Peace and equality.

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Peace and equality.

Postby muni » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:24 am

Lasting peace has been the dream of civilizations throughout human history. In this violent and troubled century, which has produced so much war and fear, the dream of forging a lasting peace in the world has grown even more urgent. Our tragedy has been that those of us who are alive today continue to "use war to stop war." War does not stop war; it only brings more violence and pain into the world.

There are many problems in the world today: the strong exploit the weak, some people are wealthy while others are poor, the world's races and religions are often at odds with each other, and throughout most of the world, both men and women are not treated equally. These conditions only lead to strife. That is why we say, "Discord arises out of unfair treatment." When people are not treated equally, there will always be complaints and conflict between them.
For this reason, we have chosen "equality and peace" as the theme of this conference. I hope that everyone gathered here will take the twin ideals of equality and peace back to their communities with them. Through our concerted efforts, I am certain that we can succeed in helping all people of the world understand and appreciate the importance of these profound ideals.

Let's begin by talking about equality. From ancient times, people have pondered the meaning and importance of equality, but when it comes to actually implementing this ideal in the real world, their efforts have often failed. There are several Buddhist principles that can help us to better understand the deep meaning of equality and how to practice it in daily life. Buddhists often say "All sentient beings and Buddhas are equal," "Essence and form are equal," "Self and others are equal," "Phenomena and principles are equal," and "Being and nonbeing are equal." These basic principles of Buddhism help to elucidate the following four points:

Equality among people completely depends on their having mutual respect for one another.

http://www.blia.org/english/about/words ... kn1996.htm
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby Aemilius » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:33 am

I read there that BLIA has planted 20 million trees in Taiwan.That is good news.

Some Mahayana sutras, like Medicine Buddha Sutra, explain that the Three groups of precepts are: 1.Not doing harmful actions, 2. Doing good actions and 3. Doing beneficial actions.

I have asked a buddhist teacher what does the tradition explain about the third category? Very recently I found a list of beneficial actions in the book The Dawn of Chinese Pureland Doctrine, which mentions several things like digging wells and repairing roads, etc.. after that the usual dharma activities of copying sutras, etc..

Thomas Cleary he says in one of his his books that Linchi and some other Zen masters planted thousands of trees during their lives. Which is remarkable because it took place long time ago.

Now the question is: Did the monks and nuns of the BLIA themselves plant the trees in Taiwan? Or did they emply workers to do that?
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby Aemilius » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:13 am

In his keynote speech the speaker says: "If only the peoples of the Korean peninsula etc ...and in Arab states could rise to that level of mutual respect and selflessness, then how could peace in this world not be far behind?"
Indeed??
How do you understand that? Is it a subconscious slip of tongue, i.e. that war is reality?
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby muni » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:30 am

[quote="Aemilius"]In his keynote speech the speaker says: "If only the peoples of the Korean peninsula etc ...and in Arab states could rise to that level of mutual respect and selflessness, then how could peace in this world not be far behind?"
quote]

You are reading mind. Mutual respect and selflessness I see here. "Labels" are not able to listen to each other due to walls of delusion. Delusion of characteristics of "the other" and "me", gives peace in mind no any chance. Through deep listening can there not be a single winner.
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby muni » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:47 pm

We are in fact good trained skilful masochists by our habits. It looks like we need itches. We need itches so much! If not we are lost! :toilet: Peace is boring man!

It was Thich Nhat Hanh who said: " when we are really motivated by the wish to help those in pain of ignorance, seeing how they truly are( buddhas ), then we ourselves are free from own suffering". In judging/fighting we suffer in the first place ourselves.

Okay! Go to tell such in the middle of a battle. Maybe to break/cut through the harming seriousness of the rusty dream we should put some loudspeakers and start some hopping music. Hello Josephine, how do you do?
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby Aemilius » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:26 pm

You can look at the question from different angles, one is that population is the smallest unit we need to consider when looking at the history and development of humanity. Population means different peoples and units called self sovereign states, or independent countries. A human being is always just one member in a population.

