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Buddhism in the News


Monday, October 17, 2005

We Must Work On Ourselves

If we divide into two camps--even into violent and the nonviolent--and stand in one camp while attacking the other, the world will never have peace. We will always blame and condemn those we feel are responsible for wars and social injustice, without recognizing the degree of violence within ourselves. We must work on ourselves and also with those we condemn if we want to have a real impact.

-Ayya Khema, "Be An Island"

James's comment: I am a passionate person and sometimes I allow those passions to push me off center. Especially when it comes to national and geo-political issues.

I often become so passionate about it that I become angry toward others without realizing the anger that it causes in myself and others around me. It only seems to upset my peace and cause me to suffer.

No progress can be made while allowing ourselves to become blinded by anger toward others because it usually only makes the other person suffer and become defensive.

I think a better way is to find peace within ourselves and lead by example while looking for common ground with our so called "enemies." Only then can we hope for coming together as a people to reduce the world's suffering.

I do feel, however, that some issues we must take a strong stance of opposition against or we will fall for anything as they say. However, we can find a common ground on most issues if we listen compassionately enough to the other side. Often times we would rather not even understand why a person is thinking differently then we do.

Again, another issue that is easier said then done but it is very much worth striving for. I am far from my goal on this issue but I think that being aware of the obstacle and having the desire to change is a huge step.

-Peace to all beings-

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andi said...

james, i do the same thing. what i try to do is pay attention to what pushes my buttons, poke at it a little bit to figure it out. there's usually something behind it that needs to be rooted out and exposed to the light of reason.

This from the Indigo Girls "Hand Me Downs":

Everything that I believe crawls from underneath the streets.
Everything I truly love comes from somewhere high above.
Everything that I believe is wrong with you is wrong with me.
Everything I truly love I love in you and I love in me.
So give me hope, give me hope that
Emptiness brings fullness and
Loss of love brings wholeness to us all.

"James" said...


Great points. Thank-you for your insight. As usual, you are a breath of fresh, teaching air.

Also, I love the lyrics to "Hands Me Downs." Thanks for all that you are and do. May you always live in peace and liberation my dear friend.

Sophia said...

You're right. The anger I feel towards others only causes me to suffer. I get so angry at Bush and his war, but what good is that anger doing? Is it saving the world? No. It's only anger and it's only harming myself and hindering my journey.

Peace, brother.

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
"James" said...


Peace to you too sister and my best on your journey.

I bow to the Buddha within you.

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