Sunday, February 9, 2020

Buddhism is not immune to the weaknesses of humanity

It's been over a decade that I've considered myself a Buddhist.

I'll leave it for another post as to why I came to that philosophy.

However, I think it is easy, particularly for new practitioners, to take a "holier than thou" attitude about the purity of Buddhism. (Which, by the way, like Christianity, has many different sects, beliefs, and philosophies.)

Buddhists believe in loving kindness, compassion, right thought, right action, etc. How could anyone who believes such noble things be a terrible person

Look at Myanmar, a majority Buddhist nation. They discriminate against and displace--and worse--the Muslim Rohingya people. Their treatment of their fellow citizens is not "loving kindness" or anything close.

It is reprehensible.

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Within Buddhist sects, they have their own jealousies, fights, and poor treatment of fellow adherents.

Stephen Batchelor in his recent book, "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist" details all the in-fighting he saw as a monk in Switzerland, South Korea, and India. He details the sometimes less than perfect goings-on of the Buddha's clan and his followers "back in the day."

It is disheartening. But it is utterly human. Buddhists, unfortunately, like most everyone else, aren't immune to humanity's baser instincts. This is not to excuse such behavior. Quite the contrary. It is disappointing and sad.

However, in the dharma, there are antidotes to such wrong thought and wrong action. Buddhism also seems to contain the rather Methodist point of view of free will. We make choices. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Hopefully, as one becomes more enlightened, the more good decisions we make that bend Buddhism in the arc of personal freedom and kindness to all.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

How do you show loving kindness and compassion to politicians you detest?

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The Buddha teaches that we should show loving compassion to all--not just the people we like but also the people we hate. Especially so to those we hate.

In this politically divided time in the United States, there seems to be little compassion between the two main political parties and their leaders. Exhibit A was the recent State of the Union Address. Just plain nastiness by people on both sides.

So, while it is easy to understand at an intellectual level the Buddha's command, at an emotional level, it can be very difficult.

Add to that that you may think the other political party or a certain political leader is leading the country astray, is it even wise to do that?

I don't have an answer for you. I know what I should do but I just can't. What do you do to show and project loving kindness to those your thoroughly detest?

After nine years, High Plains Buddhist returns!

Photo by Detlev Klockow on Unsplash
Yes, it's been a while.

I've been reading and thinking for the past few months and I think I have some insights, things to say, and questions to ask about the practice of Buddhism here on the High Plains (and elsewhere).

Think of it as a digital reincarnation.

And you don't even need to read, write, or speak Pali!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seeing Is Believing

"We do not need to believe. We only need to see."-- Steve Hagen (2003), "Buddhism Is Not What You Think," HarperOne, p. 116.

South Dakota Buddhist Study Group Meeting Wednesday

The South Dakota Buddhist Study Group will meet 7-8 p.m., Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at the Butterfly Rainbow Center at 22d & Minnesota in Sioux Falls.  Please go to to RSVP if you can.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Little Buddhist Humor

Sri Lankan Buddhist monk humor:
"Blessed One, can Buddhists use email?"
"Yes. As long as they have no attachments."
A 76 year old Bhikkuni told that yesterday at lunch in Sioux Falls