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Thread: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

  1. #1

    May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Well, according to my Facebook feed, Osama bin Laden is dead. While most of my friends and family are sending one another virtual high-fives, my current status update is just this: May all beings be happy and free from suffering. I'm posting here just because I felt the need to say *something* more, and I don't feel right doing it on Facebook. Should we really celebrate violent death? Anyone's? Maybe compassion for those suffering in the world is sometimes best accomplished in silence, when speaking out for compassion may be taken by others as a violent act in itself.

    -Ted

  2. #2

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Thank you, Ted.

    Yes, this will be the theme of a talk or two during our monthly Zazenkai next Saturday or during this week.

    We must even wish peace, and chant for Osama Bin Laden (Of course, for those in his family who were killed too). Though it may be shocking for some people, the perspective on chanting for Osama Bin Laden is this: If he could have once found the peace and non-violence which we chant for, no harms would not have happened at his hands as did occur. Yes, he is "Buddha" too ... although hidden under layers and layers of anger, religious divisions, violence and disrespect for life and other ugliness. As the ripples of his actions sweep on into the future (long after his death), we also chant that they may settle into healing and peace. Even here, the real "enemy" was not Osama, but the Greed, Anger and Ignorance that plagues all humanity.

    What about the taking of his life in this case? The use of force, even the taking of life may be needed (in my view, maybe the view of the great majority of Buddhist teachers -- though not all -- commenting on the matter these days) in some extreme cases in order to save innocent lives. This may be such a case. However, we should reflect and repent on having the need to do so nonetheless. Also, we should know that our actions may themselves cause ripples ... that all violence, even "justified" violence, begets violence. Even if resorted too as a way to save life, the taking of a life should be as a last resort ... after all other solutions have been tried, including turning the other cheek. (That is just my view)

    Let us also chant for a world in which we can ALL live together in peace, with human rights, food and shelter and such for all. Then perhaps this will finally be a world in which people feel no compulsion to kill each other at all.

    Gassho and Peace, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    My thoughts are with those that lost their lives amost 10 years ago and who have passed since.

    Gassho,

    Adam

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Thank you, Ted. I am having these feelings as well. I'm watching people on t.v. shouting USA! USA! and I just . . . you're right. May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Gassho,

    Jennifer

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hogo's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Yup.
    Gassho ~ D

    *Edit*
    P.S.
    Ted, hope you don't mind I sent your wise sentiment on to my FB status as well. I know there is so much emotion now, and yet...... I feel really, can not explain. May ALL be free from suffering, now and always.

  6. #6

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Under certain karmic conditions, we too could have been Osama Bin Laden. Would we have done better if we were him, walking in his shoes, living his life? Then how could we possibly rejoice of a death of a sentient being?

    May all beings be free from suffering.

  7. #7

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Hello,

    just my two novice-in-training-cents, feel free to disagree.

    To follow the way of Zen is to drop all likes and dislikes whilst being guided every step by limitless compassion. Limitless. It doesn't stop at your front door, your neighbourhood picket fence or country border. Limitless.

    This is why (getting personal for a second) when I say "May all beings be happy and free from suffering and attain unexcelled perfect awakening.", I include those who killed my grandfather's brothers (one priest, one priest-to-be) on the eastern front, those who raped my grandmother's best teenage friends when they were chased out of their homes in the Sudetes, never to return to their homes...and others too.

    One can discuss what needs to be done when one is responsible for a whole country, and sometimes what needs to be done may be far removed from our ideals, but IMHO as Buddhists we cannot for one second doubt that everyone is deserving of our compassion.

    Every sentient being deserves limitless compassion. Every single not-alone-interdependent-one. To seperate "one" completely from "others" is to split heaven and earth in two.

    It's easy to talk about compassion when it doesn't involve dislikes and likes close to home, but facing the death of an "enemy" is exactly the time to see how much work we have to do on ourselves and with one another.

    In extending my compassion to everyone and everything, I also carry a distant hope for others to extend their compassion to this stumbling, hurt-causing meat-bag called Hans in return.

    Gassho,

    Hans

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Disclaimer: I am not American and I am far from understanding how USA culture works, even if a huge part of my family is American. I mean no offense to my American friends. Just trying to understand.

    --------

    Well, after 10 years the terrorist is dead. The whole planet suffered the consequences of 9 11 and last night President Obama gave the announcement on international TV.

    Immediately people in the US went out to the streets cheering and clapping and according to news reporters, people were feeling that justice was imparted and they were all happy.

    I can understand how people can feel happy for the death of someone who killed thousands but I'm kind of scared about overall reaction.

    Aren't they all cheering for the feeling of vengeance and revenge? I mean, I can understand if a sense of relief prevails, but raving and cheering on the streets?

    How was justice served when the US has been at war for 10 years and countless victims from both sides are well known to have cost?

    It struck me when President Obama said that no Americans have been harmed. Is going to war and kill more people justified as long as the victims are not Americans?

