Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:34 pm

I wouldn't like to be confronted by a knife-wielding crack-addicted crazed mugger at the dead of night, in a less salubrious quarter of the city, and test that theory, if I am completely honest with you...
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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby LXNDR » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:25 pm

although it seems lay followers haven't been given any special instructions how to face violence, monks have

Kakacupama Sutta: The Parable of the Saw (MN 21) wrote:"Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching. Monks, even in such a situation you should train yourselves thus: 'Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to those very persons, making them as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.' It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.


Maha-hatthipadopama Sutta: The Great Elephant Footprint Simile (MN 28) wrote:"Now if other people insult, malign, exasperate, & harass a monk [who has discerned this], he discerns that 'A painful feeling, born of ear-contact, has arisen within me. And that is dependent, not independent. Dependent on what? Dependent on contact.' And he sees that contact is inconstant, feeling is inconstant, perception is inconstant, consciousness is inconstant. His mind, with the [earth] property as its object/support, leaps up, grows confident, steadfast, & released.

"And if other people attack the monk in ways that are undesirable, displeasing, & disagreeable — through contact with fists, contact with stones, contact with sticks, or contact with knives — the monk discerns that 'This body is of such a nature that contacts with fists come, contacts with stones come, contacts with sticks come, & contacts with knives come. Now the Blessed One has said, in his exhortation of the simile of the saw, "Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding." So my persistence will be aroused & untiring, my mindfulness established & unconfused, my body calm & unaroused, my mind centered & unified. And now let contact with fists come to this body, let contact with stones, with sticks, with knives come to this body, for this is how the Buddha's bidding is done.'


so a conclusion may be drawn that a monk doesn't need self-defense skills

compare

Matthew 5:39 wrote:But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.


another consideration is that training in sports consumes time which could be spent on practising Dhamma

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby walkart » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:47 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:I wouldn't like to be confronted by a knife-wielding crack-addicted crazed mugger at the dead of night, in a less salubrious quarter of the city, and test that theory, if I am completely honest with you...


My metta is not perfect but twice in my life i saw a gun putted on me, also once when i was 12 some peoples tried to kidnapp me, i suppose for some slavery work. So i have some confidance in metta, and perhaps it can bring some secure to the practitioner.

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:21 pm

LXNDR wrote:...compare

Matthew 5:39 wrote:But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.


Thank you for posting this: perfect opportunity to point out where people have been misunderstanding this quotation for a long time.

This does not mean not retaliating.
It means offering passive defiant resistance.

Emphasis, for purposes of this thread, on the 'passive'.

there are many other references, should you wish to confirm that the above is not merely fluke.
:namaste:

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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:20 pm

Dhp 201 wrote:Victory begets enmity; the defeated dwell in pain. Happily the peaceful live, discarding both victory and defeat.
Peace,
James

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby LXNDR » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:24 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:
LXNDR wrote:...compare

Matthew 5:39 wrote:But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.


Thank you for posting this: perfect opportunity to point out where people have been misunderstanding this quotation for a long time.



John 18:36 wrote:Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:00 pm

The relevance escapes me....? :|
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby No_Mind » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:53 am

The conversation in this thread, reminds me of a scene from "Peaceful Warrior" where Nick Nolte (who is a philosopher and also has mysterious powers of physical strength and martial arts) not only gives the mugger his wallet but also pleads the mugger to take his watch, coat, shirt, trousers, shoes.

See it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB2VI9PXtxY

Although not strictly related to Buddhism all Buddhists must watch "Peaceful Warrior" at least once in their life (it is better to watch the movie first, then read the book)

I am reminded of an incident in Gandhi's life -

As Gandhi stepped aboard a train one day, one of his shoes slipped off and landed on the track.

He was unable to retrieve it as the train started rolling. To the amazement of his companions, Gandhi calmly took off his other shoe and threw it back along the track to land close to the first shoe.

Asked by a fellow passenger why he did that, Gandhi replied, 'the poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track will now have a pair he can use.'

To give what we have is so difficult. I feel it everyday.
"I know one thing: that I know nothing"

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:14 am

clw_uk wrote:So would you agree that learning martial arts would be good for a Buddhist?


I used to do martial arts and found that it made me more confident, physically and mentally. In hindsight though I'm not sure that feeling of confidence was particularly helpful from the point of view of Buddhist practice.
And practically speaking I think one has to be very good at martial arts for it to be any use as a defence in real-life situations.
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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby LXNDR » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:35 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:So would you agree that learning martial arts would be good for a Buddhist?


I used to do martial arts and found that it made me more confident, physically and mentally. In hindsight though I'm not sure that feeling of confidence was particularly helpful from the point of view of Buddhist practice.
And practically speaking I think one has to be very good at martial arts for it to be any use as a defence in real-life situations.


agreed, to turn your skills useful in a real life situation, one must do lot's of sparrings, which doesn't pacify the mind and allay ill-will, animosity etc.

