Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:45 pm

Or a kind Arhat or some Arya Bodhisattvas


They might be here with us, but AFAIK (I may be incorrect) the only newly enlightened ones in the time of No Dharma will be the self-cultivated Praktyekabuddhas.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Karma Dorje » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:18 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:I have a Turkish Bonpo Dharma brother that acts as a "tour guide" for Turkish Sufi groups travelling to India to visit their teachers. He fully recommends these guys here. They are a very open and, at the same time, very serious Sufi group.


The irony of a gay man using a Sufi group as justification to give a free pass to Wahhabism is lost on no one.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:04 am

JKhedrup wrote:Greg, how has any action I have advocated in any of threads I have posted proved the words of fanatics true, and how would it contribute to terrorists being seen as martyrs? Did you miss the part of my posts where I advocated the withdrawal of Western forces from Muslim areas and critiqued Isreal's human rights record? Or are you simply angry because I refuse to follow politically correct and liberal paradigms of bludgeoning the West and Isreal while at the same time excusing the disgusting abuse of women, homesexuals, non-Muslims and people who choose to convert from Islam in the middle East?
By entering into a dialogue of conflict with fanatics you (not you personally, but...) are playing straight into their hands. You are lending weight to their words. You are justifying their stance.

What would work better is to enter into a criticism of the actions of our fellow Buddhists. This would show to everybody that we are not willing to support their vicious and unjustified actions. That we support the "rule of law". That we support religious freedom. Etc... What would work better is to support and nurture moderate voices within Islam. What would work better is to show, through the example of your own actions, that Muslims and Buddhists can peacefully coexist.

Maybe we can learn something from the teachings of the Brahmajala Sutta or even consider that the best way to protect the Dharma is the teaching found in the Maha-Mangala Sutta
I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then a certain deva, in the far extreme of the night, her extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, approached the Blessed One. On approaching, having bowed down to the Blessed One, she stood to one side. As she stood to one side, she addressed him with a verse.


Many devas and human beings
give thought to protection,
desiring well-being.
Tell, then, the highest protection.
The Buddha:
Not consorting with fools,
consorting with the wise,
paying homage to those worthy of homage:
This is the highest protection.

Living in a civilized land,
having made merit in the past,
directing oneself rightly:
This is the highest protection.

Broad knowledge, skill,
well-mastered discipline,
well-spoken words:
This is the highest protection.

Support for one's parents,
assistance to one's wife and children,
consistency in one's work:
This is the highest protection.

Giving, living in rectitude,
assistance to one's relatives,
deeds that are blameless:
This is the highest protection.

Avoiding, abstaining from evil;
refraining from intoxicants,
being heedful of the qualities of the mind:
This is the highest protection.

Respect, humility,
contentment, gratitude,
hearing the Dhamma on timely occasions:
This is the highest protection.

Patience, compliance,
seeing contemplatives,
discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions:
This is the highest protection.

Austerity, celibacy,
seeing the Noble Truths,
realizing Unbinding:
This is the highest protection.

A mind that, when touched
by the ways of the world,
is unshaken, sorrowless, dustless, at rest:
This is the highest protection.

Everywhere undefeated
when acting in this way,
people go everywhere in well-being:
This is their highest protection.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:13 am

What would work better is to enter into a criticism of the actions of our fellow Buddhists. This would show to everybody that we are not willing to support their vicious and unjustified actions. That we support the "rule of law". That we support religious freedom. Etc... What would work better is to support and nurture moderate voices within Islam. What would work better is to show, through the example of your own actions, that Muslims and Buddhists can peacefully coexist.


Greg,

You have to understand something of the history of Burma. They are not going to listen to a bunch of White people just because we have converted to Buddhism. The reason that SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council, renamed SPDC State Peace and Development Council) government was able to rule with an iron hand and abuse its citizens was partly due to the spectre of colonialism and the stoking of Burmese fear of the West. The last thing that is going to "make them see the light"is a bunch of scolding from white Buddhists who will be seen as disingenuous at worst, interfering at best. We can try but I doubt they will listen. Such a campaign may actually stoke the nationalism and xenophobia that is at the root of the problem.

