interesting talk by Hyon Gak Sunim
This was interesting. World peace always starts with ourselves.
Yea. Even world peace is just for a moment. Interesting that even in buddhas land and time with a large % of monks and lay buddhists there was conflict and war. Heck even some of the kings were buddhists. Maybe if every person found world peace in themselves the world would be at peace. But like the guy said everyone has different idea about what to believe to have peace so real peace must not depend on thinking.
I've posted this a few places myself, but you beat me to it here!
For many years I was one of these anarchists Sunim is referring to. I was convinced that it would change the world. I was very attached to my ideas and got into many arguments about it.
Hmmm. Perhaps Hyon Gak Sunim's little talk is only halfway there.
In this world of Samsara, "world peace" ... the cessation of all distress and any conflict ... is just not possible so long as there are two things or people to bump into each other, making friction, disagreement, competition, war. So long as there are people in this world, there will always be different people ... with differing needs and viewpoints. As Master Seung Sahn points out, "World peace is not possible" in this complex world.
Yet, "world peace" is possible when we look inside (or better said, look through "inside or outside"), experiencing no this and that to fight over, no you and me to fight. Then, there is the world of One Piece ... a Peace so encompassing that it holds both peace and war, stillness and disturbance, all the broken pieces. Thus Master Seung Sahn points out that peace "is not necessary."
All At Once As One.
Hyon Gak Sunim is right, I feel, when he says that peace cannot be based on a philosophy, religion or idea ... so long as you and I fight about whose idea is right and wrong, perhaps willing to kill each other to prove it.
But Hyon Gak Sunim is very wrong when he say that peace cannot be based on a philosophy, religion or idea ... provided, however, that the shared idea is that we can all live together ... Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Whatever ... agreeing to disagree, allowing each other space, not fighting over right and wrong. I also uphold the idea that, sometime in the near future (if the human species is to survive) we will live in a world where the "this and that" of food, shelter, education, healthcare and the like are shared sufficiently ... as in a community of monks ... such that there will be no need to fight for acquiring basic "this and that". Oh, there will still be frictions, disagreements, disputes (yes, as found even in a community of monks!) ... but so long as we do not fight and kill each other and resolve the conflicts in peace, there can be "world peace."
"World peace" ... stopping all wars, stopping hunger, poverty and disease ... may never be possible in this complex world (though I think it someday possible). Thus we push ahead for the idea of "World Peace".
Thus, I must agree to agree/disagree with Hyon Gak Sunim.
PS - I fully agree that anarchy ... as well meaning as some of the folks involved may be ... is never the way. Violence and tearing down is most likely to lead to more violence.
PPS - Gee, I need to get a cameraman/director with such media values for the sit-a-longs! :wink:
The other day I was washing dishes and an old song by the Kingston Trio kept coming into my head. Not to make light of this thread I think it is appropriate since the words are still true some fifty years later.
They're rioting in Africa, they're starving in Spain.
There's hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch.
And I don't like anybody very much!
But we can be tranquil, and thankful, and proud,
For mans' been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off, and we will all be blown away.
They're rioting in Africa, there's strife in Iran.
What nature doesn't do to us, will be done by our fellow man.
Oh, I remain an optimist ... even as I bury vegetables in my back farm field for fear that they have been polluted with Cesium and other fun nuclear junk from Fukushima. I think we will figure how to live better on ... and with ... this world.Originally Posted by lorax
Nishijima Roshi, by the way, always describes Buddhism as an optimistic, positive and hopeful philosophy/religion ... not the pessimism that people sometimes think because we talk about "sickness, old age and death" so much! We also talk about freedom from all that!
Thank you Seiryu,
I understand what he's saying as that we cannot achieve any peace by intellectual thinking on how to achieve peace, by having a concept or idea on how that should work. But we need to look inside and find our intrinsic peace that is. When our action comes from that inner wisdom, it naturally leads to peace outside (though the effect is not immediately obvious, and definitely not peace allover),
Myoku / Peter
Maybe to achieve world peace we need not-doing and just open up to different ways of existence, but at the same times tend to every human right and need?
Like Jundo Sensei, I too believe world peace can be worked towards to if we all just simply accept each other's differences.
We as species have always messed up peace because of selfishness. We cannot accept others thinking differently and we can not stand the idea of people having more stuff than we have. People just can't let go power and money and will commit genocide in order to keep it.
Maybe someday we will understand this.
Thanks for the video, Seiryu. It made me think a lot.
Thank you for posting this video. Even though I think that in the past Buddha himself would disapprove of even spending half a though on this topic (the poison arrow parable) but in our time and place it seems relevant as it has become a real danger. I actually am frightful for our future and don't hold any high hopes as yet. Looking at the way the things are now and the seeds that are being planted, the future is rather grim. I really think that the Buddhist's idea of living for the benefit of others is the only way to survive on this planet. However, what I see is that such views are in minority. Of all the people that I know only very few share the same view and only a handful of those are willing to actually live like that. Having said that, I believe that when we chant "Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them. Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow to end them" is exactly what we need to do knowing that it can't be done. So because of that I'm an optimist as well
WORLD PEACE...i gave up on the tought for now ...i start with being at peace with myself.
I've been thinking about this a whole lot recently. I have spent the last eleven years of my life involved in radical politics, centered around the idea that real social transformation is possible if only a core of hardened activists willed it into being. I found out that isn't true.