    At any rate I can feel the sense of relief that must prevail. I truly do. People can breathe easy for a huge enemy has been taken down.

    I don't know. Just trying to understand.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmac
    Well, according to my Facebook feed, Osama bin Laden is dead. While most of my friends and family are sending one another virtual high-fives, my current status update is just this: May all beings be happy and free from suffering. I'm posting here just because I felt the need to say *something* more, and I don't feel right doing it on Facebook. Should we really celebrate violent death? Anyone's? Maybe compassion for those suffering in the world is sometimes best accomplished in silence, when speaking out for compassion may be taken by others as a violent act in itself.

    -Ted
    Ted, I am not American, but I can certainly feel the relief that must be on people right now.

    Like Jundo says, maybe violence is justified in order to save lives, but yes, I agree. I think it's better to chant and think that may all beings be happy and free from suffering.

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Yes Hans; my deepest regards to what you write. As well, shouldn't we all reflect and accept the fact that Osama is the winner. His initial objective was to disrupt the powers that control the world, in whoever's name he did profess. And, he has achieved his goal. However, the best laid plans of mice and men, he didn't realize the enormity of ill-will that replaced it. The under current of anger in the western world is uncontrolled and the chanting of USA that we are hearing is a symptom of that. it is similar to the focus on Hitler over half a century ago. Human beings need to vent; if only they chose love instead.

  11. #11

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Hans expressed many of my feelings. The reality is that Osama had to be brought to justice and he wasn't going to submit without a fight. This karmic outcome was determined from day 1. My hope now is that all military personnel be removed from this part of the world and may all beings be happy and free from suffering.

  12. #12

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Hello all,

    Putting thoughts to words for this situation is difficult for me at this time. I need to process it and wrap my head around it. My initial reaction did NOT include a feeling of relief, or happiness...it's more like an "oh, WOW" and a sense of sadness for us as a nation.

    If you ask any American and some others around the globe, they can probably tell you where they were on that day 10 years ago when the initial tragedy took place. I know I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing. I can only imagine the gamut of emotions running through the families who were affected by this tragedy.

    Today will be interesting at school...

    Indeed, May all be free from suffering!

    take care ... bows,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  13. #13

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    I'm at a loss as well...my FB post this morning:

    "Mixed feelings about hearing OBL is dead. Saddened to think of all the people who have died, on both sides. So much pain and suffering in war. Much metta to all."

    It is a difficult line to walk as a Buddhist. How to express compassion without being labelled as a terrorist. Most of the time I just frankly state my feelings and opinions but remain open to dialogue. Sadly, during these times of high emotion, anger and hatred seem to get the best of people.

    Gassho,

    Shawn

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Anista wrote:
    Under certain karmic conditions, we too could have been Osama Bin Laden. Would we have done better if we were him, walking in his shoes, living his life?
    I don't know enough about him to know what happened in his life that made him what he was? Everyone has in them a Buddha as well as a bin laden. For myself if someone molested one of my children or did something equally terrible to them I could also turn into a bin laden. Revenge seeking and stopping at nothing to destroy them!

    Gassho,
    John

  15. #15

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by shards
    It is a difficult line to walk as a Buddhist. How to express compassion without being labeled as a terrorist. Most of the time I just frankly state my feelings and opinions but remain open to dialogue. Sadly, during these times of high emotion, anger and hatred seem to get the best of people.
    very true. After ten years many people are just trilled to hear that he was killed. But still like what has already been said, we all have the potential to be Buddha or Devils, it all depends on us.

    Bin Laden is dead, but what does that mean for us? How will we proceed from here? One man dead, but how many more will be killed? What happens now?

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  16. #16

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
    May all sentient beings be free from suffering and its causes.
    May all sentient beings never be separated from sorrow-less bliss.
    May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.


    Gassho

    Seiryu

  17. #17

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    His end is just another beginning. I can understand the relief and elation felt by many for the death of the man responsible for 9/11. But this is just another new link in the chain of violence.

    I don't know if things could be done any differently given the thirst for revenge over so many years, but I think celebrating is short-sighted.

    Solemn, not elated,
    Matt

  18. #18
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I don't know if things could be done any differently given the thirst for revenge over so many years, but I think celebrating is short-sighted.
    Those are exactly my thoughts on this, mate.

  19. #19

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    Bin Laden is dead, but what does that mean for us? How will we proceed from here? One man dead, but how many more will be killed? What happens now?
    Hello friends,

    Happy, sad, it is what it is. Violence will only lead to more violence. Anger to more anger.

    Why celebrate the death of someone wandering on through greed, anger, ignorance? He was, I am.

    Metta to all who have been hurt through his actions, metta to him. May they, and he, be freed of the poisons and achieve awakening. May all beings everywhere be free of suffering and pain.

    Metta,

    Saijun

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Hi all,

    I am an American.

    And I am not happy or relieved.

