How do you feel about Buddhists getting involved in politics?

Discuss the application of the Dharma to situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.

0 to 9, with 9 being the most, how supportive are you of Buddhist communities engaging in politics?

0
23
24%
1
7
7%
2
0
No votes
3
3
3%
4
1
1%
5
8
8%
6
2
2%
7
1
1%
8
5
5%
9
46
48%
 
Total votes: 96

[email protected]
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Re: How do you feel about Buddhists getting involved in politics?

Post by [email protected] »

Reassuring to read that you would have joined in this collective action.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: How do you feel about Buddhists getting involved in politics?

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Zhen Li wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:57 am I see it as an idea that need not be a part of one's created reality. It's a choice that we have. You can choose to make everything political or not.
But we don't make things political or not. We recognise that they are political, or we don't. Or perhaps we label them as political, or we don't. And then we decide what to do about them, if anything.

To be clear, the labelling does not change the reality. Racism, just to take a really obvious example, still exists in the community around us whether we label it "politics" or "samsara" or "not my problem" or "a cause of suffering which we can try to ameliorate". And our choices do matter, both to the community and to our own spiritual growth. Remember the bodhisattva vows?
And there is no such thing as not making a choice. The behaviour you walk past is the behaviour you accept, as the saying goes.

:meditate:
Kim
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Zhen Li
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Location: Kamakura

Re: How do you feel about Buddhists getting involved in politics?

Post by Zhen Li »

Ideas do create, or at least condition, our perception of reality. They make is notice certain things and ignore other things at the very least. Precepts are a skilful means for a saṃsāric world. They allow us to notice certain acts that are conducive to liberation and beings' welfare, and acts that are not so conducive.

Ideas are food for the mind which it then processes and turns into a different perspective. Perhaps as a simple example related to politics, a conservative and a liberal may consider different things as justice and injustice. They will see these perceptions as incontrovertible facts that exist outside of their minds in the world. That, for instance, abortion is wrong, on the one hand, and that, for instance, voter ID is wrong, on the other. I think the effects of political thinking in making people develop inflexible percpetions of the world has become extremely evident these days, since there is less and less overlap between people of different views now than there was in the past.

We need skilful means for the path. We can choose what we want to feed our minds and how we want to view the world. If you input political TV or talk radio, you get political perceptions of the world. Garbage in, garbage out. If you input Dharma 24/7 you get a very different view on the world. It's like learning a language. If you don't input any Japanese, you will never recognise the words when you encounter them and never be able to produce it. The focus as Buddhists, in my opinion, should be on the welfare of beings in as far as they are being led towards Buddhahood—political welfare is a sideshow and results in imperfect liberation. Shandao points out how "even if we perform practices with bodily, verbal, and mental acts, they are called "poisoned good acts" and also "false practices"; they are not called "true practices."" (KGSS III 13) So, whatever you attempt to do on a worldly level is going to be poisoned. Good mixed with evil. There's no getting away from that. The only solution is to attain Buddhahood.
tingdzin
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Re: How do you feel about Buddhists getting involved in politics?

Post by tingdzin »

:good:
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