Two Parts Of The Whole

Yin and Yang, Good and Bad, two parts of the wholeSo many things in life, although they may seem very different, are actually the opposite sides of the same coin. Good and evil, love and hate, passion and obsession are so close to one another when we look at the causes behind each of them.

Buddhism teaches that our lives are endowed with both good and bad aspects simultaneously. The human mind switches between ten individual conditions, The Ten Worlds, and as we know, each World contains the other nine.

The lowest three Worlds are those of Hell, filled with suffering, Hunger, which is dominated by greed, and Animality, characterised by fear of the strong or powerful and contempt of the weak. The two highest worlds are those of Bodhisattva and Buddhahood, states of mind in which people strive to help others to eliminate their suffering and attain happiness.

Good and bad, happiness and sadness exist together, they cannot be separated and are integral parts of life. In fact it could be said that to try to describe one without the other would be meaningless.

Buddhist practice cannot remove bad things from our life nor the sadness, but it can help us deal with them (Poison into Medicine), and by doing so, help us and those around us promote the good and the happy aspects.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

One Coin, Two Sides

Good and Bad, One Coin, Two SidesSo many things in life, although they may seem very different, are actually the opposite sides of the same coin. Good and evil, love and hate, passion and obsession are so close to one another when we look at the causes behind each of them.

Buddhism teaches that our lives are endowed with both good and bad aspects simultaneously. The human mind switches between ten individual conditions, The Ten Worlds, and as we know, each World contains the other nine. The lowest three Worlds are those of Hell, filled with suffering, Hunger, which is dominated by greed, and Animality, characterised by fear of the strong or powerful and contempt of the weak.

The two highest worlds are those of Bodhisattva and Buddhahood, states of mind in which people strive to help others to eliminate their suffering and attain happiness.

Good and bad, happiness and sadness exist together, they cannot be separated and are integral parts of life. In fact it could be said that to try to describe one without the other would be meaningless.

Buddhist practice cannot remove bad things from our life nor the sadness, but it can help us deal with them (Poison into Medicine), and by doing so, help us and those around us promote the good and the happy aspects.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Teenage Courage

Malala YousafzaiThe shooting today of Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year old schoolgirl who was campaigning against the Taliban imposed ban on the schooling of girls in north-west Pakistan, has caused worldwide outrage. The bravery of Malala, who started her campaign blog when she was only 11, can only be admired.

It can only be hoped that the senseless, cowardly attack on this child will further undermine the political position of the Taliban. The Islamist fundamentalists dominate the areas they control by a combination of fear and violence.

These cowards have promised to silence Malala if she continues her campaign, assuming she recovers from the head injuries sustained today. Surely it is high time that moderate Islamic people made it clear that such actions, which are bound to taint attitudes towards their religion, are totally unacceptable.

In the meantime, I ask that you join me in chanting and praying for a speedy and full recovery for Malala, such a brave and inspirational young lady.

Jones – Well Past A Joke

Terry Jones - HatefulSo called pastor Terry Jones of the Dove Outreach Centre in Florida, better know as the fundamentalist Christian who planned to burn copies of the Quran in 2010, has been connected with an American made film aimed at insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

The violent reaction to the film has resulted in the death of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Libya after a trailer was posted in Arabic on YouTube. The film was being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States, according to Sam Bacile, who wrote and directed it.

Bacile also claims that the film’s $5m was funded by monies given by over 100 Jewish donors. Although apologetic about the American who died as a result of the outrage, he blamed lax embassy security and the perpetrators of the violence.

So when is someone going to put a stop to these hateful people, who are inflaming already sensitive relations. Whilst I applaud the right to free speech, that freedom comes with a responsibility. If these people cannot control their religious bigotry, they should not be given the privilege to voice their views.

British, American and other nations young men and women are risking, and losing, their lives in places like Afghanistan, in the hope that they can bring a stable situation to these troubled countries. The results of their peace-keeping, policing missions will be hugely damaged by such inflammatory stunts, and the US legislature should put a stop to them.

Don’t Tar Us All With The Same Brush

His Holiness, The Dalai LamaI was dismayed, earlier today, when I stumbled across the I Hate Buddhism page on Facebook. The page is a reaction to the violence against Muslims in Burma, with which I wholeheartedly disagree, but it paints a very bleak picture for any hope of peace.

What is really disturbing, is that, as a Buddhist myself, presumably I am also the subject of this torrent of hate. The Dalai Lama, surely one of the most revered and peace loving people on the planet, is also attacked and described as a devil.

Whilst I fully sympathise with the plight of the Muslims in Burma, I cannot, for the life of me, find any positive aspects of this or other similar sites on Facebook. I urge all people who are working so hard for world peace to report this page for inciting hatred, surely against the Facebook code of conduct.

The authors of the page have very valid grievances and deserve our prayers and help, but going about things this way cannot help their cause. Surely a more logical route to resolving the problem would be to call on the worldwide Buddhist community to put pressure on the Burmese to stop the atrocities.

P.S. Many thanks to Facebook for removing the page so promptly and also to all of you who reported the page.

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