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Buddhism and activism: How would Sid produce social change?

posted by Lodro Rinzler

by Lodro Rinzler

Before Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment at age 35 he was a
confused twenty and thirty-something looking to learn how to live a
spiritual life. He had an overbearing dad, expectations for what he was
supposed to do
with his life, drinks were flowing, lutes were playing, and the
women were all about him. Some called him L.L. Cool S. I imagine
close friends just referred to him as Sid.

Many people look to Siddhartha as an example of someone who attained nirvana, a buddha. But here we look at a younger Sid
as a confused guy struggling with his daily life. What would he do as a
young person trying to find love, cheap drinks, and fun in a city like
New York? How would he combine Buddhism and dating? We all make mistakes on our spiritual journey; here is where
they’re discussed.

Each week I’ll take on a new question and
give some advice based on what I think Sid, a confused guy working on
his spiritual life in a world of major distraction, would do. Because
let’s face it, you and I are Sid.

Have a question for this weekly column? E-mail it here and Lodro will probably get to it!

—————————————————————————————————————————————
Sometimes
working toward better democracy through mainstream routes like lobbying
and, uh, voting seems not only possible but exciting and empowering to
me. Other times, though, I can see the appeal of splitting off from
society, hopping trains, healing my friends with flower essences, and
reading anti-government graphic novels late into the night with my
headlamp. I exaggerate, but I am wondering- how would Sid make social change?
– Sarah



In some sense Sid was the greatest social activist of his time. He broke away from a normative lifestyle and pursued a path that took him to a point where if he were to share his wisdom with others he would be going against the cultural and political norms of the time. It’s said that when he finally took sustenance after a long period of self-induced starvation he threw his bowl into the river and, instead of going downstream, it skipped against the current. This has often been used as an analogy for how the Buddha’s teachings have been counter-culture from day one.

As Walpola Rahula said in 1978, “Buddhism arose in India as a spiritual force against social
injustices, against degrading superstitious rites, ceremonies and
sacrifices; it denounced the tyranny of the caste system and advocated
the equality of all men; it emancipated woman and gave her complete
spiritual freedom.” Buddhism itself has served as a catalyst for great social transformation.

Granted, Sid could have had a pretty profound effect on the local level without becoming a Buddha. Had he stayed at the palace he would have inherited his father’s fiefdom and ruled with the wisdom he developed over time. However, that didn’t appeal to him.

He instead realized that he had to work with his own mind before he could help others in a real way. If we want to produce social change we too have to follow his lead and curb our prejudices, our aggression, and our desire to promote our ego before we can be confident that what we are doing will produce positive reactions in the world around us. So I think Sid would consider step one in taking social action as working with our own mind through the practice of meditation.

Through meditation practice we slowly see how we create confusion and are less likely to cause harm. If we rush out into the world promoting how “I” think things ought to be done then we’re likely to run into a bunch of other capital I egos who have contradictory opinions and clash with them. If we walk into the world without prejudice and are willing to be with situations as they arise we are more likely to work with others without causing harm.

There are a number of Buddhist organizations devoted to social change, such as the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. There are other resources focused on considering your career as an opportunity to produce social change. One of those is Dharma Doctors, a collection of resources for medical professionals. Still, some may say it’s a cop out to downplay the role that non-violent protest has in social action in lieu of promoting petitions and Right Livelihood.

There is nothing wrong with making your voice heard about matters you believe in. However, it’s hard to do that in protests without being aggressive. As a beginning practitioner I thought Buddhism and protests went hand-in-hand. In the midst of a large take-the-streets-and-storm-the-senator’s-office sort of protest I saw a man resist arrest. This sixty year old man was pushed to the ground, kicked, and pepper sprayed. I don’t remember much about that day but I remember pushing through police lines to try and help. I remember it in slow motion and the sheer anger and fear on the police officer’s face as he unleashed a can of pepper spray in mine. I was subsequently arrested. It became a very large ordeal.

What I learned though was that what I thought was helping was actually creating more confusion. I was angry at the actions happening abroad. The police were scared and angry that a protest was out of their control. Neither of us were heroes that day; we were just perpetuating aggression. So I tend to steer clear of potentially violent protests myself. In order to produce social change I’m sure Sid would encourage us to have compassion and understanding for those we find ourselves at odds with. They want to be happy, just like us. We don’t need to go on a hunger strike to make them see a new point of view; we just have to talk to them in an open and kind way.

