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Tuesday, 29 November 2005

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A Christian Prophet

As much as nuclear is the wrong answer, so disrupting people's peace by disrupting a conference is equally nuclear. On the Holy Inheritance blog today there is a post which I think is titled "Perfect Absolute Peace," or something like that. Although the message seems Christian, it surely is Buddhist.

Sujatin

Bear in mind that this was non-violent protest - a couple of people unfurling a banner, echoing sentiments held by a great number of people.

The Buddha was not an 'anything goes' sort of chap. In fact, if you read the Pali Sutras, he was quite capable of standing firmly if he felt something was wrong. One of my vows is to 'speak truth to power and powerlessness', I am a member of an engaged Order. As Dharmavidya says in the posting 'Do Social Engagement and Practice Conflict?' at

http://questionsinthesand.blogspot.com/

"Even today Western (and quite a few Eastern) approaches to Buddhism seems to me to be fundamentally at odds with engagement and, in my view, therefore, at odds with what Buddhism is and should be about. I do not see Buddhism as a quest for personal enlightenment that is somehow the property of an individual and I fear that Western Buddhism has taken Buddhist practice and commodified it. Far from understanding non-self ever more deeply and growing in faith, Western Buddhists are all too often just making practice into a personal indulgence and support for introspective rumination. They think that the more disengaged they become the more spiritual they will be and this is a fallacy. An activist friend of mine said: "You see good activists become Buddhists and then you never see them again." In other words, the Western approach is still strongly implicated in quietism. Despite the fact that many people think that Westerners are more world-oriented and extrovert than Asian people, broadly speaking, in Asia Buddhism is a social force as much as a personal one whereas in the West it is not.

In Pureland, I do feel that there is a different outlook - in fact, there is OUT-look rather than only IN-look. For us there is no basic conflict between practice and engagement - they both tend in the same direction and are difficult to distinguish from one another. Practice is faith and faith is tested and strengthened through encounter. Engagement is, therefore, a strong and essential part of our practice."

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I'm a Minister with Amida Shu, a Pureland Buddhist Order. Now semi-retired, I teach on-line and hold Pureland Buddhist sangha gatherings in Perth, Scotland. This site is mainly Buddhist in content. I share the teachings of the Head of our Order, Dharmavidya David Brazier
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