I actually don't advocate silence at all (even though many argue that for fundamentalist Muslim countries), because all human rights abuse should be called out. I am just pointing to the realities of the situation in Burma, its history, and its regime.

The truth is I could use your very same arguments for not speaking out about human rights abuse in Burma that you make for not speaking out against it in Muslim countries. But I will not, because my opinion is that that is moral hypocrisy- you either speak out against all injustice, or don't speak out against any at all. Anything besides that just isn't logical.

That we support the "rule of law". That we support religious freedom


To support the rule of law in Burma and religious freedom in our countries while at the same time giving a pass and not mentioning the grotesque human rights abuses against Women, Christians, homosexuals and members of Muslim minorities in Islamic states is the worst kind of moral hypocrisy that is the hallmark of the identity politics movement in universities and indeed in government. The hilarious part is that this school of thought was actually invented by white people with higher degrees sitting in their cosy ivory towers for the most part, hoping to secure tenure.

I support the rule of law in Burma, in Isreal, but also in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran and Somalia and I make absolutely no apologies for it. Indeed I would develop a sort of moral schizophrenia if I trained myself along the fashionable neo-liberal guidelines to ignore human rights abuses in some countries and broadly condemn them in others. The whole idea is pretty silly, frankly.

The Saudi refugee I spoke with in Halifax at my sister's has a rather different view. He is a Poli Sci student at a Canadian university, so he is very familiar with the type of view you are propounding.

"White liberals here think that by condemning human rights abuses in non-Muslim countries but ignoring religious based abuses through Sharia and other constructs in Muslim countries they are bring sensitive. I personally wonder if it is not their own internal sense of security that they are trying to protect. I wonder if it is because it is not white women that are being stoned to death, or white homsexuals that are being hung, that they can ignore the suffering of oppressed Arabs in Muslim countries as "cultural sensitivity". Their unwillingness to speak out against these atrocities leads to the suffering and fear of thousands in Islamic regimes every day."
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Indrajala » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:52 am

JKhedrup wrote:Their unwillingness to speak out against these atrocities leads to the suffering and fear of thousands in Islamic regimes every day."


Human rights violations in the rest of the world only matters to the NATO power bloc when a country fails to cooperate with western business interests.

If you attempted to police the whole Middle East, it simply wouldn't be good for business. It doesn't really matter to most of the west what goes on in Saudi Arabia provided they abide by their side of the bargain. Their atrocities would only be an issue if they stopped cooperating.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:01 pm

:good:

I am in wholehearted agreement. Our moral conscience (and outrage) is selective.

Perhaps this identity politics was coined by the interests that require a steady flow of petroleum from the middle east :tongue:
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Indrajala » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:00 pm

I don't really think of the west as really being driven by elevated morals, despite what all the differing shades of propaganda from the left and right would say. It is simply looking out for its own interests as any sphere of power does. The moral justification comes only after the fact. If one tries to suggest this is wrong and that things ought to change, it ignores the fact the people crying for reform are equally beneficiaries of unearned wealth as the western political class is.

White liberal intellectuals seem to think of themselves as the paragons of virtue and representatives of the acme of human ethics, when in reality they're generally just as self-interested and hypocritical as those they feel contempt for.

What is morally right and wrong isn't terribly relevant when it comes down to the cold hard realities of resource acquisition and the elevated standards of living access to unearned wealth provides. The moralizing and talk of human rights takes second place to wealth acquisition.

I think if we understand these points, the reality of the world will be a lot clearer.

The west will crush uncooperative foreign countries if they fail to tow the line which is suited to western interests, regardless of whatever atrocities they commit against their own people.

