The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:06 am

chownah wrote:Yes, I thought it was a shocker too.....I found it hard to believe that the Supreme Court was actually doing something to support freedom in the USA. Usually their rulings are part of the gradual erosion of freedom in the USA and I was shocked but glad to see that this time they upheld the rights of all citizens to communicate freely on political matters. The USA has freedom of speech and one of the most important types of speech to protect is political speech.....
The outcome of elections is determined by how people vote and not on how much money gets spent explaining the pluses and minuses of candidates and issues.....the more information available to the voter on the candidates and issues the better will be the chances that a good decision will be made....if people can be pursuaded so easily by propoganda then there really is little hope that restricting the propoganda will produce a better result.
As to the current protests.....I think that the current socio-political climate is incapable of doing a good job of administering resources in a rational way and this is the root cause of the demonstrations.....but I also do not think that the protestors have even the slightest clue as to what kinds of structural changes would need to be made to accomplish that end. My view is that redistributing the wealth in and of itself will not accompish the task....I think that a major component of the problem is that semi-skilled workers in the USA have been riding the gravy train for too long....making wages far above what their work is worth at the international level and now the reality of that is coming home....by and large these people have not been working to upgrade their skils and now their skills are not in demand....those people who have been working to upgrade their skills are doing fine in this economy and in fact there are many types of jobs which are in great demand and companies are having a difficult time filling them. I sympathize with those who have not been able to keep their households intact but those are the tiny minority of the unemployed....alot of people are complaining because they can't maintain the same oppulent life style they had before and don't even see it as being oppulent and think of it as being their right......a big source of heart break is that the new iphone is no longer in the budget and they might even have to drop their subscription to MTV....oh the horror....
chownah

I really hope you're joking, chownah, because otherwise one of us has an extremely poor grasp of what is really going on ... and the explanations could take a very long time.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:07 am

Thanks for sharing your experience, Jason.
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: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby cooran » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:59 am

Jason wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello all,

I found this an interesting read - not sure if the Buddha would encourage such a demo:

The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street
http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practi ... all-street

with metta
Chris


Not bad. Thanks for sharing this.

Personally, I don't see why the Buddha wouldn't encourage people to do what they can to fix inequality and injustice as long as it was done with a spirit of compassion and harmlessness. Incidentally, if anyone's interested in reading about an unexpected experience I had at Occupy Detroit, I wrote about it here. I honestly don't think the Buddha would fault the occupiers for what they're doing.


Thanks Jason. I worked with homeless women for ten years and this man is speaking the truth about homelessness anywhere in the West. Women have the extra burden of being the target of single and gang-rape, and sex being the 'cost' of shelter.

with metta and karuna,
Chris
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:42 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
chownah wrote:Yes, I thought it was a shocker too.....I found it hard to believe that the Supreme Court was actually doing something to support freedom in the USA. Usually their rulings are part of the gradual erosion of freedom in the USA and I was shocked but glad to see that this time they upheld the rights of all citizens to communicate freely on political matters. The USA has freedom of speech and one of the most important types of speech to protect is political speech.....
The outcome of elections is determined by how people vote and not on how much money gets spent explaining the pluses and minuses of candidates and issues.....the more information available to the voter on the candidates and issues the better will be the chances that a good decision will be made....if people can be pursuaded so easily by propoganda then there really is little hope that restricting the propoganda will produce a better result.
As to the current protests.....I think that the current socio-political climate is incapable of doing a good job of administering resources in a rational way and this is the root cause of the demonstrations.....but I also do not think that the protestors have even the slightest clue as to what kinds of structural changes would need to be made to accomplish that end. My view is that redistributing the wealth in and of itself will not accompish the task....I think that a major component of the problem is that semi-skilled workers in the USA have been riding the gravy train for too long....making wages far above what their work is worth at the international level and now the reality of that is coming home....by and large these people have not been working to upgrade their skils and now their skills are not in demand....those people who have been working to upgrade their skills are doing fine in this economy and in fact there are many types of jobs which are in great demand and companies are having a difficult time filling them. I sympathize with those who have not been able to keep their households intact but those are the tiny minority of the unemployed....alot of people are complaining because they can't maintain the same oppulent life style they had before and don't even see it as being oppulent and think of it as being their right......a big source of heart break is that the new iphone is no longer in the budget and they might even have to drop their subscription to MTV....oh the horror....
chownah