Sangha is also a population unit that tries to influence the larger units of peoples and states. A sangha should not be a slave of the biological unit of state, with its interests and purposes. Here sangha means just that, a unit that is free of biological and nationalistic interests. It has a transcendental purpose, the manifestation and development of arya pudgalas, eight kinds of noble beings, and of bodhisattvas.
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby AdmiralJim » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:16 am

I think the cause of peace would also be helped if people stopped believing with absolute certainty what happens to them when they try to answer life's big questions.
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby Aemilius » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:13 pm

Aemilius wrote:I read there that BLIA has planted 20 million trees in Taiwan.That is good news.

Some Mahayana sutras, like Medicine Buddha Sutra, explain that the Three groups of precepts are: 1.Not doing harmful actions, 2. Doing good actions and 3. Doing beneficial actions.


I'd like to know if anyone knows more about the Three Groups of Precepts in the Mahayana?

The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism knows them by the names: Three Bodies of Pure precepts, Three Comprehensive Precepts and Three Kinds of Pure Precepts, but doesn't give much explanation of them.

I don't find them in the Brahma Net sutra. They are mentioned in the Sutra of the Confession Before 35 Buddhas.

The list in The Dawn Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Doctrine is (p.176): Widening roads, digging wells, planting orchards, providing medical care and medicine for the sick, building monks' quarters, making offerings to those who observe the precepts and preach the Dharma, casting images, building stupas, & making various kinds of offerings.

The Sutra of Maitreya Bodhisattva's Attainment of Buddhahood says in the beginning of sutra: "At that time the Buddha's four groups of disciples repaired and leveled roads." ( Rulu's translation).

In the Khuddaka Nikaya the Bhagavan says:" Monks, be not afraid of good works!"


I hope this important Mahayana teaching is not totally lost !?
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby muni » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:02 am

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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby Aemilius » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:19 am

I think they are wilfully misinterpreting the issue; Three groups of precepts is not same as Three precepts, that are derived from Dhammapada by changing "purifying the mind" into "benefiting others".

The expression "Three groups of precepts" is also found in the Sravakayana Vinaya, this is said in History of Buddhism in India: from Shakyamuni to Early Mahayana (by Hirakawa Akira & Paul Groner). Three Bodies of Precepts or Three Groups of Precepts is a Mahayana counterpart to it. This is evident from the way it exists in the Mahayana Sutras I have mentioned, ( Medicine Buddha Sutra and The Confession before 35 Buddhas).
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby Aemilius » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:05 pm

We have the 10 Paths of Wholesome Action, Dasa Kusala Dharma Patha, that is a still existent list of actions that falls in the second category of the Three Groups of Precepts, i.e. doing good. Generally all the existing lists of precepts are prohibitive, i.e. they belong to the first group of precepts.
On this basis we can assume that in the early stages of the Mahayana Dharma all of the Three Categories of Precepts existed. What we have now left are only precepts of the prohibitive category, except the 10 Paths of Wholesome Action, that still exists in its positive formulation. And maybe just fragments of beneficial actions scattered here and there in the sutras and commentaries, like the one found in the Dawn of Chinese Pureland Buddhist Doctrine.
We can also assume that the Three Groups of precepts existed in the original Dharma & Discipline from which all of the present schools have evolved.
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby Indrajala » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:38 pm

muni wrote:Equality among people completely depends on their having mutual respect for one another.

http://www.blia.org/english/about/words ... kn1996.htm


Looking at this speech I see a lot of idealistic statements and platitudes, as well as contradictions with how things work in the real Buddhist world.

A fundamental Buddhist principal is that we all should respect and treat one another equally.


This isn't how things work in the Buddhist world. People might say we're all equal, but clearly some are more equal than others. This is expressed in the even the simplest of protocols like letting monastics eat first, giving them priority seating and venerating their experience and understanding over that of laypeople. Moreover, in Buddhist organizations you have the in-crowd and everyone else. Members are treated with preferential respect.


Buddhists are enjoined to respect all nations of the world, all races, social classes, genders, and ages among people.


However, in reality this is not so. Look at all the opposition against bhikkuni (nun) ordinations in SE Asia.