I don't believe any nation could be successful and strong without some degree of exploitation and ghoulish violence. If they don't do it, then their enemies will simply take advantage of them. Predators are always present, especially when a community is weak and undefended. However, in order to defend yourself properly you probably need to resort of exploitation, even if it just means drafting your young men and sending them off to die.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:11 pm

What can I say Venerable? It seems that now you are saying that we can do nothing either from within (as Buddhists) or without (as non-Muslims). I guess that just leaves taming our own minds then. What a surprise! :smile:
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:18 pm

For me the choice is pretty clear- I choose to call out all injustice. Not that it will make a huge difference at the end of the day, but at least I'll be able to live with myself. Some may say a monk should just ignore these types of issues altogether. What can I say? The suffering of others compels me to say something, though I realize it may be in many ways more pragmatic to just shut up.

The "sensitivity" argument that is paraded around to allow us to ignore the human rights abuses in Muslim countries is the major beef of mine. It could also be used to remain silent about Burma.

I choose to remain silent about neither, and let the cards fall where they may. It is the hypocrisy of neo-liberal thinking, that people are trained in since university, that allows silence on so many atrocities to be tolerated, while others are selectively called out. In fact, human rights and moral courage have been defeated through selective conscience and I think that is a great tragedy.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:02 pm

I'm not saying that intolerance should be tolerated, I am saying that the best way to convince somebody of the veracity of your view is by example. Now if you disaree with that, or consider it neo-liberal (you started off calling it liberal and now it is neo-liberal, it's getting newer as it goes along :smile: ) then fine.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:22 pm

Definition of liberal:
broad-minded; especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms


When this philosophy becomes selective, ignoring authoritarianism and traditional values that trample on the rights of others, I decided to refer to it as neo-liberalism. It is a selective application of liberal principles according to the modern laws of identity politics and political correctness, which leads to a peculiar silence that shrilly denounces human rights abuses by some and strategically ignores them by others.

I am saying that the best way to convince somebody of the veracity of your view is by example


How are you defining "example". I think a good example to show is that we call out all human rights abuses across the board and are not selective to preserve our politically correct image. I don't feel you set a good example by posting numerous statements about human rights in Burma while strategically avoiding discussion or condemnation of the ones that occur in the Middle East, inspired by material from Islamic scripture. If Islamic scripture calls for the subjugation of women, chopping off of hands, killing of apostates etc. then it needs to be re-examined. People who are willing to re-examine it are what I would call moderates, and should be supported (and protected from the danger presented by fanatics in their own homelands, like that poor girl who tried to go to school and thankfully now is in the UK). No one who is prepared to defend such draconian policies in the name of religion can be considered a moderate according to any reasonable definition.

This type of hypocrisy is mesmerizing in its blatancy. If we look at the great non-violent leaders of history they fought, just not with weapons of their fists. They fought against oppression and called it out- exposing the uncomfortable hypocrisies of the world. It is too bad that apart from ageing luminaries like HH Dalai Lama we have very few examples like we did in the past. And when we do, they tend to come from the countries of oppression where people have every reason to remain silent, but meanwhile white academics and professors create constructs that cripple true dialogue with the invisible and confusing rules of political correctness followed by the academic elite in anti-oppression, social science and sociology.

This is the modern Western answer to the historical examples of Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhiji, and so forth. It is a pale glimmer of what was once a glorious dream of justice according to the same, fair rules for everyone. Hard to achieve? Yes. But impossible if the current climate of moral hypocrisy continues.

Do you feel people who hold the view of killing apostates as scripturally sound can ever be considered moderates?
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:58 pm

Fundamentally if one is a Liberal one should be diametrically opposed to the Islamic writings that advocate killing apostates, homosexuals, subjugation of women and stoning of adulteresses. If one speaks out against Burma but does not speak out against the above, then I call one a neo-liberal, in the sense that Liberal principles are applied selectively, according to the edicts of political correctness.

The principle is like this: If I accept an invitation to protest at the Isreali consulate (which I did prior to being a monk) due to human rights violations, I should be just as willing to protest at the Saudi or Iranian consulate. Otherwise I'm not really a Liberal at all, as I am willing to play political games with my values.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:12 pm

Fundamentally, I am not really willing to judge all Muslims as guilty because of the actions of a few fanatics. Just like I am not willing to judge all Buddhists as guilty because of the actions of a few fanatics. I try to avoid sweeping generalisations and neat little boxes. Mainly because I find that reality is not about neat little boxes.