    I am sad.

    Beacuse so many have died.

    And killing brings none of them back.

    Justice? Or revenge?

    In the end it is all suffering.

    If only the death of anyone was felt just as strongly as the many.

    Or the one that you love.

    If only we could love and not kill our fellow human beings.

    If only we could see the death of anyone as the death of a child.

    And the dreams their parents had for them.

    And the dreams I have for my children.

    If only we could stop waiting for someone else to do something.

    And we all did something to stop the killing.

    Instead of saying, "If only..."

    That murderer has been killed.

    But another one of our children has died.

    So many children have died.

    And the dreams of their parents have died.

    And I can never be elated that any of them has died.

    Because the suffering of one should be the suffering of us all.

    Because the suffering of one IS the suffering of us all.

    Because so many have died,

    I am sad.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  21. #21
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Beautifully put Dosho. Many thanks. As the song goes 'we didn't start the fire', but we do really need to find the way to dampen it. I think you have pointed us there.
    Gassho X 3.

  22. #22

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Nothing much to say, after everything that has been said.

    I'm saddened at my country's reaction. I'm saddened at the celebration. I have hope to move away from violence in the Middle East. I know this changes nothing. I hope everything comes out ok.

    I think we need to work for peace each and every day. All of us. This forum is beautiful, but it is not where we will encounter the hard choices of peace. The choice to object to a celebration, the choice not to beat our chest and say "Goddamn right!". We must make those hard decisions to object, to protest, to move through this world of violence as flagships of peace. Despite how hard it may be. Blessings and Gasshos to all of you.

    Taylor

  23. #23

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Dosho...so true...

    Bin laden is a child, a husband, a father... he is a terrorist, he is a life giver, a life taker, he is Bin laden, or..is he? Is he what people say he is, what he thinks he is, what his believers make of him?
    Now dead?
    Killing people who kill...Does this make sense?
    Killing people, does this make sense?
    Killing, does this make sense?

    Killing what? Who?

    What makes sense is to kill ( I should say embrace and dissolve) the person I am not.
    Not Bin Laden.

    What makes sense is to stop these kids from killng themseleves and others. And to stop myself too.

    Making a martyr is not going to make things easy.

    A corpse in the sea is not getting us anyhere.

    More suffering.


    Justice- Killing?-Throwing a corpse in the sea?...
    Can you really see how much insanity these sentences generate when you-I-everybody put them together?

    gassho


    Taigu

  24. #24

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    We can play with semantics and philosophize until we are blue in the face. The truth of the matter is that Bin Laden engaged in an act of war against the US when he orchestrated the deaths of thousands of Americans in 2001. It is also a fact that his death probably doesn't change much; there are still terrorists and still people plotting to destroy the "evil Americans". hahah look at me saying "this is a fact". I know it's just my subjectivity But I don't like the idea of celebration. Revenge doesn't do anything but cause more suffering.

    So I'm more in a state of disbelief right now. Death and killing always concern me, leaves me feeling drained. I know there are multiple facets to these things and killing is not good. But turning the other cheek while a man massacres innocents can't occur either, and I will never engage in the epidemic of American hate (sometimes self-hatred that Americans have imposed on themselves when making unrealistic comparisons to other cultures of the world). This country isn't perfect, and the fact of the matter is that the intelligence reports our countries (and world) leaders face must be insane.

    I'm glad he was brought to justice, personally. It may be ok from an absolute perspective to say "oh death and destruction... waaa" but that is very idealistic. I hope we can all live together peacefully one day too but, until that time, we cannot allow despots and destructive people to reign free. That's just the bottom line. Remember World War II, when Neville Chamberlain thought that if he submitted to Hitler that all would be well? Nope, didn't work out. At the same time, we need to have a modicum of self-restraint and not cheer in the face of killing. There must be a respect.. that we all are the same. Anista pointed something very important out; any one of us could have been Osama. Or Hitler.. I mean it's very difficult to see that in myself.

    I think Jundo sensei articulated what I'm trying to say, "What about the taking of his life in this case? The use of force, even the taking of life may be needed (in my view, maybe the view of the great majority of Buddhist teachers -- though not all -- commenting on the matter these days) in some extreme cases in order to save innocent lives. This may be such a case. However, we should reflect and repent on having the need to do so nonetheless. Also, we should know that our actions may themselves cause ripples ... that all violence, even "justified" violence, begets violence. Even if resorted too as a way to save life, the taking of a life should be as a last resort ... after all other solutions have been tried, including turning the other cheek. (That is just my view)"

    Sometimes force must be met with force. We live in a world where there is evil and destruction, where there is also good. Sometimes shit happens. As Dogen said, "Although flowers loved whither and while weeds are hated flourish..." In any case, we need to accept where we are now but that doesn't mean to do nothing. Sometimes peaceful words are not enough.

