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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Rest in Peace little ones, hope you're going some place better...
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... t/1769367/
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:10 am 
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Such suffering.

Tara Mandala have just posted the following advice on Facebook:

"Call to Practice for the Victims of Connecticut School Shooting: Today many of us learned of the horrific school shootings in Newton, CT where 26 people have been pronounced dead today, 20 of them young children between the ages of 5 and 10 -(http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/us/connec ... index.html). In moments of great tragedy and suffering, Lama Tsultrim suggests we do the practice of Tonglen which means 'taking and sending' in which you practice compassion for the benefit of the victims and their families.

"First, connect generate a heartfelt motivation to do the practice for all beings, generating bodhicitta. Then imagine that as you inhale you are able remove the suffering from the victims like a vacuum cleaner sucking it from their bodies and minds. As their suffering goes into your body, you flash on emptiness and then as you exhale imagine your breath carries compassion, love and relief from fear and suffering to them. Continue breathing with this visualization gradually expanding it to include all beings, then at the end do a dedication of the merit accumulated in the practice.

"Tonglen can also be done spontaneously whenever you become aware if suffering, listening to the news, visiting someone who us ill or dying, with a sick animal, child, friend and so on, the possibilities are limitless and although we are not 'doing' anything this does have an effect and benefits those who are prayed for in this way. This is not a substitute for physical help and donations, but it adds to it."


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:58 am 
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Thoughts and prayers with all the victims and their families.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:52 am 
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Image

Barely has the last Oregon incident happened, now we have Newtown....



Timeline of deadliest U.S. mass shootings

Anitya, Duhkha, Anatman, Nirvana

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:29 pm 
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No good can come from gun ownership!

Much metta to the survivors of this preventable tragedy. :heart:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:57 pm 
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These senseless tragedies make one want to weep. May all the victims achieve a happy rebirth and progress on the path to enlightenment.

The USA must introduce gun control legislation. The right to bear arms cannot be more important than the right of children to live!

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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:26 pm 
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I think our friends at Tara Mandala have given some very, very good advice on this.

***

Since policy issues regarding gun violence have been raised, I'd argue that what the US needs to do is focus on the primary cause here, which is the desperately inadequate care we give to the mentally ill. We need to do a better job identifying those who are suffering with mental illness, and providing them with appropriate care. There are cultural problems at work here too; something as innocent and healthy as breast-feeding is considered pornographic and vulgar to many, but gun-porn & orgies of violence is omnipresent and unquestioned in media and elsewhere.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:36 pm 
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I agree of course but identifying the primary cause is a rather lofty aspiration here. There are so many factors that are coming together: lack of mental health care, gun control, violence in entertainment, measures to protect children etc.

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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:42 pm 
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I'm with Jikan, and the other posters.

I'm not big on Facebook, but threw this out there today:

"Information from Connecticut in the wake of the school shooting reveals that the killer was an isolated young man, with a possible personality disorder. So we have in the US a foundering health care system with limited access to mental health care, and a gun culture where guns are as plentiful in homes as TV sets, and a media culture where someone's naked butt can't be seen on TV, but images of shooting violence are prevalent in TV, video games and music. Gun violence is America's pornography. So, when you have a similar case in another country, http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/asi ... index.html, you have a tragedy. Take similar facts, and in the US you have a massacre. Desensitization to gun violence, proliferation of guns, and lack of treatment/information for the disordered and mentally ill, and you have the recipe for further tragedy."

It will be interesting to see how certain Buddhist leaders and communities respond. I feel that Buddhists may have a unique role to play in responding to violece tragedies. Today, Mike Huckabee (evangelical former US president hopeful) made a statement re these tragedies: " "We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"

I hope that the Buddhist community can take a leading role in framing the response to gun violence tragedy.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:51 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
I agree of course but identifying the primary cause is a rather lofty aspiration here. There are so many factors that are coming together: lack of mental health care, gun control, violence in entertainment, measures to protect children etc.


I'm sorry, I've had this conversation on the other board, but people outside the US really don't understand the situation here.
Gun control only affects the buying & selling of legal firearms.
If gun control went into 100% lockdown tomorrow, no buying and selling of legal guns & ammo, it would do nothing for these incidents.
First off, because so many guns are already in circulation legally; second reason is because it's so easy to procure guns & ammo illegally, third reason is because there are many people with the skills to make their own firearms & ammo.
Pandora's box has already been opened, you can't close it.
Guns are necessary in this country to control certain animal populations so they don't overbreed, overgraze, and wreak havoc on the local environment for themselves & other species.
Any attempt at putting the whole country on lockdown, either confiscating or tracking all guns, would still only account for legal guns held by owners who felt like playing along.
Most would see it as an attempt by a government that's gotten too large to take any means of self-protection away from the common citizen; which is what the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution was designed for.
Regardless of whether or not any firearms would be sufficient to dissuade a "tyrannical" government; that's what many people feel.
Where I live, it's more about dissuading armed robbers.

Even if you could erase guns, people will find other ways to kill.
Either cars & knives like some of the crazies in Japan, bombs like Timothy McVeigh, or box-cutters like the guys from 9/11.

The problem is culture.
When culture says it's okay to use lethal violence to "solve" your problems; then these things will keep happening - because people think it's justified.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Mentally ill is a very vague term.

Someone who spends all day long working at a job that causes harm to others, owns a huge property or properties and fences them off for their own personal use, hoards wealth for security, and thinks that toting a gun is a right, is mentally ill in my opinion.

