a good teacher.
http://www.palpung.org.uk/?page_id=44

But I don't think I could become a monk. I couldn't leave my partner, it would hurt her.
It is certainly a valid path though. :smile:
“Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
― Søren Kierkegaard
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Posts: 225
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