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Thread: Sometimes... I Want to Run

  1. #1
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Sometimes... I Want to Run

    There are times... there are times when I find it difficult to have faith in humanity. Faith that compassion and reason will prevail over hatred and ignorance. All things are impermanent, so you'd think that hate and ignorance would be too? Perhaps that is naivete rooted in the incidental duality of victory and defeat.
    There are times when I want to run away from humanity, succumbing to the pull of quiet solitude in the wilderness writing poetry and meditating as Ryokan did. To do as Theravada Buddhists do and care not for Bodhisattva vows and a race that seems doomed to collapse under its own pride, greed and insanity. In a world where genocide is a valid political action, and murder is downplayed by calling it, "collateral damage," or, "wasting them," what is a Dharma student to do?

    Tend, in those moments, to focus less on the "big picture," and more so on what is before me now. I see no violence, no hatred, no greed. To feed the hungry, clothe the cold, give rest to the weary and counsel to the lost. Each one is all, and all is each (and even that's not quite accurate). Each kind act or word travels like ripples in a pond. There are so many ripples, that to look at it all at once is dizzying. Or to look at the even bigger big picture that we are but specks on a pale dot.

    I'd be lying though, if I said I wasn't tempted at times to succumb to apathy and forsake the plights of humanity. To give in to my own greedy ideal of no-greed, hate of hatred and an ignorant view on ignorance. This particular rant was inspired by a news article (usually avoid them) about an Israeli lawmaker urging her nation to perpetrate genocide on Palestinian people. "All of them. Men, women and children," she said. Tears filled my eyes and I became nauseous while reading the article. Much metta to those who live in war-torn lands. Offer metta to leaders as well. Leaders who think that murder leads to peace; I hope that they can see for the sake of all that war never leads to peace, that violence creates only more violence.

    Gassho,
    John

  2. #2
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    John, thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I too have times like this, in fact, today is one of them. I know this sounds like a cliche but I just look around and think "where is the love" People are so driven by anger, greed, hatred, and wanting to be right.

    The world needs a lot, but just for today, maybe send metta to yourself, think of yourself, do something nice for you.

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless View Post
    This particular rant was inspired by a news article (usually avoid them) about an Israeli lawmaker urging her nation to perpetrate genocide on Palestinian people. "All of them. Men, women and children," she said. Tears filled my eyes and I became nauseous while reading the article. Much metta to those who live in war-torn lands. Offer metta to leaders as well. Leaders who think that murder leads to peace; I hope that they can see for the sake of all that war never leads to peace, that violence creates only more violence.

    Gassho,
    John
    Of course, her statement was made out of her own fear and suffering. I've been rocketed before. It doesn't take many before you feel like lashing out in every direction (one of the reasons they use them unfortunately). It is easy to talk about violence begetting violence, and peace being the answer, but it is different when you feel like you may be killed at any moment from out of nowhere.

    Unfortunately, that whole region is so caught up in the politics of hate, retribution, and tribalism that I don't have even an inkling of what could be done other than to sit, say metta, and hope they break the cycle somehow.

    Also, you might want to read this. I thought it interesting that two nations are coming unglued while the actual parents of the murdered on both sides are consoling each other. The rest could take a lesson:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_5563454.html
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  4. #4
    Yup, have those moments when I think most of the world is morally bankrupt. And that's when I give myself a big smile and just enjoy what's in front of me.

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Yup, have those moments when I think most of the world is morally bankrupt. And that's when I give myself a big smile and just enjoy what's in front of me.

    Kind regards. /\
    Nicely said Rich! =) I am the same way ... sometimes watching the news and hearing of all the negativity can really play on one's mind. But I know I can just be and wear a sincere smile from my heart. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  6. #6
    Member Jamie's Avatar
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    "Each kind act or word travels like ripples in a pond. There are so many ripples, that to look at it all at once is dizzying. Or to look at the even bigger big picture that we are but specks on a pale dot."

    Thanks for the post John.

