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Buddhism in the News


Monday, May 02, 2005

Mindful Politics

There is a section of articles in my new Mindfulness Bell magazine titled, "Mindful Politics." All of the articles were wonderful and insightful but one in particular caught my attention.

It is titled, "Now is The Time for Engaged Buddhist Practice" by Larry Ward and I wanted to share some of this article with you. When he refers to America just substitute your country (or just humanity in general since country borders are really an illusion) if you're not American:

I invite all of us as individuals and Sanghas to meditate on America's karma.

To look into America's actions at this moment of history is to encounter many emotions, pleasant, unpleasant, and mixed. I have found it important to enjoy a mindful walk or cup of tea in noble silence, and not to try to take in too much at once. I have learned that if I make such an inquiry without practicing concentration and awareness of emptiness, signlessness, and aimlessness, it is very easy to get trapped by wrong views. (B.B. Comment: This is great advice for me as sometimes I get too emotional about politics and allow myself to become over-whelmed with anger.)

We have come through another Presidential election season. I find that seeds of fear, confusion, power, and divisiveness have been profoundly watered in us all. Engaged Buddhism is not zendo-only Buddhism. It is the continuous act of coming home to ourselves and come home to America.

In and effort to participate in American society, many of us simply substitute the most familiar or latest politically correct ideology. Sometimes we protest the warlike behavior of America with a sense of our own rightness while we remain at war with ourselves, our families, our Sanghas, our communities, and our country.

While America has negative qualities, she also have positive ones. It is my responsibility to manifest her hope and promise in my own life and the life around me. It is my opportunity to look into her suffering and the causes of her suffering in order to find relief.

The trees outside my window are turning brilliant colors as they let go of their summer's diguise. We too must let go of outdated disguises of opinions, positions, judgements, and habits in order to free ourselves to give America true understanding, true peace, and true love.

-Peace to us all-

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1 comment:

Nacho said...

James: Neat piece by Larry isn't it? I have a piece in there also, but unfortunately it was edited substantially and reads a bit too stilted. If you want the full piece, it is on WoodMoor Village (or I can send it your way). Will you be attending Thay's retreat in Estes Park later in August?



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