While it is fine to get involved in the political process or to engage in non-violent protests I think Sid would also say that anything to do with other people can be considered
social action. Once he was enlightened the Buddha used his influence to share teachings on compassion with others. He returned to kingdoms not to rule but to share his knowledge. He influenced many political rulers in positive ways, leading them to rule successfully. We may not have access to kings (yet) but we can share our heart with our family, our friends, and our co-workers. Even a kind gesture can go a long way.

When we keep our heart open and available, practice mindfulness with the aspiration to create no harm, and hold compassion for others we are truly living like Sid. I am sure he would agree with Gandhi that the best social change comes when you are “the change you want to see in the world.”



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Jerry Kolber

posted October 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm


Thanks Lodro. I struggle with this too – where the edge of personal transformation meets the edge of social activism. The deeper I delve into my personal practice, the more I notice that how I engage with people right around has changed (to a more compassionate, less violent interaction) and I cannot possibly imagine the ripple effect of that throughout others peoples lives. In many ways I feel that this is more profound change than the white-hot moment of protest.
But I also want to engage in activism beyond my immediate circle of influence. And so I engage with the question of how, as a Buddhist, you accept that things are as they are, but also want to help make a groove towards a more compassionate non-violent way. I love how you put it -sharing our heart, and kind actions, may be the answer. Oddly, since beginning my practice, I no longer feel guilty (as I used to) that I was living “my life” and not attending to hunger, war, etc in very active way.



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~C4Chaos

posted October 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm


Lodro,
excellent post. thanks for your expression.
in the same vein, i just want to share S.N. Goenka’s kick ass dharma speech at the United Nations ~ a must-see http://j.mp/3jbTCf
may happiness be,
~C



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Sarah

posted October 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm


Thanks for answering my Sid question, Lodro! I’m still digesting this warm and nourishing answer.
–S



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jack downey

posted October 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm


hey Lodro. great post. amazingly, i remember you and i having a conversation in college [pre-your arrest, i believe... maybe not] that was strikingly similar. so kudos on consistency. not to mention insight, etc. to play “Mara’s advocate,” or whatever, and sine, well frankly, i protest stuff, here’s a worthless nugget of commentary. since most of what we do is social activity, and since that social activity often runs the risk of creating confusion, which you identify as a risk of activism [i don't debate this, confusion abounds in most of the work i've been involved with, unfortunately], then, still, why not protest? in the face of rampant environmental/human rights [false dichotomy alert], why not do the best we can, dangers and all, to help? protesting perceived injustice is, essentially, an attempt to help. true, it very often transfigures into something much more negative, as an anti-something. but frankly, this is the only world we’ve got [i think this might be a very un-Buddhist assertion], so why not try to make it better. we have practical needs. we eat, sleep, have a beer or too. some of us procreate. we do things. protesting stuff is one of those things, for some of us. like all activity, it can be done well or poorly, and like most activity, it is usually done poorly [especially by me]. i, personally, don’t see that as cause for suspending that form of activity. and from a decade of working with a whole lot of Tibetans, i know that they don’t find it a particularly edifying explanation in the face of murder, rape, and loss of basic human rights [pardon the use of inflammatory nouns, but that's what i think of when i think of the current situation]. i imagine other oppressed people, who are not us, probably also the flora and fauna, would say the same [no, i don't actually think that plants have cognitive capacity - no offense to anyone who does]. but, given that ANYTHING we do runs the risk of increasing our collective confusion if we do it improperly [including meditation - i am case in point], why stop calling for the end to material suffering? protesters are not particularly noble. but on one level, if we are imperfect, which we are, protesting is no different from any other activity we may engage in, objectively speaking. on another level, doesn’t protesting, or activism of any kind, emerge from compassion, as much as it does aggression? and how can we manifest compassion, in any concrete sense, without risking just those things that we risk in activism? most of what most of us do does not originate in compassion. i would argue, or just put it out there for the good times of it, that most of activism does. so, of all the activities we engage in on a regular basis, why not protest?
just a few feeble thoughts from a card-carrying feeble-minded guy.



