Category Archives: Kindness

Where Has All The Wisdom Gone?

Where Has All The Wisdom Gone?

women-in-islam

The U.S. President now wants Congress to authorize the use of military force in Iraq, again. Having ended “combat operations” (murder) in 2014, now we are supposed to go back in again because of the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL.

Why did the Islamic State come into existence in the first place? Because our troops were invading Iraq. What is the only thing we can do to support and grow the Islamic State? By sending troops to fight them. We guarantee their continued existence and growth by fighting them. If they had no one to fight, they would die on the vine.

The Islamic State lacks the support of the vast majority of Moslems and ordinary Moslems would put an end to the Islamic State if we Westerners would just get out of the Middle East. By sending troops in again, we add fuel to the fire and guarantee that war will continue to consume lives. And we drive peace-loving Moslems into the camps of the Islamic State.

It doesn’t require the wisdom of a Buddha to see that hatred cannot be defeated with hatred. All we have to do is leave those people alone, and peace to the region will return. Peace, not war, is the natural position of repose of human beings. It was the U.S. that violated international law by invading Iraq under false premises. Peace cannot be restored by more war. The aggressor needs to go home and stay home.

May all beings be well, happy, calm and peaceful. (The wise Buddhist mantra of lovingkindness)

We have to fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here. (The foolish American mantra of  hatred) Home of the brave? Home of the fearful is closer to the truth.

Mean Zen, Good Results

Mean Zen, Good Results

So Time magazine tells us that the U.S. Marines are into Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. My first reaction was that using MBSR to increase the efficiency of a killing machine was a bad idea. Meditation is not a self-improvement program; quite the opposite, it lowers the boundaries between people until the meditator realizes that there… Continue Reading

The Rise Of Zen Buddhism

The Rise Of Zen Buddhism

Years ago, having read the delightful novel Don Quixote, I decided to read a scholarly criticism of the book. It was filled with fascinating insights, including, for example, why Cervantes killed off D.Q. at the end (because he wanted to stop other authors from writing the further adventures of…) But the most interesting insight, one that had a… Continue Reading

Meat, Murder, Tofu And Zen

Meat, Murder, Tofu And Zen

The first fold of the Eightfold Path, Right View, is sometimes translated as Right Understanding and is explained by many commentators to mean that one has Right Understanding if one understands the Four Noble Truths. But that common explanation doesn’t jive with the Buddha’s words. He said the first fold of the Eightfold Path was… Continue Reading

Can Zen Rename the Realms?

Can Zen Rename the Realms?

The ten dharma realms smack of religiosity. Whenever I tell my friends that Buddhism is not a religion of blind belief but a rational system of mental cultivation practices, they say: But your website speaks of hell realms, hungry ghosts and other such religious-sounding, old-fashioned things. They are correct. However, although Master Hsuan Hua speaks… Continue Reading

Is Zen Practice Subversive?

Is Zen Practice Subversive?

  The Zen practice of zazen (sitting meditation) is subversive. In our gun-promoting, militaristic culture, sitting on a cushion and practicing metta is a practice that undermines the foundation of that culture. I live in a so-called progressive town that has many fine attributes. We use re-claimed water on our lawns. We have the highest quality re-cycling… Continue Reading

Zen, the Sniper and Jesus

Zen, the Sniper and Jesus

In the spring of 2009, I saw a pickup truck with “My boss is a Jewish carpenter” on one bumper and “This vehicle will be unoccupied in case of Rapture” on the other. Centered on the glass behind the passenger compartment was the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (the logo of the Marines), under which appeared… Continue Reading

How To Practice Zen