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Buddhism in the News


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Shifting Sands of Change.

(PHOTO CREDIT: Shifting Sands in the Maowusu Desert in China, by Michael Reynolds/EPA).

I was contemplating today about the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma and how quickly change can occur. Day after day, month after month and year after year it seemed that Suu Kyi would be frozen in her house arrest for the rest of her life. Then, over-night the seemingly impossible occurred--she was released into the arms of her joyful supporters. It still remains to be seen what effect this will have on the greater politics of Burma, but for now it is a powerful reminder of impermanence.

The leaders of countries put on a great show of power, strength and dominance with their armies, imposing uniforms and intimidating rhetoric, but the truth is that they are just as subject to change as anyone else. I found a great example of this online. It's a presentation (below) that someone put together showing the futility of clinging to power, or anything for that matter. It shows how many times borders changed hands in Europe over the last 10 centuries.

It is compressed into 5 minutes, which shows how the mind is often tricked into thinking that time seems to drag on when one is enduring a lot of suffering. However, that time passes faster than the speed of light when measured against the life-span of the universe. Dictators come and go but the Dharma will concur all.
~Peace to all beings~

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Paul Garrigan said...

I saw this video the other day and it did cause me think a lot about change. Change is all around us and we never know what will happen next. I suppose being part of this change makes it harder to see. My life and the world is so different from how it was a decade ago; who knows what the next decade will bring.

I think many of us romantically imagine a time in history when things less chaotic - it probably never existed though.

I think it is great news about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. I really do hope this marks a change there. I live in Thailand but only ever visited the border towns in Myanmar - I didn't want to support the government controlled tourist industry by travelling further. Hopefully in the future Myanmar and Burmese Buddhism will be more accessible. I think there is so much potential in Myanmar

Was Once said...

It only points to doing what is truly right for your own heart, regardless of current sentiment and the whims of others.
Of course I am pointing to a real and honest life, beaing im mind the precepts

Lorne Marr said...

Yes, dictators come and go but their ideas (sometimes very crazy) often linger and influence the lives of millions of people. I think it was President Truman who said “it is easier to remove tyrants and concentration camps than it is to kill the ideas which gave them birth.”

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