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Your Name

posted October 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm


(For some reason, my edits didn’t appear after entering the security code…. my apologies for this repeat post but it is what I had to say)
Many Native Americans are quite disturbed by the bastardization of their sacred ceremonies and rituals carried out by people doing them for financial gain, people armed with a flimsy weekend certification given to them by another poorly trained, (or even completely bogus)profiteer. While there are non-Native Americans who HAVE trained extensively with highly respected medicine men, there are scores more caught up in the novelty of it all out there trying to turn it into a business, something that goes so far away from the original intent of the ceremonies themselves that they ought to be ashamed of themselves. There are far too many ‘weekend warriors’. Ask an authentic medicine man, and you will know. This unfortunate incident punctuates the concern of many Native American practitioners across the country. They have been warning us about this for years now. Westerners are of course caught up in the beauty of the Native way, the wonder of the connection with the Creator, and the unique paths to Him, but seem to be looking for the fast-track to Wakan Tanka. It takes years to develop the intuition and skill of a true medicine man, and some feel that they are chosen by the ancestors and their Creator. I have the sad feeling about Mr Ray. I don’t think intended to kill anyone, and though he had been doing these sweat lodge ceremonies for years, he was also extracting a high price for the ‘service’ which ironically diminishes its true value. This time, he extracted the supreme sacrifice…. the deaths of two participants and the hospitalization of others. While there are Westerners posing as medicine men, there are also Native Americans who start performing ceremonies without the proper authority from their own tribal governing body, nor have they received proper instruction from an authentic medicine man themselves. They are no more qualified than their non- Native counterparts, nothing more than profiteers. Done properly, these very sacred and solemn ceremonies have great value to humanity, and more importantly, honor and bring us closer to the Creator. It would be a terrible thing to see these ceremonies intruded on by those who think they need government regulation (Think of how sacramental peyote has been maligned and then regulated by those who don’t even understand it) I would hope those seeking such powerful experiences would take great pains to first ask themselves why they are really seeking them, and then find authentic medicine men. They should be extremely careful with those asking for large amounts of money. I was invited to the ceremonies I have attended, and the only mention of money was a donation for the less fortunate in society. People gave as little as a dollar, sometimes 5, sometimes much more, but nothing was made over a large donation… it was treated the same as the smaller one. As for the victims of the Sedona tragedy, including Mr Ray himself, let us pray for peace, and a safe, gentle journey to the presence of the Creator, and may that journey take place in its own time, neither hindered nor hastened.