    I think your inight into the effect of kindness has to be at the fore front of your mind. I work as a nurse in an ocnology clinic and sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sadness around me, as well as the stae of the world in particular. A wise friend gave me a quote- You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, 2 hands and 1 heart - you should use them in that ratio. I took it to mean do the work, do what you can, listen for what has to be done. We also have Zazen, which for me takes care of the heart.
    Gassho
    Jamie

  7. #7
    Thanks Shingen, that's great.

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  8. #8
    Hi John,

    I feel what you’re talking about. Here is an obviously capable, well-spoken and educated young woman spouting hate and ignorance and violence. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and just seems so hopeless. Even knowing that good things are also happening everywhere, all the time, is not enough of a consolation. The roots of violence, hatred and greed go so deep. Makes me want to crawl under a rock. But I can’t crawl under a rock, really. My best answer is to look at my own life. Where is the violence in me? I may not be committing genocide, but I may be taking part in or supporting violence in a lot of little ways. Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings on peace have helped me develop an awareness of this. A good book of his is “Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World”.


    Also I think it’s really important to do what you have done here, John, to speak out and let people know what you think and how you feel. Talk to your family, your friends, your co-workers, your elected officials. It’s not a weak hippy-dippy thing to talk about peace, and the more we talk about it, and practice it, and teach our children about it, the more mainstream it becomes. You are so right that war will never lead to peace. Peace leads to peace.

    Gassho
    Lisa

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    We often question so that we can stop questioning, so too we often fight to stop fighting. Thing is, there's always another question waiting just as there's always another fight. Thank you all for your responses, and yes Nengyo it's difficult to imagine how I'd respond in such a situation. When attacked, we often feel the need to counter attack, but this is of little use.

    It is definitely good to remind ourselves that hate, fear and violence are not the only things in the world. The news definitely doesn't help. Our brains use an availability heuristic, so we tend to form views based on things that most easily come to mind. They don't generally talk about peace on the news, or acts of kindness. This tempts us into holding the view that the earth is a primary hate-filled and violent place.

    Occasionally thunderheads do fill the sky, but I love thunderstorms. Just like those storms, all I can do is sit and let the anger and disgust run through like storms passing over the land. I never say, "This is my storm," so neither should I say, "This is my anger," merely observe it and it will pass, leaving inspiration in its wake.

    Gassho, John

  10. #10
    Thank you for the topic, John. I do want to address this part:

    To do as Theravada Buddhists do and care not for Bodhisattva vows and a race that seems doomed to collapse under its own pride, greed and insanity.
    I think we should be careful about comparing here. The idea that Mahayanans care about the welfare of the world and Theravadans don't is not valid, I don't think, not in practice anyway. I'm sure there are selfish Zen practitioners and enormously selfless IM practitioners. Maybe Jundo can give some historical background on the differences here, but I thought I should at least bring it up.
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Thanks Kaishin, guessed I was making a gross generalization lol. From what I've read, Theravada practitioners are focused on their "own" enlightenment (which isn't bad at all), but they often do help their communities. I'm sure they have also changed over the years too, just as Zen has. Really only the first part about the Bodhisattva vows was related to Theravada, the rest was my own at the time cynical observations at the time.

    Gassho, John

  12. #12
    I want to say that this Samsaric world was a mess in the Buddha's time ... disease, poverty and inequality, ignorance and illiteracy, oppression of women, violence and war. All that mess is why, well, the Buddha started on his search!

    The world was so in ancient China, and in Dogen's time. It has been so throughout human history.

    But ya know ... sociologists tell us that the last hundred years has actually been the most peaceful and least warlike in human history! Hard to believe, but true. Furthermore, real strides have been made in furthering lifespan and the quality of life worldwide, although we have far to go.

    You are less likely to die a violent death today than at any other time in human history. In fact, violence has been declining for centuries. That is the arresting claim made by Harvard University cognitive neuroscientist Steven Pinker in his new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Viking). ... Just a couple of centuries ago, violence was pervasive. Slavery was widespread, wife and child beating were acceptable practices, heretics and witches were burned at the stake, pogroms and race riots were common, and warfare was nearly constant. Public hangings, bearbaiting, and even cat burning were popular forms of entertainment. By examining collections of ancient skeletons and scrutinizing contemporary tribal societies, anthropologists have found that people were nine times as likely to die violent deaths in the prehistoric period than in modern times, even allowing for the world wars and genocides of the 20th century. Europe’s murder rate was 30 times higher in the Middle Ages than it is today.