I really hope you're joking, chownah, because otherwise one of us has an extremely poor grasp of what is really going on ... and the explanations could take a very long time.
:coffee:
Kim

I'm not joking, Kim O'Hara, and I talked about alot of things. The US Supreme Court eroding freedom in the US is not a fantasy nor is it a joke. The fact that people are not educated to the point that they can see throught corporate propoganda is not a joke. The fact that limiting free speech in any way is the first step in eliminating free altogether is not a joke. (You should check into free speach in Thailand and how the lack of it wreaks havoc on the Thai political system.) The fact that most of the demonstrators reallly have no idea what kind of changes would be made to the fabric of American politics to result in rational allocation of resources is not a joke. The fact that alot of the angst in the US today is driven by not being able to afford a new iphone or MTV is not a joke. The fact that people in the US think that they can perform semi-skilled labor and receive premium wages for it is not a joke. The fact that people are not staying alert to what is happening in society and are not upgrading their skills to be able to find a job with premium wages is not a joke. When I joke I usually include "hahaha" which I did not in the post you reference.....I am not joking.

If you think that the things I mention can only be taken as jokes then indeed you are correct that one of us has an extremely poor grasp of what is really going on ... and the explanations could take a very long time. In fact I'm kind of busy doing my organic farming and keeping my life organized so that I don't have to waste our limited resources so if you want me to my part in getting us both onto the same page it will probably have to be done a little bit at a time.

I do want to say that what I said about the demonstrators is showing just one side of what motivates them....but it is sadly (in my view) only too common for demonstrations especially in the US to be motivated by short term self interest even when the issues being confronted are noble.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:09 pm

Well, Chownah, it turns out we do agree on quite a bit of what you said but not on the initial point, which was whether one particular Supreme Court decision was good or bad for democracy in America. I thought, and still think, that it was bad.
One reason it is so bad is that, as you say, 'people are not educated to the point that they can see throught corporate propoganda.'
The other reason is that the decision is directly in conflict with the basis of democracy, i.e. one person = one vote and elected politicians should be beholden to no-one but the voters.
I will take those thoughts further when I have more time - or maybe someone else would like to?

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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Tex » Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:11 pm

chownah wrote:I sympathize with those who have not been able to keep their households intact but those are the tiny minority of the unemployed....alot of people are complaining because they can't maintain the same oppulent life style they had before and don't even see it as being oppulent and think of it as being their right......a big source of heart break is that the new iphone is no longer in the budget and they might even have to drop their subscription to MTV....oh the horror....
chownah


With all due respect, a lot of Americans are suffering a lot more than you seem to realize. Many people have lost their homes and many more have had to make much bigger sacrifices than just dropping their cable subscriptions.

I also suspect that the average American makes a lot less money than many non-Americans think. America's median household income is only slightly higher than that of the major European nations, and that difference is skewed by the 1% that earn obscene salaries here. Plus we have to pay fairly outrageous amounts for our health insurance. Bottom line: the American middle class isn't any richer than the European middle class or Australian middle class. The belief that the average American lives some "oppulent lifestyle" is a complete myth. There are approximately 50 million Americans on welfare (more than 1 in 7), and they work hourly jobs like construction and food service, many working two jobs at a time, except that those are the exact jobs that have been eliminated by this recession.

