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Bring Peace to Your Mind...
I was just inspired by the picture @lobster, there always seem to be so many people who are willing to do the work of warmongers, and I feel those soldiers need a little encouragement to think about what they are doing.
Sending you metta and positive energy @thomb
Trust in the body and listen to it carefully during rehab!
It seems to me that Buddhism contains a lot of judgments. A right view, right speech, right livelihood... when things are beneficial, when things are skilfull... precepts to adhere to... wholesome and unwholesome mental states. It seems to encourage you to continually monitor yourself, to find and squash those unwholesome mental states, perhaps even to judge yourself, omg I'm having not sticking to right speech so often, I must be a very bad Buddhist!
Compare that to for example the opening of the Xinxin Ming, the famous poem by the Third Patriarch of Chan Sengcan:
The Great Way is not difficult
for those not attached to preferences.
When not attached to love or hate,
all is clear and undisguised.
Separate by the smallest amount, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely far apart.
It seems to indicate that a great deal of peace of mind, and perhaps a large part of the cessation of suffering, is to be found in non judgment - not attaching to love or hate. Intuitively I feel this must be true, that a lot of the trouble is in the mind's attempts to categorise things as good-bad, loved-hated.
How to square this with the inherently judgmental nature of the teaching? The sangha's wisdom on this point would be much appreciated.
The book referenced in the article was the outcome of Robert Wright teaching this course:
I took it a while a back, and it was a fascinating discussion about how Buddhism is a big middle finger to evolution - or at least to the drives and mindset that evolution has given us.
The course looks great, I would really enjoy it I think. Is it free?
But Buddhism is not only a middle finger to evolution, it also is an even bigger one to capitalism and materialism. It’s a different way of looking at the world, although for me the most interesting part is how you study Buddhism as a lay person. The monastics live almost in a different world, the real difficulty is how do you bring Buddhism to this world.
to add to that, it seems hard to interact with our world today without causing conflict. Perhaps not intentionally (which maybe is the key as it often is with Buddhism) but even HHDL manages to cause conflict. If you try to fight for any sense of good, you are participating in conflict, so it's hard for me to see how you can be an engaged Buddhist, so to speak, without conflict.
Perhaps the buddha’s monks were still closer to renunciates, “those who have renounced”, than today’s western ideal of an engaged (lay?) Buddhist.
If you truly have renounced these things in favour of the spiritual life, then maybe the route the Buddha advocates is one that brings peace.