    What happened? Human nature did not change, but our institutions did, encouraging people to restrain their natural tendencies toward violence. In more than 800 pages of data and analysis, Pinker identifies a series of institutional changes that have led to decreasing levels of life-threatening violence. The rise of states 5,000 years ago dramatically reduced tribal conflict. In recent centuries, the spread of courtly manners, literacy, commerce, and democracy have reduced violence even more. Polite behavior requires self-restraint, literacy encourages empathy, commerce changes zero-sum encounters into mutually beneficial exchanges, and democracy restrains the excesses of government.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/01/1...ne-of-violence
    Likewise with regard to worldwide standards of living, although places of terrible poverty remain and must not be neglected ...

    By many measures, a revolution in the human condition is sweeping the
    world. Most people today are better fed, clothed, and housed than their
    predecessors two centuries ago. They are healthier, live longer, and are
    better educated. Women’s lives are less centered on reproduction and political
    democracy has gained a foothold. Although western Europe and its offshoots have
    been the leaders of this advance, most of the less developed countries have joined
    in during the 20th century, with the newly emerging nations of sub-Saharan Africa
    the latest to participate. Although the picture is not one of universal progress, it is
    the greatest advance in the condition of the world’s population ever achieved in
    such a brief span of time.

    http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.14.1.7
    Perhaps it is because it is our time that we see clearest, and we have a faint remembrance of history (combined with the fact that the television now brings all the wars and diseases right into our living rooms for the 24 hour news cycle) that we have such an impression that we live in especially violent and terrible times. We do not.

    I am actually hopeful for the world, though we have tremendous problems remaining and many dangers remain.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-11-2014 at 01:41 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    PS - As to the difference between Theravadan and Mahayana, much of the story about how Theravadans are all wrapped up in their own thing is a bit of propaganda created by ... no surprise ... Mahayana folks to compare themselves to the "Lesser Vehicle".

    The concept of "Buddhism and Social Justice" may be a rather modern concept for all kinds of Buddhists, North and South, primarily because Buddhism existed in Asia for 25 centuries in only traditional, pre-industrial, conservative, agricultural, class and caste based monarchies and such where ideas of social justice and "civil rights" did not really exist.

    Many Buddhist Ancestors were quite passive in the face of social inequalities ... closing the monastery doors to the world outside, or just accepting the hardships of life as "karma" working out ... or emphasizing that "life is suffering", so this world was to be escaped rather than fixed. Buddhism was not so concerned with repairing the world ... and more about not being reborn in it. For the most part, Buddhism really was not focused on charitable work for much of its history. That "compassion" and "saving sentient beings" = "social programs" and such is a popular misconception among many modern Western Buddhists. There were always people during its history who engaged in various civic and charitable projects, but the interest in charitable work really first began in the 19th century because of inspiration from and competition with Christian missionaries who came to many Asian countries then and (for their own reasons) engaged in charitable work such as building schools and hospitals. The Buddhists suddenly felt that they should do the same. Other modernizers of Buddhism continued the trend.

    On the other hand, there were many Buddhists of the past (just as in the Present), Theravada or Mahayana, from India to China to Japan to Tibet, who engaged in charitable work too.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-11-2014 at 01:43 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Oh, and one more thing ... Jews hating Palestinians, Palestinians hating Jews, Catholics vs. Protestants, Buddhist hating Muslims and back ...

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/07/world/...slim-violence/

    ... all folks driven by anger, by their own fears, by divisive thinking. We must heal all such wounds, see all sides as victims of anger and ignorance. We sit and chant Metta for all.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-11-2014 at 01:44 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Thank you, Jundo. Those are some very uplifting thoughts!!

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  16. #16
    Ugh, I hear that. But I think what also contributes is when we separate the "People who are hateful" vs. "We who are the good". That's a slippery slope. I guess Jundo already stated that, but sometimes a man just has to post. Obviously, injustice and murder cannot be tolerated, but I think often times we add on a boatload of baggage to someone who slights us. So to see peace in the world, be peace. To see compassion, be compassionate.