The suffering in America is more than a bunch of spoiled rich kids crying because they had to get a cheaper cell phone.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:03 pm

Tex,
With all due respect to you too I think that your value system is just a bit overly influenced by where you live.
It is true that many Americans have lost their homes but it is also true that a huge percent of them if not the the bulk of them bought just about the most expensive home that they could talk the banks into and believe you me that every since about 2004 the banks didn't need much talking to help those folks into homes that they could not afford to keep over the long haul....why?....because the buyer figured prices would rise forever (an idiot is born every minute) and they would get filhy rich when they sold in a few years and the banks made big profits (at least on the books if not in reality) on each mortgage handled. I think if you can dig up some statistics on how old most of the mortgages were that are being forclosed I think you will find that the vast majority of them were held for fairly short terms. Another thing was that people who had held homes for a long time saw the market rising and figured it would go on forever (an idiot is born every minute) and so they took out second and third mortgages to max out their indebtedness in their homes based on the new ultra high valuations given by banks in that inflatted market. But the price didn't rise forever and so I think you'll find that alot of the homes in forclosure are ones that had more than one mortgage. This is a result of greedy banks and stupid and greedy people just seeing all that money and forgetting to do a reality check....well the reality check is here and it didn't come in the mail. Some people lost their homes which they purchased mostly as an investment since it was a bigger payment then they really wanted to pay on an ongoing basis (remember the variable rate loans.....super low interest now so you can afford to tie up an expensive house....don't worry...the price of houses is going up and you can sell when the rate goes up and make a bundle of money) so I guess I'm sorry that they have lost their home but really they were planning on moving out later anyway....only hey figured it would be into a better place and unfortunately it turned out to be a rental. Hard for me to feel bad about greedy people having to move into an apartment instead of a palace!

Europe has 1% of rich skewing their median income too.

If Americans started exercising and lost 30 pounds and started eating healthy and reducing their stress levels amd stopped smoking then they mostly wouldn't need health insurance and the population would be so healthy that the cost would plunge. Sorry but I just can't get too much sympathy up for people who don't take care of their health....although I do see how they do suffer from this and hope that they see the light and get healthy.

You say, "The belief that the average American lives some "oppulent lifestyle" is a complete myth." Tex, have you ever been outside Texas?....outside the USA? Maybe you've been to Mexico?....how would you compare the life style of the average American compared to the average Mexican? Oppulent? I would.....but it gets better....I live in Thailand...have you ever been to SE Asia? I would say that the average Mexican lives a somewhat oppulent life style compared to the bulk of the people in SE Asia....and it probably even gets better than that in that what is it like lin Africa?....I've never been there but there are places where tens of thousands of children are dieing every day from starvation....or at least they were a couple of months ago...I'm not sure what the death rate is this month...
I would say that compared to Africa "The suffering in America is a bunch of spoiled rich kids crying because they had to get a cheaper cell phones." I'm sorry that people in America feel the need to work two jobs to make enough money....and even sorrier that maybe one of those jobs is in a place like Mcdonalds but you know there are literally MILLIONS of people in Africa who would gladly take out the garbage at a Mcdonalds for free just so they could eat it!!!!

I hope I'm not being too harsh....I actually do feel sorry for the suffering going on in the USA but I try to keep my focus on seeing things as they really are and keeping things in perspective.

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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Tex » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:01 pm

chownah wrote:Tex,
With all due respect to you too I think that your value system is just a bit overly influenced by where you live.


If you mean me personally, I'm no patriot. You don't become a Buddhist, socialist, and vegetarian by being overly influenced by American culture. :smile:

chownah wrote:It is true that many Americans have lost their homes but it is also true that a huge percent of them if not the the bulk of them bought just about the most expensive home that they could talk the banks into...


That is an assumption, and likely an erroneous one. Yes, some people bought more house than they could afford and yes that was part of what led to the banking crisis and a lot of those people were foreclosed on. But a lot of regular, blue collar people have lost homes that they'd had for a decade or a generation or more, not because they bought more house than they could afford, but because they got laid off or had to take a pay cut. You assume that the former outnumber the latter. I suspect you're wrong, and by a big margin.

chownah wrote:If Americans started exercising and lost 30 pounds and started eating healthy and reducing their stress levels amd stopped smoking then they mostly wouldn't need health insurance and the population would be so healthy that the cost would plunge.