    If I've discovered one thing through practice, it's that I don't like killing, but I've also come to realize that nothing is ever black and white. Living in the real world, instead of living through our ideals is a very messy proposition. There are no easy answers, but to sit back and do nothing in the face of an evil is probably the most heinous things one can do (like we did waiting to help the europeans in WWII until we got attacked).

    But all we can do is control our actions and face our fears and anger, like Taigu sensei said, "What makes sense is to stop these kids from killng themseleves and others. And to stop myself too."

    Things like this cause me to ramble (as evidenced by this post. lol), but they also cause me to reflect on being human and our history. When I think of greed, anger and ignorance, I tend to sometimes avoid the little things I do (which is why I still practice; it's easier to point fingers than to point it inwards). But I think of Hitler. You know it amazes me that that didn't happen that long ago. I mean it was only a few years ago. It scares me even more that an entire society followed him. Think about that!

    That's something that we have here in this country; even if we don't always live up to them, we have some very, very good values. You know I didn't vote for Obama, but I really have respect for him. He pronounces Pakistan correctly. He makes an effort to show that we are are a country that respects values (or tries to) for all human beings, despite race. I mean we are in a very dangerous time right now. There is civil unrest in this country; if it's not the Muslims, it's the illegal immigrants or it's the evil socialists or some group.

    This reminds me a lot of pre-WWII Germany. Inflation is high, unemployment is high. People are uneasy, and they want answers... looking for someone to blame. I respect that Obama tries to preserve that semblance of reason even though people are mad that he sticks up for Muslim rights or thinks that Illegal Immigrants are not the enemy; they are human too.

    Anyway, I'm done rambling. lol

  25. #25

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    I must honestly admit that I can't muster up a shred of honest compassion or even goodwill for Osama Bin Laden or any of his supporters, I cannot pretend otherwise, and I'm honestly glad he's dead. I saw what that man created. I handled the bodies, smelled the death, walked through the muck and filth and haven't slept through the night since. For them, the victims, the innocent, the still missing and never to return, infinite compassion and love. But for that man I can't even pretend. Whatever that makes me, it makes me.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Hogo's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    But for that man I can't even pretend. Whatever that makes me, it makes me.
    I suspect it makes you perfectly human, I don't think anyone has a right to ask more.
    Just my humble opinion, I can not imagine the reality of what was experianced there.
    Gassho ~D.

  27. #27

    May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    I'm glad he was brought to justice, personally. It may be ok from an absolute perspective to say "oh death and destruction... waaa" but that is very idealistic. I hope we can all live together peacefully one day too but, until that time, we cannot allow despots and destructive people to reign free. That's just the bottom line.
    I think this is very important, but also part of the problem. You cannot allow destructive people to reign free, but ... Isn't that what they are saying about you? Both sides here are defending themselves from aggression from the other part. See, this is the karmic seed of a never-ending spiral of war and hate.

    There are no easy answers, but to sit back and do nothing in the face of an evil is probably the most heinous things one can do.
    Are they evil, and you good? Maybe both are evil? Or good? Again, if no one sits back, when will it end, except by mutual destruction?

    That sums up my view on this.

    (Sorry for using your post to explain my view, Risho. I'm sorry if it came out too personal, that was not my intention).

  28. #28

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Something is missing
    Osama is dead
    but I don't feel like justice
    has been served
    Osama Bin Laden
    is dead
    but I'm not proud
    to be an American
    at least not today
    there might have been another way
    to end the suffering
    of those who lost life and love in the twin towers
    but hatred never puts an end to hatred
    we murdered a murderer
    we murdered a murderer
    we murdered a murderer
    keep saying it until you hear it
    really hear it
    has our hatred ended one war
    or started a new one?


    gassho
    Greg

  29. #29
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    This is actually a difficult situation to view. From the idealistic Buddhist perspective, we say that is wrong to use violence with violence and it is wrong to be happy that he is dead. But from the perspective of a soldier that has seen Laden's violence firsthand or from someone that lost their loved one in the World Trade Center, I think it would be hard to keep that idealistic view.

    It is unfortunate all the way around that violence occurs in this world and that people have to suffer as a result. One thing we can do is to keep letting go of any violence within ourselves and be compassion towards others. May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

    Thanks,
    Jodi

  30. #30

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Quote Originally Posted by jodi_heisz
    This is actually a difficult situation to view. From the idealistic Buddhist perspective, we say that is wrong to use violence with violence and it is wrong to be happy that he is dead. But from the perspective of a soldier that has seen Laden's violence firsthand or from someone that lost their loved one in the World Trade Center, I think it would be hard to keep that idealistic view.
    With all due respect, and in my imperfect opinion, if you see this Buddhist perspective as idealistic, I think you are missing a great deal of what Buddhism can teach us. If you live the buddhadharma through and through, idealism turns to realism. It is the only way we can see it. That is the strength of the buddhadharma. Reality pervades everything. Saying that it is wrong to use violence to stop violence is therefore not idealistic, but realistic, because you can actually see vip?ka folding out in front of you. Utter realism! Sheer beauty!