    I mean even Anakin thought he was bringing balance to the Galaxy by getting rid of those chaotic non-conformist rebel types, and we know what trouble that brought; although it is possible that what Jar Jar Binks brought to the table was worse than anything the Sith could do. lol (I know at least Fugen will appreciate this Star Wars dharma ).

    Gassho,

    Risho

  17. #17
    Hi All,

    Yes to what Risho is saying. When we see these stories, what is arising is aversion. Always keeping the 8fold path in mind, we should look at that reaction. Are we practicing right view and right speech in our response? It’s so easy to fall into divisiveness and delusion.

    Gassho
    Lisa

  18. #18
    Hi Risho,

    This is right. Generally, Buddhists do not see "bad people". We see sentient being who do bad because they themselves are victims of greed, anger and ignorance (the real culprit).

    That does not mean we do not arrest, punish or stop the people doing the harm, but it means we see them as a kind of victim too.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    All of us are capable of the worst deeds imaginable if put in the right circumstances and is equally true that each one of us are capable of extraordinary acts of love and charity. It is our human nature. Sometimes when the evil in the world overwhelms us it may be helpful to remember there are a lot of acts of love too.

    "Can there be joy and laughter when always the world is ablaze? Enshrouded in darkness should you not seek a light?"

    The Dhammapada 11:1

  20. #20
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for the replies Thanks for the information about early Buddhism Jundo. Neat that monks became even more active after encountering missionaries. Uplifting that we can motivate each other in such ways. And true Risho, Anakin thought he was doing good. In the end, he did bring balance to the Force by defeating Palpatine, so he was the chosen one all along. Also in agreement about Jar Jar Binks haha. Nice quote Troy, inspiring, and yeppers, how knows what we'd do in certain situations? Tend to see "myself in others," often. Facets and potentials. Difficult to hate or sustain hatred when there's no inherent separation. Perhaps I am still a bit too attached to "my ideal world," at times. When the world doesn't comply, there is friction.

    The initial blaze of my outrage has now passed. Today there has been tranquility. Course there was only 3 hours of sleep last night, so it might just be drowsiness haha!

    Gassho, John

  21. #21
    Someone wrote to asked me about the violence by some Buddhists against Muslims in South Asia.

    --------------

    In most of Asia, for ordinary people, Buddhism is just their religion ... not much different in flavor or emphasis from how ordinary people around the world practice their religions. The "Buddhists" of many places in Asia are "Buddhist" in the very same way that folks are any religion anywhere. The Buddhist priests of these areas ... especially the rank and file ... are typically illiterate or barely educated farmers and peasants themselves, not necessarily educated even in "Buddhism" beyond surface beliefs and practices. The way the religion is practiced is not much different from the way religions are practiced about anywhere, and they look at "Buddha" as their god and the Suttas (which most are really not capable of reading, let alone understanding) as their sacred "Holy Book" above all others. Religion becomes all mixed together with "our people" "our tribe" "our beliefs". I would say, in defense of Buddhism, that compared to many world religions, Buddhism has been a particularly tolerant, peaceful path throughout most of its history. Cases like this are relatively rare. Nonetheless, they exist. Overwhelmingly, most of the rest of the Buddhist Sangha ... not only the senior Buddhist establishments in these countries, but Buddhists around the world ... do condemn any ethnic violence.

    What is more, there is the tangled historical question of what actions are aggressive and what are (although perhaps in a mistaken way) felt to be defensive. These fights are about land, water rights, population pressures, ethnic tensions, immigration ... and it does not matter that the people involved might be "Buddhists" or wear robes or anything else. These are ethnic and economic tensions, and the religion is just a cover for that.

    Buddhists from all over the world join together on this issue ...

    To Our Brother and Sister Buddhists in Myanmar,

    As world Buddhist leaders we send our lovingkindess and concern for the difficulties the people of Myanmar are faced with at this time.... We wish to reaffirm to the world and to support you in practicing the most fundamental Buddhist principles of non-harming, mutual respect and compassion.