Anyway, you better get used to Islam and Muslims, because as the second largest (1,570 million) and fasting growing (twice the growth rate of any other religion) religion in the world, it's going to around for a long time yet.

I also consider your attempt to paint me as a palaeo-liberal/liberal/neo-liberal somewhat absurd, since I have not quoted any political writers from the specific mileu to support my line of thinking, up to this point the only person I have quoted is the Buddha.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:39 pm

Fundamentally, I am not really willing to judge all Muslims as guilty because of the actions of a few fanatics. Just like I am not willing to judge all Buddhists as guilty because of the actions of a few fanatics.


Where did I say all Muslims are guilty? In fact, I said the moderates should be protected, and those targeted for their scriptural interpretations like the Ahmadiyyas protected. I am saying that the political structures of oppression based on Sharia that allow rife human rights abuses to take place across much of the Muslim world (it goes far beyond just Saudi Arabia), should be judged. In fact, these structures of oppression harm Muslims more than any other group- I think that I am advocating securing the rights of Muslims by arguing against grotesque applications of scripture that are becoming more widespread, not less, amongst Muslim regimes.

What about the rights of my sister's Muslim friend who had to become a refugee in Canada because of his homosexuality? Why do homosexual groups decide not to buy vodka from Russia (a relatively easy thing to abstain from) due to laws about homosexual propaganda, but not speak up about the abuses in the Islamic world? Aren't those a little more pressing, since lives are actually at stake? It just doesn't make sense to me.
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:58 pm

Anyway, you better get used to Islam and Muslims, because as the second largest (1,570 million) and fasting growing (twice the growth rate of any other religion) religion in the world, it's going to around for a long time yet.


I can get used to Muslims no problem-I am used to them and have several friends from Pakistan as well as my sister's Saudi friend I mentioned. They are aware of my views on the application of Sharia and 2 of them have confirmed they left their countries to escape it. In fact, I would argue that I care about their rights more than most so-called Liberals, as I want them to be safe from persecution in their countries due to antiquated laws that were formulated as scripture hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

If getting used to Islam means being willing to remain silent about doctrines such as these, I'm not interested. Because that would be the same as getting used to people not having basic human rights:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found relatively widespread popular support for death penalty as a punishment for apostasy in Egypt (84% of respondents in favor of death penalty), Jordan (86% in favor), Indonesia (30% in favor), Pakistan (76% favor) and Nigeria (51% in favor)


Apostasy in Islam (Arabic: ردة‎ riddah, literally means: "relapse" or "regress" but usually translates to "apostasy", or ارتداد irtidād) is commonly defined in Islam as the rejection in word or deed of one's former religion (apostasy) by a person who was previously a follower of Islam. Islamic scholarship differs on its punishment, ranging from execution – based on an interpretation of certain hadiths – to no punishment at all as long as they do not rebel against the Islamic society or religion.[1] The majority of Muslim scholars hold to the traditional view that apostasy is punishable by death or imprisonment until repentance, at least for adult men of sound mind.[2][3][4] Several contemporary Muslim scholars, including influential Islamic reformers have rejected this, arguing for religious freedom instead.[3][5][6][7] Converts from Islam to Christianity have likewise criticized the traditional position.[8] According to Islamic law apostasy is identified by a list of actions such as conversion to another religion, denying the existence of God, rejecting the prophets, mocking God or the prophets, idol worship, rejecting the sharia, or permitting behavior that is forbidden by the sharia, such as adultery or the eating of forbidden foods or drinking of alcoholic beverages

Contemporary Islamic Shafi`i jurists such as the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa,[62][63] Shi'a jurists such as Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri,[64] and some jurists, scholars and writers of other Islamic sects, have argued or issued fatwas that either the changing of religion is not punishable or is only punishable under restricted circumstances, but these minority opinions have not found broad acceptance among the majority of Islamic scholars