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Vixen

posted October 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm


I’ve always loved that quote by Ghandi…”Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Long before I ever sat on a cushion, I had taken part in various protests that addressed issues I felt strongly about. I felt it was my civic duty to use my freedom of speech to support legislators I thought would represent me, to speak out for peace, and to speak for those I felt did not yet have a voice… I am prolife.
The first thing I learned was that while many people felt the same as I did… there were also a lot of people who didn’t. The words that sometimes passed between the opposing ‘sides’ were often anything but peaceful. But there was much to be learned from those rallies and protests, whatever the cause.
The year was 1984. I went to Hartford, CT. to see Walter Mondale’s choice for his running mate, Geraldine Ferraro, our first female vice presidential candidate. I was so inspired seeing her standing up there! Even ten years before, women could only dream of such a thing. I happened to be there to register my disagreement with her stance on abortion, but it certainly didn’t detract from my admiration for this eloquent woman.
A group of feminists, “Feminists For Ferraro”, had gathered right alongside the group I was with, and I definitely wasn’t prepared for what happened next… We weren’t yelling or waving disgusting pictures around, but these women, (and there were a lot of them!) apparently all realized at the same moment we represented prolife ideology. They decided to let us know how they stood on that issue. They turned away from the candidate they had come to support, and focused on us, and they were anything but peaceful. A few actually screamed profanities in our faces though some of us held children in our arms. One woman got so close to me as she was shouting that she was spitting in my face. I guess I won’t write what they said, but you get the idea. A few of the women with us simply prayed in response, a few more began to cry, some tried to engage in dialogue, and still others just ignored them and kept listening to Ms Ferraro’s speech. Being kind of new at this sort of thing, I just stood there slack-jawed, completely undone in the vast wisdom of my 28 years on this earth.
You’d think I would have come away from that with some kind of fear or, at the least, become very jaded against those I perceived to be feminists. What I DID come home with was a very important life lesson taught to me by the least likely person…, a “Feminist For Ferraro”.
You see, that day, I held a sign that read, “Women For Life”. My new ‘teacher’ grasped the sign, not away from me, but to look at it, and said very loudly, “Why is it that all you prolifers are pro-death penalty?” I’ll never forget that moment. At first I was taken back… no one had said anything about the death penalty yet, and none of our signs mentioned it either. But it was a valid question. Up until then, I was fully in favor of the death penalty. It seemed like just punishment for vicious crime, and who would argue against that?
That woman looked right into my eyes and asked the question again, a little louder this time. First, I was intimidated and a little shook. She was bigger than me for one thing, and now everyone was looking at us, or so it seemed. Second, I couldn’t answer her. My mind drew an absolute blank. There was no talking point to spew out, no canned response, and I took the question at face value. She gave me one last look of what I thought was righteous victory and disdain, and walked away…thank goodness!
I left the rally that day with two things…. One was great admiration for Geraldine Ferraro, even though I disagreed with some of her views. And two, I left with a real pretzel in my head. I thought I had all the serious life issues figured out, but one question from a “Feminist For Ferraro” made me question everything.
Why DID I think it was fine to take a life in one instance but not in another? I remember thinking that a murderer on death row deserved what they now faced while the baby in utero was an innocent. Yet, a life is still a life. I couldn’t let go of it. I danced with this for weeks trying to get right with it, but I knew I could never again say I was pro life if I supported the death penalty.
At the same time, I wished I could have actually sat down with that same shouting “Feminist For Ferraro” and ask her calmly why people who are so against the death penalty are so often in favor of abortion on demand, without restriction of any kind, seemingly against the most innocent of all.
Geraldine Ferraro didn’t become our Vice President, though I still admire her. I would go on to many more prolife rallies, and even became a local organizer for many groups. The things I carried home with me that summer day in 1984 stayed with me, even to present day.
We never know what people can teach us. Our most memorable lessons come in the strangest ways sometimes. The period of discernment the woman in the park tossed me into taught me that while we might have strong feelings about things, we have to stay open to learning. We can’t shut out every other thought or idea simply because we don’t agree with one thing or another.
I had reason to ask a few people to reflect why they became involved in prolife activities if they thought violent or destructive behavior was acceptable…. because the two just don’t go together. I think I always knew that, but it was all clarified for me one day by the most unlikely of people…. a “Feminist For Ferraro”.
I don’t go to many rallies anymore, and I guess you could say I have tried to do as Ghandi taught….to be the change I wished to see in the world. I’ve taught my dhildren well, and tried to be a kind and gentle person.
I don’t know her name, but I hope she is still out there and well… yeah, she scared me at the time, I admit it! But wish I could thank her for a simple,direct question that taught me or led me to some of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned.



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Dharmakara

posted October 16, 2009 at 10:26 pm


A great example of social activism in any form can be found within Ghandi’s Satyagraha movement, where they refuse to inflict injury on others and must be willing to shoulder any sacrifice or suffering of the struggle they have initiated, rather than pushing such sacrifice or suffering onto their opponent, always providing a face-saving “way out” for their opponent. Sometimes this seems to be forgotten, especially when political agendas enter the fray.



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Scoob

posted October 17, 2009 at 3:56 am


Sorry to be “Debbie Downer”, but these “What would Sid do” posts are getting a little repetitive and pedantic.
Maybe the real inner question is “what would you do/what did you do?”
I’m sure that Siddhartha had very similar social, material, environmental and hedonistic exposures and denials that we have today,
And I suspect he was of course surrounded by the Trumps, Madeoffs, Cheney’s and Anne Coulters of the time, and the caste system (which maybe was not altogether dissimilar to maybe today’s health care debate in certain ways)
But he chose to seek a revolutionary and unchartered path beyond traditional sadhu samadhi, which some have referred to as “Empty Samadhi” after much trial and error.
But as much he spoke out and was a critic of the caste system, it was not a “political action movement” that he
lobbied, embraced or tried to organize or align himself with. He went about as far only in speech in stating:
By birth one is not an outcaste,
By birth one is not a Brahmin;
By deeds alone one is an outcaste,
By deeds alone one is a Brahmin
Maybe he was acting in the his pragmatic political reality, that that the Kings who supported and revered his teachings, would have snuffed him out if he became a ‘woman rights advocate’. After all, women were, and still are largely considered as property in both central and rural India.
I’m also unsure of shakyamuni buddha in his recognition of woman as legitimate member of the Sanga.
Women nuns/monks people became only prevalent in the Mahayana tradition,
See the below link, and please feel free to comment where I may have erred.
http://tiny.cc/BpiAL
Though I can’t attest to it’s full accuracy….but of course one irony is
the the phrase “Hinayana” was bestowed by the “Mahayana” schools(s) to describe them as the “lesser vehicle’ as opposed to the “Greater Vehicle,
which I believe is close to the translation of the two phrases.
And , while a little off-topic, and somewhat out of left field….thinking of a someone as a great teacher, let’s not forget Meher Baba, who took a vow of silence in 1925 (not the first sadhu/mystic/teacher to do so,
but also maintained his vow until his death in 1969. All the while transforming millions of people worldwide in India, Europe and the US. I’m not a a “Baba-ist per se, but somehow his name and teachings popped up on my radar last week.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meher_Baba
Namascar



