May 25, 2011
Yesterday's Daily Dharma...
What we call "world" is only an opinion.... Take away your opinion, your condition, situation—then your mind is clear like space... clear like a mirror. A mirror reflects everything: The sky is blue, tree is green, sugar is sweet. Just be one with truth—that's Zen style. If your mind is clear like space, then you see clearly, hear clearly, smell clearly—everything is clear. That is dharma. That is truth.
...caused a woman to track me down on Facebook and send me this message...
Today I read the daily dharma that you posted on Tricycle. Honestly I think that your post, and what this supposed Zen Master has "taught" is only applicable if you are privileged and lacks compassion. In this kind of clarity that is being proposed, it leaves out people who do not have the privilege of simply allowing their mind to just be "clear like space." If you are someone living in a country where you are being persecuted, where your basic needs are denied, where you have to stand in line for hours in the hot sun to get fresh water for your multitudes of children that your patriarchal husband has impregnated you with... If you are living in a capitalist society with male dominated values and undertones and you are a woman, gay, gender variant, a person of color, a person of age, a person with a disability, or poor, and you are living in the margins of society, swept aside by the status quo, you can't simply sweep aside your opinion, your condition and your situation and just live in some state of transcendental clarity. Maybe it is easy for someone who has the privileges of being white, male, straight, and economically stable to practice spirituality this way, but for the rest of the world, we have our life to contend with. If the dharma being taught does not take into consideration the situations, opinions, and conditions, and is not socially engaged then it fails. Are we to live in a constant state of blissful and transcendental clarity and quietude while the rest of the world suffers?
...and today's Daily Dharma...
When society subordinates its humanity to maximized revenues at minimum cost, then that society is well on the way to becoming lost, falsified, and in fact inhuman. If we are serious about combating selfishness and promoting compassion in the world, then is it not vital that we develop the tools of intellectual self-defense to deal with these assaults on our minds and hearts? The solution must lie in reversing the priorities, in subordinating dead things—money, capital, profits—to life: people, animals, the planet.
...received this response from a man on Facebook,
The only way to change the world is to change the people of the world. Let's not try to change the practice of Right Way into extremism. Alleviating suffering is one thing, but uprooting greed, hatred, and ignorance has always been the goal and purpose of Buddhism. This only happens on an individual basis, so social activism only works on an individual level. Change yourself, change the world.