Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofChina?

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Re: Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofCh

Postby uan » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:28 pm

JKhedrup wrote:
'd be curious to know what your involvement and support of the CTFA is? Have you posted here calling on people to support them or other similar organizations? Have you worked to extend their reach? It's interesting, I do see lots of overseas TB lamas, etc. who do go back to Tibet (which the Chinese allow), to restore their former monasteries and the like. Start with positives and move from there. Find the positive expression of a situation, and move to expand on that, rather than finding the negative in a situation, and trying stamp it out.


Uan you don't know me or what I do- I may not call on people here to support such initiatives but I am very involved. As I said, I spent long periods in monasteries of the Chinese tradition and very much enjoyed my experience in one of them. My decision to work within the Tibetan tradition is due primarily to the fact that I have good connections with many of its teachers and can use my Tibetan language ability to serve the dharma. If my Chinese had been better than my Tibetan, things could have been quite different.


JKhedrup, you're correct, I don't know you. However, I wasn't calling you out or challenging you. There should be some smilies icon that could be used to indicate that (that misconception seems to happen quite a bit around here).

Nor did I think you were calling me out when you suggested "Rather than defend SARA and the BAC, why not think about supporting organizations like the Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Association". My question was out of genuine curiosity, as I didn't didn't want to assume anything.

My impression, gathered by this thread and a few others I've seen you make, is that while you are indicating wanting to make positive changes, that your public position on DW is focused more on the negative aspects of things, and your calls to actions are primarily negative in approach, i.e., be against something, rather than be for something.

The general purpose of this thread, as I see it, is you putting forth what you think is beneficial for the Dharma in China. Which is definitely a worthwhile objective. However, I think your specific approach in this case is not beneficial, as the means you advocate aren't dharmic, imho. I'm aware we will disagree on this, and that's okay with me. I'm not trying to change your mind. I just wanted to contribute another viewpoint to this thread that I thought was missing.
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Re: Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofCh

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:52 pm

Uan,

I am against the BAC because I am for Buddhism without political interference.

The human rights situation in China is not improving, it is worsening. There is huge potential for the flourishing of Buddhism in China, and this is being hampered by government through organs such as SARA.

The tone of my posts these days is tempered by the very desperate situation the Tibetans are facing, and the waning concern for their welfare as the economic clout of China grows. If you look at my posts as a history you will see historically they were very mild. The current, serious situation of human rights abuses across China requires more than politeness to address. It is the dharma that is at stake. I am under no illusions. I am not calling for anything drastic like sit ins or violence. I am questioning whether it simply might be better to call out the BAC when it tries to manipulate Buddhism rather than capitulate.

The PRC government has shown time and time again that it sees Buddhism and all religious traditions as possible threats to its monopoly on power. This is important information for people to know and understand. To sit back and say that calling out human rights abuses is negative is to disregard the thousands of people deprived of freedom in China, who can be shot for attending a birthday celebration of the Dalai Lama or sent to jail for being unwilling to sell their valuable farmland to state corporations to build factories.

You mention HHDL's conciliatory attitude- it is true, he will always advocate non-violence and compassion. But he does not sugarcoat the situation or kowtow to cruel authorities- after all, he did call the situation in some Tibetan regions "Hell on Earth".

Politeness is just simply irresponsible at this point. Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh tried with good intentions to play nice with the Communist authorities in Viet Nam and it lead to disaster at the Bhat Nha monastery. You think my approach is negative, I think the picture you paint is naieve.
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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Re: Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofCh

Postby uan » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:33 pm

JKhedrup

yes, I guess I am naive. But I'm okay with that.

However, there are more options than either capitulating or calling out an organization. I actually don't think the values that underscore Buddhism says one should capitulate, or call out. The middle path that HHDL and TNH follow are good examples. There is a moral power in their positions that can't be overcome. Sure, in the moment yes, you can lose out, but over time, as the storm subsides, they gain in stature. This is the legacy of Ghandi. This is the legacy of Martin Luther King.

If one chooses the path of confrontation, the only chance of success is if it's grounded with a deep core of compassion, as exemplified by HHDL. Unfortunately, most of us do not have that level of bodhichitta.

There's emptiness and impermanence. People live and die. Countries rise and fall. Things are built and then destroyed. But the dharma will remain. I can empathize with your passion for the suffering you see. If we were on another forum, I'd have a different type of conversation with you. But we are on a Buddhist forum, and I choose to be naive.
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Re: Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofCh

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Uan,

Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhiji were famous also for their peaceful style of civil disobedience. I believe they would have challenged publicly the religious freedom violations perpetuated by SARA and BAC regulations.
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
JKhedrup
 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofCh

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:51 am

"JKhedrup"
I am against the BAC because I am for Buddhism without political interference.

isn't the HH Dalai Lama a political leader Do you not consider that political interference?
isn't there a Exiled Tibetan government in india thats entirely based on Buddhist monks do you not consider that political interference?
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Re: Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofCh

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:46 am

If you read my other posts you will see that I strongly feel the mixture of religion and politics is partly what led to Tibet so easily falling to the PLA.