    However, I do understand that this realistic view is hard to keep when you are the one who has lost a loved one.

    May all be free of their afflictions.

  31. #31
    Stephanie
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    I really appreciate this thread and the posts on Facebook I've encountered by folks who offer concerns about the mass reaction to Osama bin Laden's death. I too find no cause for celebration. I don't know of any intelligence that bin Laden was planning anything that posed a current threat. This seemed to be a plain revenge killing. With no respect for American due process of law.

    I mean, it sounds like the killing was in self-defense, possibly, but it's being described in the media as the Navy SEALs riding in and executing the outlaw. And it's to be expected that the usual yahoos will cheer and high five, but this celebratory mood has extended even as far as NPR, which was presenting this story as "justice having been carried out." What kind of justice? Since when does America condone vigilante justice? Our justice system may be imperfect, but it is better than gunfights and executions.

    The kind of society that kind of "justice" creates is not the kind of society in which the things I value flourish. Some Americans fantasize about returning to a cowboy kind of culture where everyone walks around with guns strapped to their sides. I find this absurd, childish, as everyone likes to imagine they are John Wayne, the quickest draw who would always crush all enemies. But the truth is most people would lose these street battles. And who would the winners be? Might and agility are not always paired with wisdom and morality, often the most ruthless, the "winners" are less sensitive and moral. So we could have a world where a few thugs rise to the top and rule over others, as opposed to a world in which society allows people of varied talents to survive and flourish together, and make art and culture and peace.

    I am really starting to feel disgusted by the society I live in. Part of me wants to see these blind Tea Party fools get what they want, a smaller government with less restrictions on big corporations, no programs for the poor or the elderly who have contributed their lives to society, hicks strapped with guns killing each other. Move to some more civilized place and watch them all kill each other. I'm not proud of that, I don't think that is a good way to think, but sometimes I despair in seeing how fully the three poisons have taken hold of this society. I just don't know what to do when people claim it's patriotic to fight against programs for the poor and to wish to return to times when might and brutality were the ruling forces. Because of their selfish romanticized dream that they could be the big dog.

    I see this jubilation over bin Laden's death as a product of this mindset. Not only do I think that killing should never be celebrated, even when it is necessary, I think it's twisted to call it "justice." I do believe in the justice that happens when people are brought to trial, when there is a chance to review and examine and question and maybe understand what happened, and why. All that happened, was killing.

  32. #32
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    There is no place in my heart or head for joy and celebration over the ambush killing of Osama Bin Laden; and,...I also find it difficult to find sorrow over his passing.. We see him darkened by Mara, flawed in his thinking and expression of his goals. We are saddened by his errors, but not overcome by them. Neither then am I overcome one way or another by his death. We all shall die. Some of us shall certainly die as we live, some "by the sword" as witnessed today. Mara is not done with us. We need to maintain a balanced heart and mind and body so as to not succumb to any extreme of joy, fear, hate or even love.

    Gassho,

    Seishin Kyrill

  33. #33
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Risho wrote:
    (which is why I still practice; it's easier to point fingers than to point it inwards).
    How true. We must remember that when we point the finger at someone else 3 of our own fingers are literally pointing at ourselves! Try it and see for yourself :wink:

    Gassho,
    John

  34. #34

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    I'm glad he was brought to justice, personally. It may be ok from an absolute perspective to say "oh death and destruction... waaa" but that is very idealistic. I hope we can all live together peacefully one day too but, until that time, we cannot allow despots and destructive people to reign free. That's just the bottom line.
    I think this is very important, but also part of the problem. You cannot allow destructive people to reign free, but ... Isn't that what they are saying about you? Both sides here are defending themselves from aggression from the other part. See, this is the karmic seed of a never-ending spiral of war and hate.

    There are no easy answers, but to sit back and do nothing in the face of an evil is probably the most heinous things one can do.
    Are they evil, and you good? Maybe both are evil? Or good? Again, if no one sits back, when will it end, except by mutual destruction?

    That sums up my view on this.

    (Sorry for using your post to explain my view, Risho. I'm sorry if it came out too personal, that was not my intention).
    No apologies man, that's why we communicate. I understand your points. I don't know if "they" are evil or how they view me or this culture. I do know that a group of radical muslims attacked and killed civilians of this (and other countries), and they need to be brought to justice. I'm not certain, and I'm not certain that it matters, if they are good or evil. I mean everyone is pretty much a mix of both, but action needs to be taken to prevent those atrocities from happening again. Now, that group may think we're heathens or infidels, but they (and I'm talking about radicals here) are not interested in talking. They aren't interested in liking us, and they most certainly aren't interested in reasoning. They will kill for their beliefs, for what they think their god is telling them. They will literally strap explosives and kill themselves and others for what they believe. I don't know, but that sort of backward thinking cannot be tolerated. Not because it is a belief but because those beliefs directly lead to actions that destroy life. That needs to be stopped.

