Skillful living

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Rick
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Skillful living

Post by Rick »

What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
Malcolm
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Malcolm »

Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
Avoid people with whom you disagree and who you find disagreeable.
"Death stands before all who are born."
— Ācārya Aśvaghoṣa
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Archie2009
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Archie2009 »

Malcolm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:59 pm
Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
Avoid people with whom you disagree and who you find disagreeable.
I've been living by that principle for a long time now, but it can leave you very isolated. No regrets, though.
Malcolm
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Malcolm »

Archie2009 wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:17 pm
Malcolm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:59 pm
Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
Avoid people with whom you disagree and who you find disagreeable.
I've been living by that principle for a long time now, but it can leave you very isolated. No regrets, though.
Well, that's why we have Dharmawheel, so we can enjoy disagreeable people at a distance with whom we disagree, who at least more or less have the same view we do. :-)
"Death stands before all who are born."
— Ācārya Aśvaghoṣa
Brunelleschi
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Brunelleschi »

Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
I mean, most likely violence is decreasing where you live. Decrease in violence over time is something that was argued by for example Steven Pinker in his book The Better Angels of our Nature (which of course has been criticized in some ways).

For America, see: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2 ... n-the-u-s/

These things come and go. Generally though, violence seems to be decreasing.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Brunelleschi wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:56 pm
Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
I mean, most likely violence is decreasing where you live. Decrease in violence over time is something that was argued by for example Steven Pinker in his book The Better Angels of our Nature (which of course has been criticized in some ways).

For America, see: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2 ... n-the-u-s/

These things come and go. Generally though, violence seems to be decreasing.
Peter Singer has said much the same, e.g. in the new revised edition of his The Life You Can Save.

However, these things come and go, as you say, and some of us might be in places which are (temporarily, locally but troublingly) getting worse. If so, self-care becomes important. Turning off the torrent of hate and violence on TV is a big step to reducing stress levels. I mean the "news" programmes, of course, since I assume that everyone here has already turned off the shock-jocks.
TV news thrives on violence, fear and scaremongering. The more anxious we are, the more we watch and the more money they make. :toilet:

:namaste:
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Skillful living

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
Try stepping back and looking at things within a greater context, and then make observations if you wish, about the whole picture, rather than just forming opinions about this or that latest event.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Rick
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Re: Skillful living

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Brunelleschi wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:56 pm Generally though, violence seems to be decreasing.
The article you linked to is a year old, and afaik political violence has been on the rise since then, especially since 1/6/2021. Sure the media stokes the flames, because it sells, but trust me, it's there, in the Zeitgeist. It sort of IS the Zeitgeist: simmering violence on many levels.

The second concern is what we're seeing in Republican state legislatures, where we see movements toward election suppression and election rejection. That's a crisis for democracy. And if there is an installation of a government that is not duly elected because the state legislatures disobeyed the actual counted votes, the potential for mass protests from the left, from Democrats, is huge and pretty likely. I think the way that this gets dangerous is if we have really massive protests from Democrats met with violent counterprotesters from rural areas or Republican protesters. The place we're in right now is super dangerous, because we have people like that guy at one of the town halls, saying, "When do we get to use the guns?" That means they're not shooting yet, but they're ready.https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/america-s ... d-n1284449

Also good: https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/arti ... ed-states/
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Rick
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Re: Skillful living

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Malcolm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:59 pm
Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
Avoid people with whom you disagree and who you find disagreeable.
It's a start, though half of America would be off-limits to me, which wouldn't help much in bridging the ideological/cultural gap. (Though trying to bridge the gap might be a fool's errand at this point.) And just as important, if not more, to me is avoiding the endless stream of little endorphin/adrenaline hits from checking into my 3-5 go-to news media 20 times a day (I don't watch anymore). Maybe doing this would make sense if I were politically active. But as an armchair liberal, all reading the news really does is get me all riled up with no place to go!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Skillful living

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

I’m a Bernie supppter.
My spouse thinks Trump was
the best president we’ve had.

I meditate,
She yells at the TV.

Life is how you choose to live it.

Samsara is, at any given moment,
Either you are practicing it
Or you practicing liberation from it.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Skillful living

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Brunelleschi wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:56 pm
Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
I mean, most likely violence is decreasing where you live. Decrease in violence over time is something that was argued by for example Steven Pinker in his book The Better Angels of our Nature (which of course has been criticized in some ways).

For America, see: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2 ... n-the-u-s/

These things come and go. Generally though, violence seems to be decreasing.
This is a very good point.

We have some problems today, and it is worth looking at them in a dispassionate and specific way (as much as that's possible), and to be as helpful and intelligent as we can in our circumstances.

However, we are quite fortunate to live in a way where we can practice Dharma and have (at least for many first-worlders) a level of leisure time that has no precedent in previous generations of lay Buddhists.

