We are not innocent children victimized by a big, bad world; if our world is big and bad we made it that way. This is what the Buddha taught. The "other" is a child's boogeyman, the projection of our own fears onto a terrifying object of our imagination, which in turn terrorizes us. Our ignorance is not seeing that we are the other. We cannot afford to confuse innocence with this ignorance. Violence is not a permanent, immutable, fixed object. It is a state of mind, an expression of ignorance, with no more solid substance than a cloud. We cannot make a frontal attack on violence. Even protecting ourselves from it fuels its boogeyman existence. But the Buddha taught that we can change. This was his good news: that there is a way to alleviate suffering by freeing our minds from geed, anger, and ignorance. Yet until we apprehend the ways in which we are Oklahoma City, the bombs and the baby bears, the victims and the violators, we will continue to blame "the," all the while proclaiming our innocence and evading our responsibilities.
To countless Tibetans, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and a head of state in absentia. But to people around the world, Tenzin Gyatso is not only the greatest and most public advocate for Tibetan rights and the virtues of Tibetan Buddhism, but for interfaith tolerance and peace as well. For decades — and from exile since 1959 — he has worked to resolve tensions between Tibet and the People's Republic of China. And like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. before him, the Dalai Lama done so in a manner defined by nonviolence and tolerance. In 1989, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
The Dalai Lama's humility has endeared him to presidents and religious leaders of several countries, affording him the opportunity to raise awareness and drum up support for Tibet on a global scale.
This is a post by Modgala - she has agreed that I can share any of her writing:
Student riots and anger that are exploding here in London in response to the increased fees, and conversations with Massimo have inspired me to share – both about past activities and what I feel we can do in the present.
I guess we are all worried, I know my fellows in the faiths forum are worried about the effect of cuts on the needy, and we have been exploring “what are our roles”. Now we have student riots too.
I am reminded of “September 11th”. Dharmavidya and I were at a protest against an arms trade fair in London that day. We had gone to the conference centre with the local people in the official protest and were waiting for the large procession of unofficial protestors to arrive. There was a large police cordon separating the groups however Dharmavidya and myself, in our robes, ringing our bells were allowed to remain in the middle ground, close to the police cordon. Most protestors were not aggressive, however I remember one trying desperately to “wind up” and attack the police. We drew closer to the cordon, ringing our bells, distracting the angry man, as they went by other protestors gave us the thumbs up; fortunately no serious trouble evolved.
On April 8th, China sentenced two Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, to death for their alleged involvement in last year's protests in Lhasa. Two others, Phuntsok and Kangtsuk, were also sentenced to death but with a two year reprieve, and Dawa Sangpo was sentenced to life imprisonment.
These harsh sentences signal an alarming escalation in the Chinese government's campaign to punish and intimidate Tibetans who dare to speak out against Chinese rule.
If you agree that such punishments are harsh and unjustified please take action.
On the occasion of the visit of G20 Leaders for their London Summit on 2
April, the Network of Buddhist Organisations and the British Humanist
Association have issued the joint statement below. Largely based on a similar
statement organised by Archbishop Rowan Williams, it demonstrates, in the words
of Hanne Stinson, BHA's Chief Executive, 'that you do not have to believe in a
god to share the same concerns'.
"We acknowledge the severity of the current economic crisis and the
sheer complexity of the global and local challenge faced by political leaders.
They, and we, have a crucial role to play in recovering that lost sense of
balance between the requirements of market mechanisms that help deliver
increased prosperity, and the moral requirement to safeguard human dignity,
regardless of economic or social category.
"Many people are suffering as
a result of the economic crisis. The World Bank estimates that 53 million more
people could fall into absolute poverty as a result of the crisis. The
likelihood is that more will face significant hardship before it comes to an
end, and those who are already poor sufferthe most. Along with the leaders of
the G20 we all have a duty to look at the faces of the poor around the world and
to act with justice, to think with compassion, and to look with hope to a
sustainable vision of the future.
"We wish therefore to draw attention to
some of the promises made by the international community in recent times - with
our wholehearted support - that risk being postponed by the pressing concern to
rectify market failures. We need to be properly conscious that all
communities include, and must pay special attention to the needs of, poor,
marginalised and vulnerable people. To forget their needs would be to
compound regrettable past failures with needless future injustices.
- Kalon Tripa says Tibetans ready to talk
- Three foreigners detained in Kathmandu
- Bomb blast in Kardze
- Monks taken for ‘study' after peaceful protest
- Karmapa gives rare interview
- Luxury train to Lhasa postponed
- China arrests a Tibetan civil servant
- China approves "modern redesign" of Lhasa
- Nun stages protest march in Kardze
- Fear of more HIV infections
- Youths and monks held for marking uprising anniversary
- Arrests over farming boycott
- Tibetan writer arrested
- Danish PM hopes to meet Dalai Lama in May
- Chinese bank lends to mines in Tibet
- Ragya monastery encircled and under severe restriction
- Tibet re-opens to foreign tourists from April
- Tibetan writer-photographer arrested in Gansu Province
- Nuns arrested in Kardze
- China block footage of Tibet violence on YouTube
- Peace conference "postponed" after Dalai Lama refused visa
We the undersigned Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, human rights leaders
and concerned individuals wish to express our concern at the current
deterioration of the human rights situation in Tibet, and the apparent
breakdown of the talks between the Chinese government and emissaries of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We are dismayed at the lack of any
concrete progress toward resolving the conflict over the autonomy and
religious freedom of the Tibetan people, and urge all parties involved
to redouble their effort to achieve this vital goal.
I'm an Acharya (a senior teacher) with the Order of Amida Buddha, which is a Pureland Buddhist Order. I'm a minister, teach on-line and hold Pureland Buddhist sangha gatherings in Perth, Scotland. I mainly write about Buddhist matters and share the teachings of the Head of our Order, Dharmavidya David Brazier