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:45 am

LXNDR wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:So would you agree that learning martial arts would be good for a Buddhist?


I used to do martial arts and found that it made me more confident, physically and mentally. In hindsight though I'm not sure that feeling of confidence was particularly helpful from the point of view of Buddhist practice.
And practically speaking I think one has to be very good at martial arts for it to be any use as a defence in real-life situations.


agreed, to turn your skills useful in a real life situation, one must do lot's of sparrings, which doesn't pacify the mind and allay ill-will, animosity etc.


Having,practiced martial arts for a number of years, one of the best skills it gives is an increased awareness of one's physical security in a situation. The training helps to develop concentration and calm and assists in being able to assess a situation objectively and respond with equanimity.
So I disagree with your statement.
Kind regards,
Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:54 am

Ben wrote:
LXNDR wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:I used to do martial arts and found that it made me more confident, physically and mentally. In hindsight though I'm not sure that feeling of confidence was particularly helpful from the point of view of Buddhist practice.
And practically speaking I think one has to be very good at martial arts for it to be any use as a defence in real-life situations.


agreed, to turn your skills useful in a real life situation, one must do lot's of sparrings, which doesn't pacify the mind and allay ill-will, animosity etc.


Having,practiced martial arts for a number of years, one of the best skills it gives is an increased awareness of one's physical security in a situation. The training helps to develop concentration and calm and assists in being able to assess a situation objectively and respond with equanimity.


Ideally yes, though I think there is a risk that training can also give one a false sense of confidence. Actually I think it's difficult to generalise, and it depends a lot on the style of martial art and the teacher. Some of the teachers I trained under taught a quite aggressive approach, with attack being seen as the best form of defence.
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby daverupa » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:57 am

Training in a martial art designed for practical use will address those concerns. The only problems I've ever seen with false confidence involve people who practice e.g. short-form Yang Taiji and think they're doing practical martial training.

For others such as Tae Kwon Do, we used to joke they were getting black belts in Taebo.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:59 am

Spiny Norman wrote:Ideally yes, though I think there is a risk that training can also give one a false sense of confidence. It probably depends on the style of martial art and the teacher.

And the student too.
But in my experience and observation, there is far greater calm, concentration, objectivity and better judgement.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:01 am

daverupa wrote:Training in a martial art designed for practical use will address those concerns. The only problems I've ever seen with false confidence involve people who practice e.g. short-form Yang Taiji and think they're doing practical martial training.


Again, it very much depends on style and teacher, and of course the psychology of individual students.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:09 am

walkart wrote:
TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:I wouldn't like to be confronted by a knife-wielding crack-addicted crazed mugger at the dead of night, in a less salubrious quarter of the city, and test that theory, if I am completely honest with you...


My metta is not perfect but twice in my life i saw a gun putted on me, also once when i was 12 some peoples tried to kidnapp me, i suppose for some slavery work. So i have some confidance in metta, and perhaps it can bring some secure to the practitioner.


Well this is a good point:
When you were 12, did you practice Metta during the attempt to kidnap you?
What did you do?
And what were the circumstances surrounding you being held at gunpoint....?

What did you do then?

And was the practice of metta uppermost in your mind?

It's an interesting thing to ponder....
Last edited by TheNoBSBuddhist on Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:13 am

daverupa wrote:For others such as Tae Kwon Do, we used to joke they were getting black belts in Taebo.


I did Tai Chi for a couple of years, and I remember thinking that it might be useful in fending off an attacker who was moving in slow motion. ;)
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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:59 am

What many people may not realise is that in the Defensive Martial Arts, certain movements are replicated in the Passive Martial Arts, but practised in a slower, more defined, deliberate and carefully-monitored (second-by-second) way.

so an "aggressive" movement in Karate (for example), would be almost exactly replicated in Tai Chi (for example) but much more meditatively.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby daverupa » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:02 am

This is actually why they are ill-suited for martial applications, unless specifically trained-for. Taiji, for example, can be quite effective, but it takes working it that way. Otherwise it is soft moving/still qigong (which admittedly is nevertheless alleged have quasi-mystical martial applications after many decades of practice).
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Non Violence, self defence and defence of others

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:28 am

I volunteer at a local Hospice and teach Qi Gong in an unofficial and unpaid capacity.
I get many participants relating their own personal physical experiences and sensations, after the sessions, and almost every single one is seen as (as you say) a mystical, inexplicable connection to Earth- or Heaven-Energy.
They feel extremely comforted by it, and reports back from the staff and patients alike are very positive and encouraging; there is no doubt that the visible and measurable results show, quite clearly, that those participating benefit enormously from the practice, both physically and mentally. Many see it as a session during which they can also lose themselves meditatively.

I take their comments with positive pleasure and comment constructively.
But with the best and kindest will in the world, I "let it all go" as merely a current experience, a 'Now-Moment' and just look forward to the next time.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....


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