  35. #35

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    As before and always, with Bin Laden death or not, Existence goes on. We are not the center of the Universe.

  36. #36

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    I also believe we must take a stance against all kinds of violence. If you kill, murder someone...why must someone not kill you?. There is no justification for killing when it can be prevented (meaning maybe authentic self defense). If you rejoice in Osama´s death, why should his followers not rejoice yours....and then who will ever stop?
    metta to all

  37. #37

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    I have to say that I'm torn on this one. I am a US citizen, and a former United States Marine. I vividly recall being woken up by the duty officer in the middle of the night on Okinawa, as the Major called a meeting to brief us on the attacks that had just happened back in the States.

    My initial thought was that I felt sorry that any loss of life was necessary, and that I felt pity that Bin Laden was the victim of whatever delusions and demons that haunted him and hounded him into becoming an extension of hatred. I also felt sorry for the fact that his chosen religion told him that God was cool with killing in the name of his faith. However, there was also a rather large part that said, "I wish no one had to get shot in the head, but if it had to be someone........."

  38. #38

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Hello everyone,

    after having read through another two dozen posts or so, I feel the need to simply repeat my deluded novice opinion once more. Fell free to ignore my voice.

    Limitless compassion. Period.

    I will in no way belittle the great suffering that 911 brought upon the people of the USA, I also will not engage in a more detailed criticism of US foreign policy in this forum, but will simply suggest that the list of agressive actions committed and/or supported by the US government in the last 40 years (like many other governments too btw.) makes the 911 death toll look rather unimpressive. Nothing can be an excuse for terrorism, but to forget we are all karmically connected through our deeds in favour of a "we're the good guys" "they're the bad guys" logic is deeply flawed.

    To walk in the Buddha's footsteps means to transcend narrow definitions of enemy/friend, citizen/non-citizen. We should make the suffering of all sides our own.

    Situations like these are exactly when Buddhist practice becomes truly Buddhist practice. It's easy to talk about compassion when not facing an enemy, or an enemy's death, sipping tea, sitting on our Yoga mats in a western democracy. The depth of one's practice will shine forth in moments when one faces that which one is attached to (likes/dislikes).

    Gassho,

    Hans

  39. #39
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Mongen wrote;
    Limitless compassion. Period.
    Thank you Hans

  40. #40

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    I do know that a group of radical muslims attacked and killed civilians of this (and other countries), and they need to be brought to justice. I'm not certain, and I'm not certain that it matters, if they are good or evil. I mean everyone is pretty much a mix of both, but action needs to be taken to prevent those atrocities from happening again.
    Then, would it be alright if action were taken against Bush and Obama, for the atrocities they have been responsible for? This is much like the racial revolts in the U.S. (e.g. the Rodney King incident), where the policemen who started it all, were acquitted. What kind of signal do you think this sends? It is very much the same in the Middle East, where the Arab population see that Americans come to them and commit war crimes, yet nobody punishes them. When they try to fight back (which is I am sure how they see it), all of a sudden they are the bad guys. I am not saying that this is how it objectively is, just that both sides have their versions.

    Now, that group may think we're heathens or infidels, but they (and I'm talking about radicals here) are not interested in talking. They aren't interested in liking us, and they most certainly aren't interested in reasoning. They will kill for their beliefs, for what they think their god is telling them.
    Yes, you are correct. But then again, this is exactly how many people in the Arab world (and in Europe for that matter) see the US. You are clearly not interested in talking, nor in reasoning, and you will kill for your beliefs (in the capitalist market for example). How is this different?

    They will literally strap explosives and kill themselves and others for what they believe. I don't know, but that sort of backward thinking cannot be tolerated. Not because it is a belief but because those beliefs directly lead to actions that destroy life. That needs to be stopped.
    And once again, I can make the exact same statement about the U.S. This is how a large portion of the world views you. If you should stop them because of what they have done, why aren't they allowed to stop you for what you have done? You may not strap explosives on you, but you fill up B52's and carpet bomb entire cities (with civilians - just check the civilian death counts in Iraq for example). You have the Guantanamo, the Abu Ghraib, the Wikileaks incidents, waterboarding.

    I'm definitely not saying that Americans are evil, and that all is your fault, but you need to pay attention to what you are doing yourselves. We all are. If you are allowed to go into another country and kill bin Laden, then surely you agree that they should be allowed to go into your country and kill your leaders? You don't have more right to use deadly force than they do. See, they don't attack you because they hate your freedom and your way of life, they attack you because they feel that you have attacked them first. Perhaps you can make the argument that they focus on killing civilians, but with all the reports coming through of how American soldiers also commit atrocities on civilians, in all wars you have been involved in, the same could be said about you. There is no such thing as a just war.

    Otherwise, that is what I mean, when I say that this is karmic seed which will lead to a downward spiral of war and hate. If you are intent on revenge all the time, nothing will stop.