So my take on the best approach is:

-Try to reason out decent political/social positions that cause the least harm, think more in terms of harm reduction than ideological absolutes. Try to be reasonable about your own level of threat on the hone hand,and your feelings on the other. Learn to spot the difference between feeling threatened and actually being threatened by someone.

-Try not to get caught up in trading one anothers Kleshas, if someone sets you off enough don't try to force yourself to be ok with them

-on the other hand, if you can make a genuine connection with and increase your compassion for someone with whom you disagree, this is not a bad thing

and the big one:

-consume less media

Both news and the vast majority of supposed "alternative news" today exist to titillate, scare and confuse people in order to get likes and clicks, money, sell supplements, boner pills or whatever and generally or to feed specific agendas which often go undeclared.

Real journalism is rarer and media is at a low point ,particularly with maintsream media now in a kind of race to the bottom with all the random "alternative media" (most of which is absolute garbage, with a few jewels), it is only getting worse. Consuming a lot of media today operates like a drug, just one that makes you unhappy instead of high, or "high on dissatisfaction" if you like.

Once you step back a bit from this kind of media, there is at least some breathing room. I have had to actually set schedules around this kind of thing, it helps.
Don’t you see what’s wrong with the world today? Oh Everybody wants somebody to be their own piece of clay.

-Marvin Gaye
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:39 am ...and the big one:

-consume less media

Both news and the vast majority of supposed "alternative news" today exist to titillate, scare and confuse people in order to get likes and clicks, money, sell supplements, boner pills or whatever and generally or to feed specific agendas which often go undeclared.

Real journalism is rarer and media is at a low point ,particularly with maintsream media now in a kind of race to the bottom with all the random "alternative media" (most of which is absolute garbage, with a few jewels), it is only getting worse. Consuming a lot of media today operates like a drug, just one that makes you unhappy instead of high, or "high on dissatisfaction" if you like.

Once you step back a bit from this kind of media, there is at least some breathing room. I have had to actually set schedules around this kind of thing, it helps.
:good:

I haven't gone out of my way to set schedules but they have evolved: one radio news bulletin in the morning, 5 - 10 mins, one TV news bulletin in the evening, 30 - 60 mins, and no other news programmes but occasionally skimming news headlines (not reading whole stories) online.
And no commercial media - at all!
Public broadcasters only. No ads, no hysteria, no beat-ups. I don't know how well served you all are in this way, but our ABC and SBS are good, reliable, professional. For another viewpoint I will sometimes go to Al Jazeera https://www.aljazeera.com/ (it's good to get out of the Anglosphere) or The Guardian online.

:coffee:
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Queequeg
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Re: Skillful living

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PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:02 am I’m a Bernie supppter.
My spouse thinks Trump was
the best president we’ve had.
Holy shit. Republican relatives come over for dinner and my gaskets blow. I've at least learned to just keep my mouth shut. Then people wonder why I'm seething. LOL

I could not imagine living with that.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Queequeg wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:49 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:02 am I’m a Bernie supppter.
My spouse thinks Trump was
the best president we’ve had.
Holy shit. Republican relatives come over for dinner and my gaskets blow. I've at least learned to just keep my mouth shut. Then people wonder why I'm seething. LOL

I could not imagine living with that.
Same here. I have a friend in the same situation, left wing with a wife that supported Trump and watches Fox News. I guess that’s one way to practice the paramita of patience.

I have family that are libertarian, that’s totally tolerable. Trumpists, not sure id do that well on holidays.
Don’t you see what’s wrong with the world today? Oh Everybody wants somebody to be their own piece of clay.

-Marvin Gaye
KristenM
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Re: Skillful living

Post by KristenM »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:02 am I’m a Bernie supppter.
My spouse thinks Trump was
the best president we’ve had.

I meditate,
She yells at the TV.

Life is how you choose to live it.

Samsara is, at any given moment,
Either you are practicing it
Or you practicing liberation from it.
Me too, sorta. My partner supported Trump to my annoyance, but he didn’t go full on January 6 level, and he agrees with me that Trump was not a good leader, was too polarizing, too egocentric etc. etc.

Nevertheless, truth be told, my husband is a bit of a Mahasiddha. :) He is completely selfless, has no ordinary cares and all that. It’s weird. I guess I could never stand anyone who agreed with me too much. What is that Woody Allen line?
Montoya
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Montoya »

Malcolm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:59 pm
Rick wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:33 pm What's a skillful way to live in an era of profound political/social/cultural division and (ever increasing) violence?
Avoid people with whom you disagree and who you find disagreeable.
In my experience, there is a hormetic effect here. You want enough disagreeableness in life (a la Atisha taking his cook to Tibet) to give you the grounds for practice, but not so much that it overwhelms you.
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Rick
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Re: Skillful living

Post by Rick »

Montoya wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:29 am hormetic
New word (for me), yay! Thanks. A bit of a homeopathy vibe, right, the most potent dose is the weakest solution of the active ingredient.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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