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Friday, April 14, 2006

Stay Independent and Balanced

The one who wanders independent in the world, free from opinions and viewpoints, does not grasp them and enter into disputations and arguments. As the lotus rises on its stalk unsoiled by the mud and the water, so the wise one speaks of peace and is unstained by the opinions of the world.

-Sutta Nipata

James's comment: This is something that I need to work on. It is easy for me to become stained by the opinions of the world when it comes to politics. I'm very passionate about geo-political issues and sometimes I let the passion get the best of me at the expense of my peace. I will watch myself more carefully and recommit to staying peaceful in the midst of all the political hurricanes that blow through the mind.

-Peace to all beings-

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Dharmasattva said...

James, I posted the same wonderful quote last week on my blog. I said:

I don't think the Buddha intended that we live our lives without having opinions at all. I think the point is not to be stained (or constrained) by them in such a way that your opinions and viewpoints compromise your ability to live treat others with compassion and lovingkindness. I think of people being so consumed by the passion of their opinions that they are blinded by them, unable to think independently and exercise sound judgment. Opinions and viewpoints should be treated like other products of thought, and we should be in full control of them, rather than controlled by them.

Soen Joon Sunim said...

Since tomorrow's Easter an' all...

[Celebrant]: Peace be with you!

[Congregation]: And also with you.

"James" said...


Great comment. I guess when you put it that way I'm not as controlled by my opinions as I thought. I don't consider myself blinded by my thoughts but I still need to keep a close leash on them. :) Thanks.

Soen Joon Sunim:

Thank-you and peace be with you as well. :)

Binh Zientek said...

I do believe that allowing our own opinions to cloud our head can lead to bad judgement and lose sight of other's rights to their freedom of speech.

But in this world, where people think that the stronger person is the one who wins in the battle of the word and actions...where does the peaceful Bhuddist belong?

I really stand back and try to take the peaceful stance, to try and understand other's point of view. But those very others sometimes take your own peaceful stance as an indication of weakness. It is very frustrating to try and remain peaceful and balanced. But I guess that this is the lifelong quest.

"James" said...

Binh Zientek:

Yes, today's world is indeed a heated, place full of people with very strong opinions. It is hard to have a peaceful stance politically.

It seems that we are forced into one side or the other rather then being able to find a middle ground of compromise.

And yet we choose what we believe and if it is for the good of the greater civilization then I think we have a duty to stand up for it.

I think that this fits well with Engaged Buddhism. We shouldn't always shy away from political views. We have a part to play in the greater society and standing up for peace and equality in politics and still maintaining peace and balance is possible I think.

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