In my case, the politics became something similar to a gambling addiction in that I was more concerned about what was happening in the group, or groups or this movement or that organizing that I simply stopped doing anything that could be considered self-care. My health suffered, my relationship with my family suffered and eventually I couldn't even keep a job because I was too concerned about changing the world.
I am in a situation now where I have been excluded from my old political friends because of my personal issues and I think this is the best for me. I just couldn't manage the balance act of being a fully committed activist and a healthy and well rounded person. In the dust of catastrophe in my personal life, I am aware of where I had gone wrong but also coming to terms with the knowledge I will never be able to change it what has happened.
Just yesterday I watched a documentary If a Tree Falls about members of the ELF, and it made me want to jump full throttle back into activism, but then I remembered: I can't.
The desire to change the world is just that, a desire like any other.
In my desire to make the world a better place I made my own little piece of it much, much worse by not taking care of myself, not taking time for zazen, or regular exercise, or mental health. I've paid a very heavy cost for it. And whats worse, not doing those things made a worse activist. I was deeply depressed, confused and irritated. I was committed. But I was not my best self, in fact in many ways I was my very worst self.
I want to make it explicitly clear I am not disavowing radical politics. Quite the opposite. I think people should learn how to work to better this world while maintaining their own health and sanity. The current situation is really bad: environmental destruction, war, poverty, racism, etc. and because of the first issue, we are literally running out of time to deal with the rest. So it is understandable to me that radicalism develops.
My zazen practice has helped me come aware of what I can control (myself, my desires, my reactions) and what I can't (the larger objective world.) I've learned a bitter lesson that the world cannot change until we change as individuals, and in some sense being selfish enough to take care of our own selves is the very best thing we can do for our larger world.
Again - I am not disavowing radicals. I have many close friends who can walk the balancing act of radical activism and personal self-care and do it very well. I believe the world needs radicals, trouble makers and loud mouths more than ever. But they also need those same individuals healthy and whole.
hmm...we may know some of the same people.Originally Posted by pdxrain
A lot of what you wrote really resonated with me. I don't think radicals in general do a good job or balancing activists work with their own health. There also isn't a best balance between outer revolution and inner revolution (if you know what I mean).
I defer to Jundo’s optimism and teaching and my personal practice which have buoyed me up through some fairly dark times during the last four years.
Thanks for sharing your story. I agree with what you say above. Choosing to practice is about as much control as you need.Originally Posted by pdxrain
Thank you for sharing. Hyon Gak Sunim is usually a very interesting speaker. I have posted some of his other lectures before.
This reminds me of a quote I saw long ago. Attribution unknown:
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
Nishijima Roshi was at a Sesshin in 1940 when his first teacher, 'Homeless' Kodo Sawaki Roshi proclaimed, "The Right Wing is wrong, and the Left Wing is wrong!" That was a time when the world was filled with various idealists and extremists, often violent ... Fascists, Bolsheviks, Anarchists ... willing to toss a bomb or start a world war in order to bring about their vision of "how the world should be". Violence is not the answer.
Utopians and Idealists, with time, will typically be brought down to earth with a heavy dose of bitter reality because this world (let alone any aspect of life) will rarely be just as we wish. On the other hand ... with a bit of hard work, we can make this world better. Folks like the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh have not abandoned political efforts ... even as the effects they have come in very small steps.
Yes, we should not cling to one sided opinions. Yes, we should not see the world in "us" versus "them" terms. Yes, the true "revolution" must start within each of us (it's that same old John Lennon song). Yes, one should not be addicted to anything ... including politics ... and all things in moderation (even radical politics! 8) ). Yes, visions of how to make the world better may vary (and that is why I know many fine conservative and righty Buddhists among the many fine liberal and lefty Buddhists).
But the fact of the matter is that, for all its imperfections, politics does make a difference. Ideas are the first step in building something constructive. Small steps can cover great distances.
Dogen had a big idea. The observation is sometimes made that Dogen was actually a social and political Utopian, and his building of Eiheiji monastery ... with its high morals and communal lifestyle ... was actually his vision of how the world should be ... a kibbutz, a collective, a utopia. He too, like most idealists, found the realities perhaps more complicated than he planned ... but he never gave up the effort. (The same observation might be made of Gautama Buddha's vision of a communal, peaceful "Sangha").
And while Dogen tried to build something in the outside world ... his Eiheiji, the "Temple of Eternal Peace" ... he also never forgot that the True Utopia, ever realized, is found in a moment of Zazen.
Thank you for the follow-up, Jundo.
Hmm. This is probably still my over critical mind in me that would question the logic that only political radicals have "ideals." Moderates have ideals too, and often fight bloody wars to defend those ideals. Moderate liberals start and fight wars as much as moderate conservatives do, and in fact this whole concept ignores systemic racism, structural oppression and deeper issues of human division which breeds radicalism in the first place. For instance, Osama Bin Laden's number one request from America prior to 2001 was to remove all U.S. military forces from Saudi Arabia. My point is in agreement with Judo, but expanding that there is in fact no "safe" position here. Political moderation in an empire is still involvement in an empire, no?
ok, ending my political posts for now ops:
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868–1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?” (From http://www.dharma-rain.org/?p=stillpoint12_01Jan-Kyogen)