    These fundamental principles taught by the Buddha are at the core of Buddhist practice:

    Buddhist teaching is based on the precepts of refraining from killing and causing harm.
    Buddhist teaching is based on compassion and mutual care.
    Buddhist teaching offers respect to all, regardless of class, caste, race or creed.
    We are with you for courageously standing up for these Buddhist principles even when others would demonize or harm Muslims or other ethnic groups. It is only through mutual respect, harmony and tolerance that Myanmar can become a modern great nation benefiting all her people and a shining example to the world.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2272336.html

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-11-2014 at 02:42 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless View Post
    There are times... there are times when I find it difficult to have faith in humanity. Faith that compassion and reason will prevail over hatred and ignorance. All things are impermanent, so you'd think that hate and ignorance would be too? Perhaps that is naivete rooted in the incidental duality of victory and defeat.
    There are times when I want to run away from humanity, succumbing to the pull of quiet solitude in the wilderness writing poetry and meditating as Ryokan did. To do as Theravada Buddhists do and care not for Bodhisattva vows and a race that seems doomed to collapse under its own pride, greed and insanity. In a world where genocide is a valid political action, and murder is downplayed by calling it, "collateral damage," or, "wasting them," what is a Dharma student to do?

    Tend, in those moments, to focus less on the "big picture," and more so on what is before me now. I see no violence, no hatred, no greed. To feed the hungry, clothe the cold, give rest to the weary and counsel to the lost. Each one is all, and all is each (and even that's not quite accurate). Each kind act or word travels like ripples in a pond. There are so many ripples, that to look at it all at once is dizzying. Or to look at the even bigger big picture that we are but specks on a pale dot.

    I'd be lying though, if I said I wasn't tempted at times to succumb to apathy and forsake the plights of humanity. To give in to my own greedy ideal of no-greed, hate of hatred and an ignorant view on ignorance. This particular rant was inspired by a news article (usually avoid them) about an Israeli lawmaker urging her nation to perpetrate genocide on Palestinian people. "All of them. Men, women and children," she said. Tears filled my eyes and I became nauseous while reading the article. Much metta to those who live in war-torn lands. Offer metta to leaders as well. Leaders who think that murder leads to peace; I hope that they can see for the sake of all that war never leads to peace, that violence creates only more violence.

    Gassho,
    John
    Hello John,

    It is indeed hard to serve, but it's damned near impossible under the weight of grandiose thoughts. How much angst is involved in doing the dishes or giving a homeless guy a couple dollars? It only gets hopeless when you're keeping score.

    Gassho,

    Chet

  23. #23
    Hello John,

    Yes it's hard to remind myself that there's no such thing as "humanity" and "the people." When I was in Berkeley during the power-to-the-people era, I remember loving "the people" but not being so crazy about my next-door neighbor. Slowly, very slowly, I've understood that saving all senient beings is nothing more or less than being attentive to the need of the person in front of me right now -- his or her needs, not the needs I think they ought to have. This is very a difficult lesson for me. I'm much more comfortable with sweeping public gestures than those that may not be seen by anybody. But if I can just stick to what is here and now in this present need there's very little sense of failing to meet results, or the plight of the masses about which (realistically) I can do little. Recently I was given a koan at the Sangha where I frequently practice: "Save a ghost." The image that came to mind was of a starving child. How could I possibly save that child? Eventually what came through was that it begins with me and with the world I encounter every day -- not the world I know about via National Geographic. Statistically if each of us had the same realization, there would be litle or no poverty. So I start where i am. More is just my ego getting in the way.

    At least this is what I remind myself most days, it is what I forget most of those days. Over and over and over. Look in front of where I am, walk straightaway, save a ghost. Thank you for your forbearance.

    Gassho,
    John

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless View Post
    There are times when I want to run away from humanity, succumbing to the pull of quiet solitude in the wilderness writing poetry and meditating as Ryokan did. To do as Theravada Buddhists do and care not for Bodhisattva vows and a race that seems doomed to collapse under its own pride, greed and insanity. In a world where genocide is a valid political action, and murder is downplayed by calling it, "collateral damage," or, "wasting them," what is a Dharma student to do?