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Christopher Mohr

posted October 17, 2009 at 7:15 am


It is often forgotten that Buddha’s approach was not one of what we would today call activism. He left secular society to influence it from the outside, taking a more or less, “the things of this world are empty of inherent existence, and must be given up” approach. In terms of the caste system, Buddha spoke about it, but did he attend any rallies, any gatherings, or any political events denouncing it? No. Same thing with women. It took very considerable efforts by women just to be accepted into the sangha. It wasn’t like Buddha was looking to make a social statement. Rather the opposite. It was only with reluctance and a slew of additional rules (311 for nuns to the 227 for monks) that the Buddha let women in to the community.
In short, you don’t change the world by being attached to a particular cause. You change the world by more passive methods, like teaching. Behind the scenes kinds of stuff. It’s not an instant thing, which modern American culture does not seem to grasp, due to instant gratification and all.
How would the Buddha generate social change? By passively, gently, and calmly making efforts to teach others the benefits of his discoveries. He would NOT have gotten political and taken sides with one or another political ideology. You can still have an influence on society and its leadership without getting tied to one side or the other.



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Dharmakara

posted October 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm


Christopher makes a very good point. A perfect example is the water war between the cities of Kapilavastu and Kilivastu, where the Buddha is said to have intervened. This wasn’t political activism as some try to present it. It was intervention, in and of itself alone.
There is a question that I find myself asking whenever dealing with the issue of political activism… is there such a thing as a political agenda where sentient beings do not suffer?



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Scoob

posted October 17, 2009 at 11:40 pm


Christopher,
Thank you for your thoughtful response, and your additional researched information.
Your historical knowledge transcends many of the ‘wannabe’ comments encountered on forums such as this.
The perception or compassion of Shakyamuni Buddha’s largess towards woman has not been a serious or much discussed topic, and the “comminity” often avoided this for obvious reasons of discussion…as most leaders, teachers, etc., in the Sangha have of course been men.
“Sid” was of course restrained by the limits of his cultural time, and also as you wrote, were based upon a certain limited mindset in terms of effecting social change.
I suppose that if he felt as much confidence in terms of
“thumping the earth”, he might as well felt the same in
terms of the oppression of women. But historically,he didn’t.
I suppose as much as he was able to achieve a state of
freedom, he never considered that might apply to the realm of
women, as they were considered chattel in those days,
and still are in not only India, but also in most of the second
and third world.
We tend to acknowledge Buddha for his personal breakthrough
and teachings/sharings upon his enlightenment, but it seems he was
restricted to only those who were merited to receive and
practice the teachings, i.e., men.
So as wise and courageous as he was in his own pursuits,
It seems that it was easy for him to cut out 50-percent of
the population of sentient (human) beings.
Yes, he was restricted to his cultural time and space,
but I think it’s important to acknowledge that,and not to
portend him as the God than he never presented himself to be (though legends
say that he had personal conversations and encounters with many of the “lesser,
possessive, angry and desirous Gods”, and they acknowledged his superiority in terms
of true wisdom and selflessness.
Anyway, from a female point of view, he was not quite as enlightened in terms of
compassion and willing to share wisdom and truth as his “disciples” have presented him.
He just did’t see or accept women as being “part of the mix” who were entitled to self-realization,
or at least those were his actions, or lack there of.
Btw, I think there are times that a revered leader does and is required to change the world via direct action. That when you write “He would not have gotten political and taken sides with one or another political ideology. You can still have an influence on society and its leadership without getting tied to one side or the other.” That is an extreme, but also in as a real world example…
I think that speaking out and taking action against forced circumcision of women in Islamic and tribal cultures is indeed something to to be acted upon, spoken loudly about, and with international condemnation along with social and financial sanctions, if necessary against the barbaric countries and culutures who persist in this behavior. And that without social action against such barbarity, Bodhisattva vows become acts of empty words and intentions.
Scoob



