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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Sit Down & Speak Up

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Sit Down & Speak Up



    How does our Zen Practice blend with taking a stand? Do we stay "beyond the fray" or speak out for what is right? I have been wrestling with this lately, like many folks. I have advocated leaving "politics" outside the door of our Treeleaf Sangha (LINK). In principle. I still believe so, and that we should speak civilly and gently to each other in the Sangha, agreeing to disagree, leaving most political debate outside. We must keep our eye on that transcendent realm beyond all opinions, beyond war and peace, me and you, right and left, rich and poor, need and satisfaction. One way to "rescue the sentient beings" is to teach the "sentient beings" to see this fact beyond all dualism.

    Nonetheless, we must live in this world of rich and poor, war and peace. So, let us take a stand to help the poor and bring the peace. That is "rescuing the sentient beings" too. 'Nirvana' and 'Samsara' are Not-Two, Baby!

    I say below that I "oppose" certain things, but I vow to do so in a non-angry way, in a gentle voice, advocating, marching and protesting perhaps, possibly some civil disobedience, but never violence. I also vow to never lose awareness of the Way beyond all opinions, beyond "me" and "you", to hold gently those opinions I do hold, and to keep the knowledge that we all share this world and deserve respect even when we disagree.

    Not all Buddhists need agree with my views, and I believe that there are "Good Buddhists" who can be so with very different views. For example, while I support (with regret, as a necessary evil) the "right to choose", others may seek to preserve life by a "right to life." That is but one example.

    But my view of the Precepts, Compassion, the Bodhisattva Vows and simple humanity call on my heart to advocate and work for the following general principles:

    • I will work for a reasonable immigration policy, welcoming of people willing to work, contribute and live peaceably in my country.
    • I will work for my country to welcome and offer aid and protection to innocent refugees fleeing war, oppression and disaster around the world.
    • I will work against the persecution or singling out of any group or individual based on religion, socioeconomic class, nationality, race, age, non-violent creed, gender, sexual orientation or physical ability.
    • I will work for greater income and living standard equality in my own country and around the world so that all people have access to safe housing, healthy food and sufficient clothing, good educational opportunities as well as high level health care.
    • I will work for wise and compassionate governance by our leaders free of their personal corruption, the influence of money and vested interests over the good of general society, political oppression, the unjust use of violence, torture and imprisonment, denials of basic civil and human rights, and like injustices.
    • I will work for greater protections for the environment, opposing aspects of our modern capitalist economies and addictive consumer society that have run to excess and threaten the health of this planet.
    • I will work for peace and the elimination of war, including the elimination of nuclear, chemical and other weapons of mass destruction.
    • I will work and call for all ethnic peoples of this world to have a place to call their home, equal economic opportunities and access to resources, and freedom from oppression and discrimination at the hands of other ethnic groups or peoples.
    • I will work against the influence of hate groups and the spreading of unjustified fear in our societies.
    • I will work for peace, tolerance and respect for all living beings.
    • I will work for the enlightenment and well being of all sentient beings.


    In such light, I advocate the following specific policies in my own country of birth, the United States, or in other places around the world:

    • I will oppose the “building of a wall”, the shutting out of refugees, and the scapegoating of all Muslims or any group, and advocate a fair and realistic immigration policy.
    • I will work for a fairer distribution of wealth and access to resources and opportunities in the American economy and worldwide.
    • I will oppose attempts to weaken or abolish needed environmental protections, misuse of public lands and the like.
    • I will oppose attempts to slash funding for education and assistance for the economically disadvantaged in their access to education.
    • I will oppose the denial of basic housing, food, education and health care assistance to people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
    • I will support national health insurance, including access to high level health care for all those with economic need or pre-existing conditions which might deny them such access.
    • I will support equal treatment, marriage rights and freedom from discrimination for people of all religions, socioeconomic levels, nationalities, races, ages, non-violent creeds, genders, sexual orientations or physical abilities.
    • I will support common sense regulations on guns and, ideally, their treatment as a public danger to be highly restricted.
    • I will support programs to combat substance abuse, and sufficient funding for public mental health programs in general.
    • I will support programs to combat child abuse and domestic violence.
    • I will support basic labor protections and a decent minimum wage and level of benefits for all workers.
    • I will oppose the suppression of scientific research, be it on climate change or any other issue.
    • I will support access to birth control for all and decent women’s health care, and (with some regret) abortion in the early months, or in cases of rape or to protect the life of the mother.
    • I will oppose war unless clearly necessary for the protection of the greatest number of innocent lives and of civilized society, and will support the taking instead of all other reasonable means and measures to avoid war that are possible.
    • I will oppose the influence of money on our political elections and governments, and advocate for campaign donation reform.
    • I will oppose statements by politicians that make use of hate, scapegoating and the fanning of unnecessary public fear.
    • I will oppose attempts to weaken the Geneva Convention or any denial of basic civil and human rights by any government or group.
    • I will support a fair and just court and penal system, the humane treatment of prisoners and the abolition of capital punishment.
    • I will oppose the violent and hateful actions and statements of organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, Nazi Party and other racial supremacists, or attempts to normalize their hatred.
    • I will oppose attempts to demonize a functioning free press, and also oppose the attempt by certain groups of the “alt.right” posing as news media to engage in hate mongering, propaganda, the creation of fake or twisted stories and the like for purposes of political ideology, and will support professional and diligent conduct by the news media of all political views. I honor the generally high standards of our professional press corps.
    • I will oppose the elimination or reduction of ethical oversight at any level of government.
    • I will support more humane treatment of animals in farming.
    • I believe that all people any place in the world, including in the Middle East, should be entitled to their own homeland should they desire, and access to resources and opportunity, so that all may live in peace.
    • I will seek a world in which, someday, the Western countries do not support as allies tyrants and dictators in other countries


