Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Twice weekly - in addition to my regular daily entry - I will be directing readers to other blog posts in the spirit of generating conversation, and also in the hopes of adding depth and variety to our ongoing dialog about Buddhism, culture, and politics. I hope it proves useful!

Today I'll be focusing on the theme of selflessness.
  • I Stay, I Go: Thanks to Carly and Katie for alerting me to this wonderful YouTube video inspired by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Here's a link to the video.
  • Dharma Bums: In another visually stimulating example of the benefits of selflessness, Roger recounts an endearing tale of tragedy averted. As the saying goes, weedwhackers don't kill birds, people kill birds.


Mark said...

It is interesting. Virtually every belief system on the planet has some form of the golden rule.

Christianity: All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them." Matthew 7:12.

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourslef would find hurtful. Udana-Varga. 5:18.
A state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another? Samyutta Nikaya v. 353.

Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss. Tai Shang Kan Ying Pien, 213-218.

It goes the same for Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shitno, etc, etc, etc...

I just find it interesting that, even though pretty much all faiths have this belief built into their system, we somehow manage to persecute each other and tear each other down. Religious extremism will be the end of us all someday unless the world can actually learn to abide in what they believe.

carly said...

P: Marks observation gave me rise to this:

All the ideas we could ever need to set the world in order are already there. Men, however, in a degenerate need to assert their free will, must contradict all higher laws of reason as well as nature. This is a result of man's perverted rejection of an otherwise, higher principle, that the establishment of any value judgment automatically and inevitably gives rise to its opposite extreme.

Originally, that principle existed in nature to insure that death be followed by rebirth or decay by rejuvenation. But the aberrant thing, man, in his own 'infinite' wisdom and ego, sees fit to say he will do better to go against that law, by dominating all else.

The sublime irony is that, in his shortsightedness, the nano-second he does that, he establishes his own defeat according to the original natural law which he cannot escape and is too inferior to see nor heed in advance.

Thus, he is a tragic figure, in an otherwise perfect world. This idea is worthy of another painting.

Carly said...

P: Example of adolescent wit on livejournal:

To paraphrase my Mom, I think the world needs another ideal about as much as it needs another hole in its ozone layer.

Mark said...

That's a really interesting thought. I like it.