Sure, Americans should stop eating garbage food and exercise more. But that would not negate the need for health insurance (healthy people still get cancer and get into car accidents) nor would it make medical and pharmaceutical costs go down.

chownah wrote:You say, "The belief that the average American lives some "oppulent lifestyle" is a complete myth." Tex, have you ever been outside Texas?....outside the USA? Maybe you've been to Mexico?....how would you compare the life style of the average American compared to the average Mexican? Oppulent? I would.....but it gets better....I live in Thailand...have you ever been to SE Asia? I would say that the average Mexican lives a somewhat oppulent life style compared to the bulk of the people in SE Asia....and it probably even gets better than that in that what is it like lin Africa?....I've never been there but there are places where tens of thousands of children are dieing every day from starvation....or at least they were a couple of months ago...I'm not sure what the death rate is this month...
I would say that compared to Africa "The suffering in America is a bunch of spoiled rich kids crying because they had to get a cheaper cell phones." I'm sorry that people in America feel the need to work two jobs to make enough money....and even sorrier that maybe one of those jobs is in a place like Mcdonalds but you know there are literally MILLIONS of people in Africa who would gladly take out the garbage at a Mcdonalds for free just so they could eat it!!!!


I never said that Americans didn't have it better than some people. But those Africans you mentioned would gladly trade places with the average person in any other industrialized nation, too.

But it's funny that only Americans are talked about as being greedy and money hungry.

Here's one American's situation... I looked up the median income in America. It's about $31,000. I make about $35,000, so I'm doing better than more than half the people in America. I don't have an I-Phone (and I'm a lot less stressed about that than you assume), I live in a simple one-bedroom apartment, I drive a five year-old Camry (which I'll drive at least five more years), and by the time all the bills are paid every month, I have enough money left to go out for dinner or a movie about once a week. And that's with only a German Shepherd depending on me. Can't imagine how a single-parent gets by on my income, but many have to. And four years ago, I had a major medical issue that put me into the hospital. By the time it was done, I was out just over $5,000, i.e. all of the money I had in the bank. And that's with health insurance to the tune of about $1,500 a year in premiums. Without health insurance, I would've been bankrupt (and that is a reality facing a lot of people right now).

Now, does my lifestyle sound opulent or greedy to you? Because I make more money than probably about 60% of all the people in America.

The perception by some people internationally that the average American lives some opulent lifestyle is simply incorrect. The average American doesn't have it any better than the average Brit, German, Frenchman, Italian, Swede, Aussie, etc.

If people want to think America is greedy or energy-hogging or whatever as a whole, that's a fair charge, because of the corruption and greed of the top 1% (the very people these protests are going after). But to act like the average American is to blame for what they're going through in this recession because they brought it on themselves with their own greed is, no offense, extremely ignorant and highly insensitive, as is minimizing what they're going through as if they might have to, gasp, cancel their MTV. It's a lot more serious than that.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:04 pm

:goodpost:
    "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: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby santa100 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:13 am

Unfortunately this is just the beginning of a long painful future, not just for America, but for every countries. In 1999, there're ~ 6 billion people on earth. Just 12 years later, it exploded to 7 billion. And it'll keep climbing with projected 9 bill. by mid-century and easily beyond 10 bill. by 2100. This only adds unimaginable pressure on a planet already plunging into environmental catastrophe. Pretty soon, the last batch of rainforests will be chopped down for new farms, groundwater will be depleted, greenhouse gases and air pollutants will make new record levels every day, mass extinction of countless species, etc... Fixing the problems although not impossible, but will be very very challenging..
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:01 am

Tex wrote:
"The perception by some people internationally that the average American lives some opulent lifestyle is simply incorrect. The average American doesn't have it any better than the average Brit, German, Frenchman, Italian, Swede, Aussie, etc.
"
You seem to be defensive about being an American....my discussion about Americans comes from the Occupy Wall Street topic....Wall Street is in America....this demonstration started in America and I am familiar with how things go in America so I'm talking about America.