    Hi John. I would be careful of characterizing Theravada Buddhism in that way. If the measure is self sacrifice and doing good work in the world , The most inspiring examples of Bodhisattva activity I have witnessed have been Theravadin friends, both ordained and lay, There is little talk of being Bodhisattvas, but they walk it. I have also heard loud Bodhisattva talk from some Zen friends who might be making too much of an ordinary compassion. It is also IMO a good idea to have good associations with different traditions and have good communication, so we don't find ourselves in sectarian compartments.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    大山

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Thank you Daizan, and agreed. Reminded of what Suzuki said in Zen Mind, that if we have to think of ourselves as anything, we should just think of ourselves as Buddhists no matter what particular lineage or branch we subscribe to.

    Gassho, John

  26. #26
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Thanks all for this thread. I would just like to share what my wife told me recently. In the United States violent crime has gone down 15% in the last ten years, however reporting of violent crime in the media has gone up 600%. If you watch the news, you are going to come away with the impression that the world is falling apart. Sometimes it is. You could blame the media for this, and certainly they share some responsibility in how news coverage is sensationalized, but ultimately it is apparently what people want to watch. What do you watch? Do your viewing habits promote a more peaceful world?
    I am not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand, but let's face it for every horrible thing we hear about there are probably millions of wonderful things happening too. This doesn't get coverage because it doesn't sell you breakfast cereal. Whatever level of society you are, you can only make a difference with you and what's around you.

    Also to those who would say horrible acts and violence are our inherent nature, I would disagree.

    Gassho
    C

  27. #27
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Rock on!




  28. #28
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Thanks all for this thread. I would just like to share what my wife told me recently. In the United States violent crime has gone down 15% in the last ten years, however reporting of violent crime in the media has gone up 600%. If you watch the news, you are going to come away with the impression that the world is falling apart. Sometimes it is. You could blame the media for this, and certainly they share some responsibility in how news coverage is sensationalized, but ultimately it is apparently what people want to watch. What do you watch? Do your viewing habits promote a more peaceful world?
    I am not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand, but let's face it for every horrible thing we hear about there are probably millions of wonderful things happening too. This doesn't get coverage because it doesn't sell you breakfast cereal. Whatever level of society you are, you can only make a difference with you and what's around you.

    Also to those who would say horrible acts and violence are our inherent nature, I would disagree.

    Gassho
    C
    Great post, Clark. Many thanks to your wife for pointing this out. I grew up with the constant threat and doom that the end times was upon us, the world is coming to an end, all will be tortured etc. etc. etc. It has really done my head and my heart good to find out the truth, and to have a much more positive outlook on this life, and if there is another life after .....a more positive outlook on that one as well.

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  29. #29

  30. #30
    Thank you everybody for very nice and thought provoking thread. I know this all too well.

    For some reason I recall in this context a specific passage from Albert Camus' The Stranger. The main character Meursault is at once disappointed and amused over the professional simplicity of the machine with which he is to be executed for murder. He had hoped for a lofty scaffold and a grand guillotine. While this may seem morbid I find his tongue-in-cheek approach to this otherwise very morose situation quite liberating.

    I feel we must go into life with this kind of lively refusal give in. Easier said than done I know. But if we allow ourselves to dragged down be worries we certainly will be. There are lots of suffering going on that we cannot alleviate because it beyond our limited capacity. I am NOT saying "It is beyond you. Let it be" - only. We must carry on starring suffering squarely in the face whilst knowing truly in our gut that some portion of suffering is there inherently as a fact of life. It is no use being sad or angry because of that portion. Waste of our time and energy. We can't save or please everyone.

    But in recognizing there is something we can do for near and dear ones (and ourselves; live with honor and kindness) and to realize the need to raise the bar just a little bit and even better by actually doing it (the hard part) we prove that hope is not lost. We are still here. Both doing and non-doing are thus required in order work towards a solution of the dilemma. That at least is how I see it.



    gandalf deeds.jpg

    Gassho.
    ~ Please remember that I am very fallible.

    Gassho
    Aske

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