Two thousand five hundred years ago in India, the Buddha said, "When the rivers run into the sea, they all lose their separate names; when the four castes enter into Buddhism, they lose all distinctions among them." Because of this inherent equality in Buddhism, monastics and believers during and after the time of the Buddha were able to unite and carry the teachings of the Buddha to every corner of India.


This is questionable. The Buddha rejected caste, but there is evidence that caste still weighed heavily on Indian thinkers' minds.

From India, Buddhism has spread easily and quickly throughout the world. Because Buddhists believe in the fundamental equality of all cultures, they are able to respect and adapt readily to the ways of other people.


Not always. Case in point is how the Vinaya has often been rigorously upheld in foreign lands despite reform being required. This is contrary to what the Buddha allowed for -- that the Vinaya may be adapted to the customs and cultures of foreign lands.


In all of human history, there never has been a war fought over Buddhism.


This is unfortunately untrue. Modern Sri Lanka usually bites anyone in the rear when they make such statements.

Buddhism teaches very clearly that when there is first respect and a sense of equality among people, there will never be war among them. This is the prescription for peace and progress.


Really? Where is this taught?

The Harmony of Views. This means we try to be united in our thoughts and beliefs. We try to have the same understanding of the Dharma, take the Dharma to be the standard for all our behavior, and abandon egocentric thinking.


We should all have the same understanding of the Dharma as the speaker?

Many nations in the world today are actively implementing very productive policies on which a better future can be built. Material aid is being given to third world countries, scientific and industrial skills are being shared around the world, religions are carrying on active dialogues with one another, and policies that protect the environment are being implemented in many countries. Europe has formed the European Economic Community; North America has created NAFTA; Asian nations are cooperating with one another economically. International monetary organizations are advocating greater political and economic cooperation among nations. Private business, too, has begun to realize the importance of doing things that are good for society. In all, these tendencies are bringing into the world a climate of civilized responsibility and caring that can only be of great benefit to the welfare of everyone.


Idealistic hogwash. Even in 1996 all of this was still hogwash. Most of what is being mentioned here are exploitative organizations backed by crooked banks and governments. The 3rd world gets some token bread and beans from us, meanwhile we continue to extract their wealth while gunning down anyone who resists.

This doesn't surprise me at all coming from BLIA.

Much of this speech reads as a call for smiling obedience. Just be a good boy or girl and good things will come to you. Self-aggrandizing. It is idealistic without actually presenting a coherent method of addressing the real problems of the world.
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby muni » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:45 pm

Conditioned.

There can be no Peace when there is clinging. Peace and equality 'depends' on own Mind only. Through a conditioned state by karma can there be a striving for "peace - equality" by mental habits. Or maybe a kind of less suffering created peaceful state can arise out of better circumstances (which is fine!), but obscurations in own mind aren't removed by such.

Respect because of this or that from me to you or he or she...., I don't know how to say. Maybe an example how i see respect for Guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha by devotion-compassion. Those aren't two, like a drop of water/devotion in a glass of water/compassion cannot be split, it is in fact respect for ones own nature and not for ones ideas about this or that.
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Re: Peace and equality.

Postby Aemilius » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:13 am

Huseng wrote:
muni wrote:Equality among people completely depends on their having mutual respect for one another.

http://www.blia.org/english/about/words ... kn1996.htm


Looking at this speech I see a lot of idealistic statements and platitudes, as well as contradictions with how things work in the real Buddhist world.

Much of this speech reads as a call for smiling obedience. Just be a good boy or girl and good things will come to you. Self-aggrandizing. It is idealistic without actually presenting a coherent method of addressing the real problems of the world.


I have read parts of Establishing a Pureland on Earth: the Foguang..., I find it really interesting. The greatest compassion of a Buddha is establishing a Spiritual community, a system of teaching. It is the most demanding task you could think of. Buddhist teachers who have founded spiritual movements and communities are often harsly attacked, yet that is the most important and most valuable thing for the world and for Dharma they can do.
Organizations always exist, - or do you plan for a career af a private buddha? Even then you will have the organisations of government, army, private enterprises, universities, etc... As an individual buddhist you will be under the power of these organisations, you will enjoy their protection, their good will, or the lack of these.
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