Politics

Buddhist teachings on civic engagement without attachment to outcome
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    War or Peace? Thinking Outside the Box Paid Member

    Tricycle: How do you view the U.S. government’s military response to the events of September 11? Jan Chozen Bays: I would have preferred a more restrained response. In an ideal world you’d send special forces into Afghanistan in the dead of night, anesthetize the core group of terrorists, put them in padded restraints, provide them with lawyers, and deposit them on the steps of the international court in the Hague. This is an imperfect world, but still I had hopes for a more “surgical” intervention. As a physician I think of terrorism as analogous to cancer. A physician’s job is to go in and surgically remove the cancer to alleviate the immediate cause of suffering. Tricycle: José? More »
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    Confessions of a Buddhist Political Junkie Paid Member

    IN THE LATE SEVENTIES and early eighties I would escape every few months from my political work in Jimmy Carter’s White House to play chess with my old friend and Buddhist teacher, Geshe Wangyal, in Washington, New Jersey. From dawn till night the long silences, laughs, and wild accusations of cheating could be heard throughout the house. Meditative serenity sought by those looking for the “Wisdom of the East” was hard to find in his retreat center. More »
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    Meditation In Action Paid Member

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    What the Buddha Taught About Sexual Harassment Paid Member

    At one time a certain woman was wearing a rough blanket. A certain monk, being infatuated, said to this woman, “Sister, is that thick, short hair yours?” She did not understand and said, “Yes, master, it is a rough blanket.” He was remorseful and said, “What if I have fallen into an offence entailing a formal meeting of the Order?” He told this matter to the Buddha, who said, “Monk, it is not an offense entailing a formal meeting of the Order, it is an offense of wrongdoing.” More »
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    Above the Fray Paid Member

    There is no way out of a spiritual battle There is no way you can avoid taking sides In the years since Diane di Prima wrote those words in a poem called “Rant,” the United States has become a rantocracy of screaming politicians, pundits, and talk radio hosts. They shout, even when they whisper. Some of us try to make ourselves heard above the shouting, and that raises Buddhist questions: Can a person maintain equanimity and stay in the political debate? And what about the precept of right speech? It forbids lying, of course. But it also means no harsh words, rumor-mongering, or frivolous talk. In today’s political dialogue, what’s left? More »
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    A Monk Goes To Washington Paid Member

    At the conclusion of his U.S. tour in September, Thich Nhat Hanh traveled to Washington, DC, where he spoke with members of Congress and held a three-day retreat. In the packed auditorium of the Library of Congress, he offered some valuable, if challenging, advice for the gathered politicos: Voting along party lines, he said, would not lead to good policy; politicians must instead listen to their inner wisdom in order to vote wisely. (Tell that to the House Whip.) He also stressed the importance of listening to views of others, treating them not as opponents but as people with differing opinions. More »