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  • hardie karges 12:24 pm on June 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #BlackLivesMatter, boycott, , curfew, injustice, lock-down, Monastery,   

    Buddhism and Other People’s Crises: Lockdown and Curfew, Monasteries in the Making… #BlackLivesMatter 

    Maybe sometimes entire societies should go on extended retreat, shut down temporarily, and contemplate their existence. So societal lock-down doesn’t have to be so bad, whether for pandemic or riot-inspired curfew, not if you take advantage of the opportunities implicit therein.

    After all, monasteries are essentially locked down all the time, and the only people complaining are those who never really wanted to be there in the first place. The ones who are there by choice are not complaining about the poverty implicit in such a situation, either.

    In fact, any true monk takes a vow of poverty just for the privilege of being in lock-down. Implicit in the monastery deal is that there will be a community of supporters to take up the slack, of course, at least in Buddhism, and that is the sore spot for any Western culture, which tend to avoid class distinctions, even, or especially, when the class involved is a priestly one.

    I suppose this system works best, then, in SE Asia, where people are accustomed to such a system, and who find much value in it. I personally would probably prefer to grow my own food, if given the chance, even as a monk, and that is what many Buddhist monks in Japan do, if I’m not mistaken. I’m not sure about China or Taiwan, but I’ve never seen monks doing the morning alms walk in either, of that I am sure, ditto Korea, especially the north, haha.

    And for those who are in lock-down, but not by choice, maybe you should consider that as an attractive option, if only temporarily, for many non-monks also pay for the privilege of extended retreats. And while it is tempting to march in the streets right now in the name of rights and justice, that may not be the wisest option, and I’m not sure how much good it does, anyway, especially when some people of lesser ideals are obviously taking advantage of the uncertainties implicit, thus making the idealists complicit.

    In desperate political situations, aren’t the best remedies economic, i.e. boycott and/or divestment, or at least disinvestment? Isn’t that what changed the government in South Africa (if not the economy)? Isn’t that what drove the British out of India? People ask what is the Buddhist response to injustice…

    The Buddhist response to injustice is to provide a refuge to make you a better person, so that you will make good decisions. Nothing is gained by hate or anger or violence, and that includes language. Now is the time to create a new society, calmly and soberly and without prejudice. Reject the drama. Embrace the dharma.

     
    • kathleen chapman 7:44 pm on June 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      is there a buddhist organization I can ask for help finding refuge? ideas are great but I am about finding solutions. any ideas for solutions? There are a whole lot of us elder folks barely existing thru this lockdown. We have no resources since the pandemic was not part of our plans. thanks

      • hardie karges 7:35 am on June 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I would imagine that there are Buddhist organizations in your neighborhood, but you’d have to google that for details. There are many Buddhist groups on Facebook, one of which I administer, but which is more oriented to quiet study than riotous debate. Others range from the devotional to the discursive. Many books on Buddhism are available from libraries, all of which now have online ‘overdrive’, where I’ve checked out at least a hundred in the last year or two. I sent you an invite to the FB group I administer. Feel free to check it out…

  • hardie karges 6:56 am on January 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Monastery, monk, , , ,   

    Buddhism ME 6909: Renunciation is a transitive verb–sometimes… 

    img_0953There’s nothing cuter in Thailand than a picture of a young child bowing in obeisance, before a statue of the Buddha, grahping and saddhuing with the best of them, prostrate to unknown gods, long before his little prostate gland would even know the difference, that which supplies the raw materials for reproduction, but to a young infertile mind that yet has no clue to such things…

    Now I firmly encourage respect and reverence to monks and priests and the qualities they represent, but joining the monkhood at an early age, or even growing up at the temple, and, in effect, never knowing any other life, is another thing. I mean: is that really so impressive—and wise? Doesn’t renunciation really only have its true meaning when something is actually renounced? Now, when a millionaire gives up his millions to join the sangha—that’s impressive… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 5:06 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. Hardie, long time no speak! Been taking a little winter sabbatical from the blogosphere – viewing it, anyhow – to catch up on some offline reading. This strikes your customary balance, with all sides examined and a careful conclusion reached. I think your considered stance is sensible and persuasive in the modern world. As Rimbaud said, it is necessary to be absolutely modern …

    • hardie karges 5:18 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, Dave, good to chat, been wrapped up in my own college/monastery duties for months myself, now freer a bit to wander. I just wish DT would leave the scene, so that I can write about happy things again, ha! Thanx for comments, I persevere…

  • hardie karges 5:03 am on August 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Kopan, Monastery, , Tantric, ,   

    Buddhism and Rebirth: Karma Crushes Dogma in 3-Body Pile-Up 

    IMG_0542Dear Readers: If you happen to follow my other (travel) blog, backpackers-flashpackers.net/, then be forewarned that I’ll repeat some of the same material as in my last post there, so I’ll understand if you have other fish to fry. It’s not that I’m lazy, but rather that the issue that presented itself last week I believe is worth repeating, since it affects my future and the future of this blog…

    As you know, if you follow me here, I’ve been moving steadily toward a life of Buddhism over the past year or two, to the point of spending sessions in actual temples, in study of the Dharma, but also to prepare myself for eventually following the monk-hood myself, on a sporadic, if not permanent basis, something you can do in Thailand, whose Forest Tradition is extremely attractive to me… (More …)

     
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