    …. and more to be added to this list …

    Any suggestions?


    Last edited by Jundo; 02-23-2017 at 04:22 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Gassho Jundo Sensei,

    I think you have summed it up every well.

    This is great food for thought, including the section I will work...

    Gassho
    拡手
    Koushu

    Satoday


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  3. #3
    I was so glad to watch this and I agree with everything you have said and also the way you have said it, not demonising individuals but basing these points on the Precepts and the Bodhisattva vows.
    These points can be embraced just as the Precepts themselves, as a deeply felt heartwish.
    What an inspiring way to start the week, thank you Jundo.
    Gassho
    Sat with you all this morning.

  4. #4
    Hi Jundo,

    One of the first things that stroke me about Mr. Trump is how disconnected he is from life and basic biology. What he and his people do not only affects the US, but the whole planet. I'm not American but whatever he decides, it creates ripples everywhere and influence life of billions of sentient beings.

    So thank you for this video. It pretty much speaks my mind not only about Trump, but about any president in the planet.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  5. #5
    Hello Jundo,

    What you have said very much resonates with me. I too believe it is important to take action where we can and to allow the precepts to help us along the way. A very inspiring and supportive expression, thank you Jundo.

    I also agree that this can be applied to ALL world and country leaders ... even all of us.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO 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
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Gassho,

    Shugen

    Sattoday
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  7. #7
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
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    Gassho,

    Sattoday
    Hoseki


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  8. #8
    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho
    Daizan


    sat today
    As a trainee I ask that all comments by me on matters of Dharma be taken with "a grain of salt".

  9. #9
    Thank you Jundo. One thing that does occur to me is the support for programs for prisoners, and for substance abuse treatment... and abolishment of capital punishment. Our justice system only widens the gap between the haves and have-nots.
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


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    serene
    ​field

  10. #10
    Member Geika's Avatar
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    I am with Jundo, and all of you, but I will also put in my support for women, with no regret, who simply do not wish to give birth to a child, regardless of whether or not they were raped, or in poor health for pregnancy. It is a personal choice that I feel no one else can make for a person or stipulate.

    Gassho, sat today
    迎 Geika

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    Thank you Jundo. One thing that does occur to me is the support for programs for prisoners, and for substance abuse treatment... and abolishment of capital punishment. Our justice system only widens the gap between the haves and have-nots.
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Good. I added these ...

    [*]I will support programs to combat substance abuse.
    [*]I will support programs to combat child abuse and domestic violence.

    ...
    [*]I will support a fair and just court and penal system, the humane treatment of prisoners and the abolition of capital punishment.


    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-21-2017 at 02:38 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Thank you, Jundo, for your eloquence, bravery & leadership for our Sangha as well as all others who are confused, frightened and wonder as to what, as Buddhists, we can do in the face of this very disturbing time. Many deep bows.

    Gassho,
    Ansan
    SatToday

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    安山 Peaceful Mountain
    "In the Mountains, there you feel free," T.S.Eliot, The Wasteland

  13. #13
    Someone wrote to ask if there were guns in Japan, where I live. There are, although they tend to be single shot rifles for farmers to keep the wild boars out of the fields. This is a sign posted (in English!) right in my neighborhood ...



    We also do have a gun range in the town. However, gun violence is extremely rare in Japan. Sometimes the Yakuza mafia will take a shot at each other, usually with small hand guns (and usually shooting to miss, just as a warning!!), but that is about it. This articles say that in Japan in 2014 there were six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38365729

    It makes a difference. I once had a robber begin to come through my window while I was at home when I lived in Tokyo, thinking the house was empty. Knowing that he probably did not have a gun, I was able to chase him away with a broom (true story. He even apologized to me as he ran away, very Japanese). Back when I was in Miami ... it would have been a different story.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-21-2017 at 02:36 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    This just seen. Racism and ultra-nationalism must be challenged wherever and whenever they appear in the world ...

    Pro soccer player leaves field in tears after racist chants

    BELGRADE, Serbia -- Partizan Belgrade midfielder Everton Luiz was in tears after persistent racist chants during his team’s victory over Rad in the Serbian league.

    The Brazilian, who joined Partizan last year, played through monkey chants and other abuse, including a racist banner in the stands where Rad fans were standing.

    The banner was removed after intervention from the referee.

    ...

    Wiping away tears, Luiz said he “faced racist abuse during the entire match.”