    Please don't take this as some anti-american propaganda, for it is nothing of the sort. Often, I'm playing the devil's advocate. Also, I am overgeneralizing which perhaps isn't always so skillful. I am just trying to understand your view, and why there is a difference between the atrocities of one nation and not another. I definitely do not think it is OK to ram airplanes into buildings just because you have done bad things to them. Sometimes I am reminded of my work as a kindergarten teacher, when I see kids fighting in exactly the same way (albeit on a lesser scale). They are always convinced that their reason for hitting the other kid was just and correct and had to be done, but when they get hit back, they start crying and feel it is unfair. It doesn't matter who started it, it's equally wrong to continue the fight. Now make up and be friends!

  41. #41

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Anista, I'm not throwing stones here, my house still has some walls of glass, but I think it is worth remembering that if we all just realized our Buddha Natures and acted with compassion towards others, there wouldn't have been all the events that lead up to Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, waterboarding, etc. Not to lay blame on the Muslims. In truth that probably wouldn't have happened either had generations of Muslims not been subjected to the Crusades and French occupation. Which may not have happened had the Pope not prevailed upon the king of France, and he the king of England, that Jerusalem was wealthy. And one could take this line of thought further back, and further back, and further back until the begining, if there were one, of when sentient beings began to value attachment and delusion above compassion and realization.

    The point is, would it be right to say that we should be brought to justice for the things we have done, as we say others should be? No. No more so than it is for us to say others should be punished for their crimes. It would be right to say that as Bodhisattvas and Buddhas and John Q. Publics, it is our job to embody and live the ideals that put a stop to these types of actions in the first place, and hopefully entice others to do the same.

    Again, easier said than done. My post above shows that I struggle with this often.

  42. #42

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Situations like these are exactly when Buddhist practice becomes truly Buddhist practice. It's easy to talk about compassion when not facing an enemy, or an enemy's death, sipping tea, sitting on our Yoga mats in a western democracy. The depth of one's practice will shine forth in moments when one faces that which one is attached to (likes/dislikes).

    It may mean my practice is shallow in some peoples' eyes. Fine. I'm just being honest about what I feel. I may have some thoughts about those who're sitting in judgement of people who're feeling as I do. I'd ask simply, "But were you there?" Might be a lot easier from where some here are sitting, I think. But I'm not going to do a happy little dance and pretend I feel compassion. Not for this man; I don't. Not at all. I'm glad he's dead. It's not about "justice" or any other lofty sounding, incense farting nonsense. This man killed my friends. He raped nations. I can neither hear out of my right hear nor walk without a limp for the rest of my life because of that man, and because of him and the direction he led the 21st century into I haven't slept through the night in years. He altered my life in ways ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary, and I'm not going to sit here and pretend I'm a happy little zenster full of compassion and at peace with all. This man is the Destroyer of Worlds, and while I wouldn't celebrate his death, either, the world is a better place with him out of it.

  43. #43

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Hello,

    just a few lines to clarify what I wrote. I did never ever claim that I personally have mastered the art of limitless compassion, my point is simply that we should identify the limits of our compassion and work towards making that compassion limitless. Metta practise is a wonderful example, one can start with generating loving-kindness and extend it first to those one personally loves, then those one identifies with...and ultimately work right up until extending Metta to Mr. Bin Laden and his family.

    The examples of individual Tibetan monks leaving prisons after thirty years of abuse and torture with only a bare minimum of hate are a living testament to the possibility of actually developing great amounts of real and tangible compassion in this life and not just as a fancy wish in some psychedelic sutra. It shows us that the practise is real and can be as deep as we will allow it to.

    I still vividly remember all those truly great cold war propaganda flicks like Top Gun that de-humanised the Russians (whose faces one could never see) to the point where all that counted was to get the girl, wear Ray-Ban sunglasses (which are really stylish btw.) and score "a hit". And still I am working on trying to de-program myself from decades of growing up with this aestheticised "kill the bad guy" stuff.

    Killing Bin Laden is indeed a victory in the sense that a symptom of a sickness was beaten back. The Dharma, as far as I know or don't know at this early point in my journey as a novice, is not about symptoms, however, it is about uprooting the causes of hate and strife.


    Gassho,

    Hans

  44. #44

    Re: Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    I can neither hear out of my right hear nor walk without a limp for the rest of my life because of that man, and because of him and the direction he led the 21st century into I haven't slept through the night in years.
    Much metta to you, your friends and even the guys on the other side of the barrel who are experiencing the same physical and emotional pain. I cannot imagine.

    Many times it is hard to see the majestic forest with our noses pressed against the trees. However, the opposite is also true from the comfort of our sofas.

    Metta,

    Shawn

  45. #45

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Anista,

    I was thinking about the karmic repercussions after my post. I know what you mean. There have to be repercussions for things but we have to respond in a manner that results in a minimal amount of greed, anger and ignorance. This is definitely a difficult proposition in this case.

