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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stay Attentive and Avoid Indifference


Attentiveness is the path to true life;
Indifference is the path to death.
The attentive do not die;
The indifferent are as if they are dead already.

-Dhammapada

James's comment: There is a fine line in Buddhism between indifference and non-attachment. There are times when I think that I am practicing non-attachment when in reality I'm actually being indifferent!!

I think that this especially applies with some Buddhists in regards to politics. It is important to be engaged with politics but not attach to it. Where as ignoring politics is a form of indifference. As aspiring bodhisattvas we desire for all beings to be free from suffering and being engaged in peaceful politics can be a tool to help bring about less suffering if used properly.

-Peace to all beings-

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8 comments:

M.D. Shellhammer said...

Awesome James, thanks for the reminder. Sometimes politics can overstimulate me and I have to go to my quiet place to get perspective! I think it is difficult to deal with irrational and deluded thinking that many in the political arena suffer from.

"James" said...

Mark:

You're quite welcome. I am the same way that I can be over-whelmed and over-stimulated with politics as well. I guess it all comes back to the Middle Path. We can vote, donate money to worthy charities, write our Senators and Rep's and after that I think we have to let the worries go.

Balance in all things.

Thank goodness for Lord Buddha and his Dharma!!!

Mark said...

A lovely reminder about attentiveness. Which translation of the Dhammapadda is that from?

"James" said...

Mark:

Not sure which translation it is from. I just got it in the email from a daily inspiration site.

dragonflyfilly said...

yes!

BM said...

Hello James,

Very nice. When you mean indifferent, do you mean "don't care at all" ? I'm a bit confused with how to get "non-attached" and at the same time "being engaged". Can you explain further ? Usually, we tend to be attached without knowing and unintemtionally.

Thanks.

They call him James Ure said...

BM: I apologize for this late response but somehow it got lost in the shuffle of emails I get every day.

No, I don't think it's about "not caring." I think it's possible to be engaged in life but not attached to a particular outcome too much. That is when the suffering begins because if we don't get the outcome we want we feel disappointment and sorrow.

They call him James Ure said...

BM: I apologize for this late response but somehow it got lost in the shuffle of emails I get every day.

No, I don't think it's about "not caring." I think it's possible to be engaged in life but not attached to a particular outcome too much. That is when the suffering begins because if we don't get the outcome we want we feel disappointment and sorrow.

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