    Serbian fans are notorious for racist outbursts against black players. Rad supporters are known for their nationalist ultra-right behavior.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brazilia...nts-in-serbia/

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15


    Washin
    sattoday

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    I am with Jundo, and all of you, but I will also put in my support for women, with no regret, who simply do not wish to give birth to a child, regardless of whether or not they were raped, or in poor health for pregnancy. It is a personal choice that I feel no one else can make for a person or stipulate.

    Gassho, sat today
    Hi Geika. Obviously this subject can cause deep fault lines among well meaning people. My feeling is that on balance, and as a wise public policy, abortion be regarded as a private matter of conscience for each woman.

    That is the only particular policy subject I'll wade into here.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat today
    Last edited by Daizan; 02-21-2017 at 09:07 AM.
    As a trainee I ask that all comments by me on matters of Dharma be taken with "a grain of salt".

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    I am with Jundo, and all of you, but I will also put in my support for women, with no regret, who simply do not wish to give birth to a child, regardless of whether or not they were raped, or in poor health for pregnancy. It is a personal choice that I feel no one else can make for a person or stipulate.

    Gassho, sat today
    Hi Geika,

    I changed the wording a little with "or", as what I wrote was unclear.

    But again, this is a matter for each woman and her doctor, and just my personal feeling. Others may differ.

    I will support access to birth control for all and decent women’s health care, and (with some regret) abortion in the early months, or in cases of rape or to protect the life of the mother.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Member Seishin-Do's Avatar
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    Jundo

    I applaud the stance you have taken in publicly speaking out. These are indeed worrying times. There used to be a saying in the UK, "when the US sneezes England getsa cold", this then became Europe and now sadly much of the globe. I only hope that Trump's policies and bigoted views are not transmitted outside of the US and that common sense will prevail if only after his term in office. Sadly in my heart in know that will be unlikely before too much damage is done but live in hope.

    Greed Anger/Hatred Ignorance right here right now, should those be the attributes of the person whose office is dubbed "the most powerful man in the world"?
    Gassho

    Toby



  19. #19
    Gassho and Thank you very much for this talk Jundo Sensei.
    I was wondering if we could please include the millions of animals suffering brutal lives and dying horrific deaths in factory farms around the world in this list.
    I have (as much as any Australian really can) been in great and vocal opposition to Donald Trump as president, before he had even been elected. His winning the election actually caused a great dark cloud in my life and so I had been avoiding political news by any and all means.
    Having done this for a few months, I have began to wonder; could these opinions/policies be caused by a great fear within himself? Then also what could possibly be causing such fear?
    It seems to me (in my limited understanding) that this man has had rather a great deal of wealth and power his entire life; it could be that his attachment to these things has caused a great fear of losing them. My biggest worry is that he had become attached to even the idea of his new power before he had even really received it, and that these policies are an attempt to keep said power, and if so, what's going to be next for the U.S and the world.

    Gassho
    Patrick
    Sat today

  20. #20
    Thank you for these words, Jundo.
    Can I get your permission to translate them into Dutch? I might just want to sqeeze them in, somewhere: we are having elections in four weeks time.
    There are voters and politicians who could use some of this, I think.

    Gassho
    Ronald
    ..will sit tonight..
    With gentleness overcome anger. With generosity overcome meanness. With truth overcome deceit.
    Buddha

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
    I was wondering if we could please include the millions of animals suffering brutal lives and dying horrific deaths in factory farms around the world in this list.
    I will add something. I am not vegetarian, and perhaps most Asian Buddhists are not strictly vegetarian (some believe it is required by the Precepts), but I do believe that we should be more humane to farm animals.

    - I will support more humane treatment of animals in farming.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - Yes, please translate this into Dutch or any other language if you think it will have positive impact on world politics.
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-22-2017 at 02:44 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    I am with Jundo, and all of you, but I will also put in my support for women, with no regret, who simply do not wish to give birth to a child, regardless of whether or not they were raped, or in poor health for pregnancy. It is a personal choice that I feel no one else can make for a person or stipulate.

    Gassho, sat today
    I am in total agreement, Geika.

    Thank you, Jundo. I am also in agreement with everything you posted. As well as advocating more human treatment for animals.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  23. #23
    Thank you, Jundo, and everyone who has contributed to this thread.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    SatToday

  24. #24
    I agree about opposing "the wall". It simply doesn't go far enough. We need a retractable dome with a moon roof in case it's nice outside :P

    Seriously:

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I will add something. I am not vegetarian, and perhaps most Asian Buddhists are not strictly vegetarian (some believe it is required by the Precepts), but I do believe that we should be more humane to farm animals.
    Thankyou very much Jundo Sensei.
    I am not a strict vegetarian either (I avoid eating meat where I can, but won't cook a separate meal for myself if my wife feels like meat, and won't ask for others to cook a separate meal for me when eating at someone else's house).

    Gassho
    Patrick
    sat today

  26. #26
    Member Geika's Avatar
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    I feel that is a really practical way to be, Patrick.

    Gassho, sat today
    迎 Geika

  27. #27
    Thank you Geika.

    Gassho

    sat today

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