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Anan E. Maus

posted October 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm


the Dhammapada is filled with discussion of doing good deeds.
on giving…
Chapter 13
Verses 173, 177 and in 169, by implication
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.13.budd.html
“173. He, who by good deeds covers the evil he has done, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.”
and if folks want more direct discussion of the issue, it is certainly there in the writings of Thich Nhat Hahn and in the discussion of engaged Buddhism.
My take on activism is this – that social change should be motivated by feelings of compassion and wanting to help. If the social change is motivated by a clever mind or a rebellion, it is coming from the ego, rather than the divine within. Karma Yoga, as laid out by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita is virtually identical to the quote of the Buddha above…that the work of doing good deeds is indeed, part of the spiritual life.
So, I think we should try to do our charitable works through the “voice” of love and compassion within us. And then, it becomes a spiritual action.
And, of course, those charitable works must also conform to the Buddhist principles of right speech and right action. In doing them we cannot perform violence, etc. etc. etc. And, the voice of love naturally motivates us to act through love and not violence, etc. etc. etc.
gassho



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Scoob

posted October 19, 2009 at 12:27 am


Anan wrote:
In doing them we cannot perform violence, etc. etc. etc.
I recall several years ago while walking up Fourth Avenue one evening, with my girfriend, and after a lovely dinner… I saw a teenage boy come running full speed around the corner at 11th Street with panic in his eyes, and clutching a woman’s purse. Now I didn’t go thru any complicated thought processing on this in my mind about this, but there was something very wrong with the picture I was seeing and confronted with almost miliseconds to process this picture further
So I ‘body blocked him hard, shoulder-to-shoulder”, shoulder to shoulder. He dropped the purse, taxi drivers had already blocked off his further escape, the police arrived and the women who’s purse was grabbed and stolen was most appreciative to get it back. Did I create an act of violence, or should I have let this chap just kept on running with his stolen property and chalked it up to his and her karma?
I’m actually a rather slight fellow in build, so this was not a macho action on my part.
I was actually rather surprised by my action.
Yes, of course the explanation for this purse snatcher could have been something totally different then I perceived it to be in the moment, but I reacted based on what just didn’t smell or sense right at the time.
And in terms of “what would Sid do?….well maybe he would have let this pass as an example of karma,
but I think it you see someone being oppressed, hurt or injured, is it your duty to mitigate the situation
if it’s within you ability.



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Anan E. Maus

posted October 19, 2009 at 6:36 pm


I was speaking to the nature of activism generally…as in people who advocate for violent overthrow of governments. I don’t believe such actions are sanctioned by Buddhism. Oh, sure, perhaps in some rare scenarios.
I was not talking about self-defense, about stopping a purse snatcher or other similar issues..
I was just writing generally, about that activism should not be in the spirit of competition, domination, rebellion, hate, etc. It should be in the spirit of caring and giving and compassion.



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Scoob

posted October 21, 2009 at 1:14 am


I hear you Anan, and for the most part agree, Yet, I think it would have been a good thing if someone was able to stop the genocide of Pol Pot in Cambodia. And that may have only involved taking one life…that of Pol Pot’. Very often when a worshipped sociopath, bully or ‘supreme’ leader is taken down, the shaky house of cards also soon falls. It’s estimated that 2.5 million people were brutally murdered in this traditional Buddhist country that has embraced Buddhism since the Third Century BC, either directly or by representatives of King Asoka, the renowned Buddhist Indian emperor.
It also would have been ‘nice’ if FDR had sent a few bombers to take out the rail lines feeding thousands of victims to their daily death at Aushwitz-Berkenhau, By 1943-44, history records that he knew what was going on, but his political position was that his military hardware was better positioned ‘elsewhere’. I find that criminal.



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posted 2:20:00pm Jan. 28, 2010 | read full post »

Sometimes You Find Enlightenment by Punching People in the Face
This week I'm curating a guest post from Jonathan Mead, a friend who inspires by living life on his own terms and sharing what he can with others.  To quote from Jonathan's own site, Illuminated Mind: "The reason for everything: To create a revolution based on authentic action. A social movemen

posted 12:32:23pm Jan. 27, 2010 | read full post »




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