    I would argue that although killing civilians during the Iraq war and killing civilians for a religious war are 2 different things, but it is killing nonetheless and has ramifications that we will deal with for years to come. It's hard to listen to "the other side" when you are killing them.

    Hans,

    I can't believe you said that about Top Gun; sure there was a highly questionable volleyball scene, but that movie was great! Ok back to watching A-Team while cuddling with my Ronald Reagan portrait :mrgreen:

    Risho

  46. #46
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Ankai wrote:
    This man killed my friends. He raped nations. I can neither hear out of my right hear nor walk without a limp for the rest of my life because of that man, and because of him and the direction he led the 21st century into I haven't slept through the night in years. He altered my life in ways ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary
    _/_ much Metta to you and the families of your friends!

    Gassho,
    John

  47. #47
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    The hating* is everywhere, folks. I live in a very conservative part of the country where people are hating on President Obama for taking credit for the killing of Osama. They are also conflating those names and events on purpose. The undercurrent of racism here is so strong that it's not really even an undercurrent. The undercurrent of racism or religious-ism or any other ism on this issue is palpable, and we need to be aware of that, here and everyone, me and you, us and everyone. I find it very disturbing, but I also find that my hating on the people that are hating just adds to more hating, so I need to be aware of it so I can stop that cycle. My relief has been found in metta towards all involved, which is all of us at this point.

    I like Hans' words on this very much. This is a trying time and we can use it to find the limits of our practice, the limits of our compassion. If you're not there yet, that's okay, you're on the Path to there. And so am I.

    *I'm using hating here in the slang sense of saying bad things about people; I am not accusing anyone here or anywhere of actual hate, such is not my place.

  48. #48
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    Situations like these are exactly when Buddhist practice becomes truly Buddhist practice. It's easy to talk about compassion when not facing an enemy, or an enemy's death, sipping tea, sitting on our Yoga mats in a western democracy. The depth of one's practice will shine forth in moments when one faces that which one is attached to (likes/dislikes).

    It may mean my practice is shallow in some peoples' eyes. Fine. I'm just being honest about what I feel. I may have some thoughts about those who're sitting in judgement of people who're feeling as I do. I'd ask simply, "But were you there?" Might be a lot easier from where some here are sitting, I think. But I'm not going to do a happy little dance and pretend I feel compassion. Not for this man; I don't. Not at all. I'm glad he's dead. It's not about "justice" or any other lofty sounding, incense farting nonsense. This man killed my friends. He raped nations. I can neither hear out of my right hear nor walk without a limp for the rest of my life because of that man, and because of him and the direction he led the 21st century into I haven't slept through the night in years. He altered my life in ways ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary, and I'm not going to sit here and pretend I'm a happy little zenster full of compassion and at peace with all. This man is the Destroyer of Worlds, and while I wouldn't celebrate his death, either, the world is a better place with him out of it.
    You feel what you feel, and that is Zen too. I think of the story about the Zen priest who cried at the death of his wife. Someone asked him how he could be a Zen master and yet mourn the passing of life, etc. etc. The priest said it is appropriate and natural to cry when you are sad.

    Karl, considering your experiences,--which I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to go through--I find absolutely nothing inappropriate about your feelings in this matter.

    I thank you for your service, and send metta to you and yours.

    Gassho,

    Jennifer

  49. #49
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    Quite a range of opinion here, which is good. I would offer only a couple of thoughts to this thread.

    Although the celebration & excitement over Bin Laden's death don't appeal to me, I think it's a direct reflection about how much and how long this man has terrified Americans (and others, to be sure).

    My father was a Marine in the Pentagon on 09/11; he subsequently served in two campaigns in two different theaters as a result of that attack. I reflect upon an operation which has taken almost a decade, and feel relieved that those who sacrificed have not done so in vain. I didn't choose to follow in my father's footsteps; I have a service career on a local level. Thank you Ankai, Heitetsu, Fuken, Engyo and all veterans in this sangha for making that possible.

    gassho,
    Shujin

  50. #50

    Re: May all beings be happy and free from suffering (Osama)

    There is a range of emotion represented in this thread.
    .
    .
    .
    I'd like to invite everyone to take a step back, take a breath.
    .
    .
    .
    Osama, reached the fruition of his karmic actions.
    .
    .
    .
    The ripple of which is going to go on for some time.
    .
    .
    .
    We all will reach the fruition of our actions at some point.
    .
    .
    .
    Reality doesn't care about how we feel about things.
    .
    .
    .
    But how we feel about them affects our own view of reality.
    .
    .
    .
    I would like to be able to put those three little dots in-between sentences when I talk.
    .
    .
    .
    But mostly I sound like a runaway gun.
    .
    .
    .
    DAKADAKADAKA!
    .
    .
    .
    I have missed you all and look forward to a time when I can spend more time here.
    Please take good care.

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