[quote]Saudi Arabia and Iran maintain religious courts for all aspects of jurisprudence, and religious police assert social compliance. Sharia is also used in Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Some states in northern Nigeria have reintroduced Sharia courts. In practice the new Sharia courts in Nigeria have most often meant the reintroduction of relatively harsh punishments without respecting the much tougher rules of evidence and testimony of regular courts. The punishments include amputation of one/both hand(s) for theft, stoning for adultery, and execution for apostasy. In 1980, Pakistan, under the leadership of President Zia-ul-Haq, the Federal Shariat Court was created and given jurisdiction to examine any existing law to ensure it was not repugnant to Islam[66] and in its early acts it passed ordinances that included five that explicitly targeted religious minorities: a law against blasphemy; a law punishing the defiling of the Qur'an; a prohibition against insulting the wives, family, or companions of the Prophet of Islam; and two laws specifically restricting the activities of Ahmadis, who were declared non-Muslims[/quote]
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:02 pm

From the same article:

Laws prohibiting religious conversion run contrary to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Co ... Ex-Muslims
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:12 pm

This is the third time you have trotted out these examples. What you are failing to acknowledge though is that politics falls squarely into the realm of the eight worldly dharmas, and the only real antidote to the eight worldly dharmas is Dharma. Political solutions are rarely solutions since global politics is primarily about expedience. Take a look at all the interventions made by the West in the Muslim world, how many of these interventions have brought solutions for the problems plagueing the citizens of the countries where the interventions were carried out? NONE! Why? Because none of the interventions were made in order to satisfy the needs of the citizens of the countries where the interventions occured. And not only that, but the interventions actually stifled fledgling democratic movements in those (and related) countries and increased the support for extremists.

The US already intervenes in Saudi politics, it supports the Saudi political system.

The US funded the Mujahadein in Afghanistan to fight the USSR (the previous politcal threat to their world order). Now they they pretend that don't like the Taliban? How come they don't like the Taliban but they like the Wahhabism/Salafism of Saudi Arabia? Expediency. Pure and simple.

Why is the West up in arms about North Korean Communism but is just fine with Chinese Communism? Expediency.

Why did they bomb the crap out of Serbia but not Croatia? Expediency.

Etc... Now if you reckon you can find the end of thread in that Gordian knot then go for it!
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:19 pm

I won't disagree with you there. The US policies definitely fall into the category of what I termed moral schizophrenia. I am fully aware they prop up the Saudi regime for its petroleum resources and covered that in an above point.

The examples were not the same- the ones above were a detailed look at Sharia law and its application.

I agree dharma and the antidotes to the 8 Worldly concerns are the solution on the ultimate level. That is why I would like to take (peaceful) steps to make sure it is still around. It saddens me that people are willing to chalk it up to impermanence and do nothing, rather than recognize our actions do have a great impact on whether the teachings remain in the world or not.

Anways, I have presented my points at length here and think they are at least worthy of hearing. I don't expect to convince you, and this thread has become a back and forth between you and I without much participation, so until either of us has new or startling points to address I am happy to withdraw. :smile:
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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:35 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I agree dharma and the antidotes to the 8 Worldly concerns are the solution on the ultimate level. That is why I would like to take (peaceful) steps to make sure it is still around. It saddens me that people are willing to chalk it up to impermanence and do nothing, rather than recognize our actions do have a great impact on whether the teachings remain in the world or not.
I didn't chalk anything up to impermanence. I don't need to. It is the way things are, whether one acknowledges it or not.

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Re: Ajahn Sujato on hate speech re:Buddhists in Aus. mosque

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:54 pm

That is a mischaracterization and you know it. I am not saying that impermanence is not a cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy or indeed nature.

I am saying "impermanence" is a poor excuse to throw one's hands in the air and do nothing when well considered action can indeed make a difference. The three seals should not be used as an excuse for complacency.
Have a nice evening.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
 
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