Tobes, are you free of contradictions and hypocrisy? I know I am not.tobes wrote:I take your point here - but might there be an untenable contradiction between extolling the merits of ethical living and actually being an affluent business folk??
"Meditating keeps me calm, sharp and happy so I can trade stocks all day...." Is that really excellent? It's okay if I buy organic butter and say enough mantras at night?
That contradiction is what I'm trying to get at.
Would it be better if they didn't mediate to be calm? If they didn't buy organic butter? If they didn't say some mantras at night?
I don't think so. It certainly would not be better for them and then, when I have to deal with them, it will be worse for me. Okay, maybe they are not going to get liberated in this lifetime (like I am???) but there are connections being made. Some merit is being produced. If, for the sake of avoiding hypocrisy, we were forced to choose between abandoning all practices or abandoning all samsaric activity I think you will find that most of us would probably choose the first of the two options (we do most of the time anyway).
As a psychologist, I used to run stress management through mindfulness programs. I have had hundreds of "patients" (students). Thrughout the course of the programs (which have a multidisciplinary approach to the analysis of stress: psychological, physiological, social, etc..) I constantly emphasised where the techniques originated from and used many examples from Buddhist literature. From those hundreds about twenty then went on to do a short course on basic Buddhist "theory" and practice: Four Noble Truths, Dependent origination, models of mind, anapanasati, etc... From those twenty, three (that I know of) continue with Buddhist practices. Three out of a few hundred. Does that mean I failed?
As Bodhisattvas we have to work with people exactly where they are at. If we wait for a perfect world with perfect people, well, needless to say, they are not going to need our help are they?
Does the stock broker need a mantra to calm their mind after a day of stomping on the stockholders? We give it to them. We point out the negative nature of their actions, but we also give them a way to deal with the negativity. Why? Sun Tzu says that if you wish to defeat an encircled foe, yet minimise the damage which the foe will cause, you have to leave them a small opening. You have to give them the feeling that they can retreat, that way their will to resist will be lessened.