Anyone on or striving towards this path IS mentally ill, but the majority of society gives them all the power, and they have most of the big guns, and they certainly don't see themselves as mentally ill, and we usually brand them as successful. :rolleye:

Until one finds and starts practicing the Dharma they will not be aware of the harm their actions cause to others and most importantly to themselves, they are ALL ignorant of this, and therefore are deserving of our forgiveness and compassion.

What tortures was this poor twenty year old kid enduring to think that killing his mother, father and children would cure. After doing this horrible deed and realising that it was unsatisfying he then turned the gun on himself for what he probably felt was the final escape. Now humanity will have to endure this mind in its new form.

Compassion for this young man :heart: compassion for those who do not see their ignorance :heart: compassion for tyrants :heart: compassion to all those enduring the depths of hell :heart:

Metta to those young babies :heart: I hope they passed quickly and with calm balanced minds, I wish them favorable rebirths. Metta to the parents of those children who suffered and who will suffer

because of this tragedy :heart: your work has just begun. Metta to all living beings in the universe :heart: may all beings come in contact with the dharma and experience real peace and happyness.


Last edited by lowlydog on Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:53 pm 
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lowlydog wrote:
Mentally ill is a very vague term.

Someone who spends all day long working at a job that causes harm to others, owns a huge property or properties and fences them off for their own personal use, hoards wealth for security, and thinks that toting a gun is a right, is mentally ill in my opinion.

Anyone on or striving towards this path IS mentally ill, but the majority of society gives them all the power, and they have most of the big guns, and they certainly don't see themselves as mentally ill, and we usually brand them as successful. :rolleye:

Until one finds and starts practicing the Dharma they will not be aware of the harm their actions cause to others and most importantly to themselves, they are ALL ignorant of this, and therefore are deserving of our forgiveness and compassion.

What tortures was this poor twenty year old kid enduring to think that killing his mother, father and children would cure. After doing this horrible deed and realising that it was unsatisfying he then turned the gun on himself for what he probably felt was the final escape. Now humanity will have to endure this mind in its new form.

Compassion for this young man :heart: compassion for those who do not see their ignorance :heart: compassion for tyrants :heart: compassion to all those enduring the depths of hell :heart:

Metta to those young babies :heart: I hope they passed quickly and with calm balanced minds, I wish them favorable rebirths. Metta to the parents of those children who suffered and who will suffer

because of this tragedy :heart: your work has just begun. Metta to all living beings in the universe :heart: may all being come in contact with the dharma and experience real peace and happyness.


:good:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Thank you for the advise from Tara Mandala (especially the "flash on emptiness").
I agree that a primary cause is impossible. It's very existence would heal by answering the sad question of - How could this happen?
There has to be much that goes awry for such violence to erupt and all the social inadequacies (those already mentioned being valid concerns) should be addressed.
As for me personally, I need to start with the mental health observation, just in order to breath in without hesitation, the suffering from that young man who perpetrated these acts...

peace,
Gabe

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:12 pm 
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http://cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2012 ... debate.cnn

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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Why is it that in previous generations these incidents almost never occurred, and yet people still had firearms? Rural dwellers in North America almost all had firearms for example, but there were not frequent incidents of massacres like this.

So what has gone wrong?

I often think the breakdown of family leads a lot of men towards psychotic behaviour. Even if they have an okay nuclear family, it isn't like it was before where you had a lot of extended family and friends at close range, acting as a kind of support for mental stability. Even if your parents are awful to you, you could still look to other relatives for support and even have them help you settle ongoing problems. If you don't have ready access to that kind of community, then over time a lot of anger will simmer and finally just explode.

So it begs the question, why has family broken down? Technology, suburban environments, long working hours outside the home, feminism, etc... are all contributing factors. Gun control doesn't really address the root of the problem. Again, in the past people had plenty of firearms. Violent crimes like robberies in some regions might have been higher than now, but those were criminal activities aimed at gaining something. These recent massacres are mental breakdowns by men who have just lost it.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:25 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
http://cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2012/12/15/pmt-panel-gun-control-debate.cnn


Wasn't much of a debate when you don't let the opposition talk or explain themselves.
Sweden had some good gun control laws too, didn't stop what happened there.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Well, this is just a clip. I think we have to watch a bigger segment to determine that.

Regardless of what one's opinion is, it is a conversation that needs to happen.

There also needs to be a conversation about mental health care.

And a conversation about the impact of violent images in our culture.

It is true it happened in Sweden, and Britain etc. But this is one of many such incidents in the US, and they are happening closer and closer together. There is something unique about how this is manifesting in America.

_________________
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:37 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
There also needs to be a conversation about mental health care.


Again, it begs the question why in the past before such a thing as mental health care existed did this sort of thing seldom ever happen? People were shot to death, sure, but that was often related to crime and passion, not psychotic outbursts directed at children or random people.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Perhaps you are right. Something about the way modern society is operating makes mental health care more of a necessity.

_________________
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:06 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
Perhaps you are right. Something about the way modern society is operating makes mental health care more of a necessity.


One odd thing is that these perpetrators often come from well enough economic backgrounds. They're not the bottom of the economic barrel, so to speak. They have privilege and status in society compared to a lot of other people. This is what makes it all the more perplexing. If it was downtrodden proletariat exercising violence against their oppressors it would not seem so psychotic, but this isn't the case. There is neither political nor economic incentives, and the perpetrators are not doing it for religious reasons either.

So why all this psychotic behaviour?

There are more occult reasons perhaps, but most people won't accept this, nor can a secular society envision the possibilities.

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