HH Dalai Lama has retired from all political responsibility and is dedicating himself to dharma and the promotion of harmony amongst the various religions and the protection of Tibetan culture.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/ma ... life-tibet
http://www.dalailama.com/messages/retirement

HH Dalai Lama did a remarkable job for so long. The system was flawed, but due to his extraordinary qualities he made it work for the benefit of his people, and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

I don't see the CPC authorities being nominated for any human rights awards.

isn't there a Exiled Tibetan government in india thats entirely based on Buddhist monks do you not consider that political interference?


The previous exile PM was a monk but the current PM is a Harvard educated layman. The VAST majority of Tibetan MPs in the govt. in exile are laypeople.

Before making such statements why not research the situation a bit? http://tibet.net/about-cta/legislature/
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofCh

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:39 am

JKhedrup"]If you read my other posts you will see that I strongly feel the mixture of religion and politics is partly what led to Tibet so easily falling to the PLA.

HH Dalai Lama has retired from all political responsibility and is dedicating himself to dharma and the promotion of harmony amongst the various religions and the protection of Tibetan culture.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/ma ... life-tibet
http://www.dalailama.com/messages/retirement

HH Dalai Lama did a remarkable job for so long. The system was flawed, but due to his extraordinary qualities he made it work for the benefit of his people, and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

I don't see the CPC authorities being nominated for any human rights awards.

But isn't that the point,for the Dali lama to be retired from politics means he was once a politician,and as you already admitted the government is filled with monks as politicians(literally all the Tibetan Buddhist schools get to choose 2 monks from each school to represent in the government) so they are still very much into politics still.(this undermines what you said earlier)

Son of Buddha
isn't there a Exiled Tibetan government in india thats entirely based on Buddhist monks do you not consider that political interference?


JKhedrup
The previous exile PM was a monk but the current PM is a Harvard educated layman. The VAST majority of Tibetan MPs in the govt. in exile are laypeople.

Before making such statements why not research the situation a bit? http://tibet.net/about-cta/legislature/

I asked a question,I didn't make a statement
the research from your own link states "the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon faith elect two members each."
(this undermines your point to begin with)
as you can see Tibetan Buddhist schools have an automatic position in the government,so they are still very much still political(I don't know of many other governments that give automatic government positions to religious leaders)
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Re: Is it ethical to work with the Buddhist Association ofCh

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:28 pm

as you already admitted the government is filled with monks as politicians(literally all the Tibetan Buddhist schools get to choose 2 monks from each school to represent in the government)


Please quote me rather than telling me what I admitted without evidence. There are 10 seats of the legislature that are set aside for the democratically elected representatives- 2 each from Gelug, Sakya, Kagyu, Nyingma and Bon. This was formulated to address the former monopoly of the Gelug school.
filled with monks as politicians


Not true. There are 44 members is the Parliament. 10 of those seats are reserved as outlined above, and not all the religious representatives are monks. Last I checked, out of the 44 members at most 6 were monks, so the statement "filled with monks" is a false assertion. And I will state, the religious representatives are chosen based on free elections, the members of the BAC and SARA are appointed by a totalitarian government.

http://tibet.net/about-cta/legislature/
Today, the Parliament consists of 44 members. Ten members each from U-Tsang, Do-tod and Do-med, the three traditional provinces of Tibet, while the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon faith elect two members each. Four members are elected by Tibetans in the west: two from Europe, one from North America and one from Canada.


But isn't that the point,for the Dali lama to be retired from politics means he was once a politician


We can either dwell on the past or focus on the present. I agree the previous Tibetan political system was not desirable and had many problems and have never asserted otherwise.. However HHDL served as a uniting force for a stateless people- to step away too soon would have been a mistake. Now the Exile Government structure is changing- with a cabinet made up entirely of laypeople http://tibet.net/about-cta/executive/ (once again, filled with monks is a bit rich, considering all the cabinet members are lay men and laywomen). The economic and social climate in China has also changed, but the structure of the CPC has not.

Secondly, we know the TGIE is in essence a symbolic body. The CPC on the other hand wields power over a vast country inhabited by 1.3 Billion people. We can see who wields more power, and understand that a body appointed by atheists who are members of a totalitarian political system does not represent the interests of the dharma.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

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