Why do you only want to compare Americans to that list of yours from Wikipedia I found the list of the highest 34 countries for median income your choices include Brit #8, German #15, French #18, Italian #23, Swede #12, and Aussie #5.....the LOWEST is Italian at #23 with a median income of 16,866......this just over half of the 31,111 reported for the US. So just consider if you only had half of your income....Italians would probably consider their lives alot more oppulent if they doubled their incomes tomorrow. But wait, it gets better, remember Mexico?....they are number 34 on the list with a median income of 4,689.....don't you think that a Mexican would think that there life style would become opulent if their incomes increased more than 6 fold tomorrow?

And the list stops at only the 34 top countries in the world....there is something like 200 countries in the world .......let's look closer to the middle of the entire list....let's look at India...with about 1/5th of the world population it is estimated that the average income is about $500 per year (note that the median income is probably substantially lower than the average income).....don't you think that the average Indian would think that the average Mexican has an oppulent life style....and what do you think that the average Indian thinks about the average American's lifestyle?.....

Need I continue this and look at Africa?????????

Tex,
I think you are doing a good job at representing just how short sighted Americans are and at how they have little ideas about the realities of life around the world.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby daverupa » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:28 am

chownah wrote:I think you are doing a good job at representing just how short sighted the top 34 countries of the world are and at how they have little ideas about the realities of life around the world.
chownah


Unless you say this, you're being grossly inconsistent in your opinion.
    "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: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby kirk5a » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:09 pm

chownah wrote:my discussion about Americans comes from the Occupy Wall Street topic....Wall Street is in America....this demonstration started in America and I am familiar with how things go in America so I'm talking about America.

So what's your point? Americans have nothing to complain about so there's nothing to protest?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Tex » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:25 pm

chownah wrote:You seem to be defensive about being an American....


Ahhh, the old "say something offensive, then when someone objects, accuse them of being defensive" routine. Surprised it took so long. But you're wrong. As I said, I'm no patriot. But when people make sweeping generalizations that are completely wrong about any group of people, I'm going to try to correct them.

chownah wrote:Italians would probably consider their lives alot more oppulent if they doubled their incomes tomorrow. But wait, it gets better, remember Mexico?....they are number 34 on the list with a median income of 4,689.....don't you think that a Mexican would think that there life style would become opulent if their incomes increased more than 6 fold tomorrow?


And I'm sure in your head it's America's fault that wages are lower in Italy and Mexico, right? And just ignore the costs of goods and services in each country. $31k a year would be an opulent living in Mexico, sure. In the United States, it is far from it.

chownah wrote:Tex,
I think you are doing a good job at representing just how short sighted Americans are and at how they have little ideas about the realities of life around the world.
chownah


And I think you are doing a wonderful job of not knowing what you're talking about and being condescending about it at the same time.

Forget it Chownah - if you want to continue to live under the delusion that the average American is some wealthy, greedy, selfish jerk whose problems are all his own fault, go right ahead. I can't imagine what you gain from that, but I'm done with this either way. Take care.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:45 am

kirk5a wrote:
chownah wrote:my discussion about Americans comes from the Occupy Wall Street topic....Wall Street is in America....this demonstration started in America and I am familiar with how things go in America so I'm talking about America.

So what's your point? Americans have nothing to complain about so there's nothing to protest?

My point in posting the exact words which you quote here was to show MAV that my comments were not chosen just to bash Americans as he implied.....
My point overall in posting is that I think that many people and Americans in particular are not aware of the way things are in the world....that they see what is around themselves in their immediate circle of being and think that this is representative of how things are everywhere in the world....that they think that the world is made up of people like themselves whose situations are the same........and.......I'm trying to give them a broader perspective on what human life is like all over the planet. Of course many of them will only get defensive when I point out the kinds of things I include in my posts here but I expect that and only hope that some will start to question their ethnocentric view of the world and start to see how things really are.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby manas » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:52 am

I can recall a place where the Buddha says (according to sutta) that a layperson should earn their living honestly, 'by the sweat of one's brow', and obviously, without thieving and trickery. Those who plant no seed in the ground to feed others, nurse no wound, build no house, nor do any other useful thing for humanity, but *only* trade with other people's hard earned money (just figures on a screen to them, anyway): these greedy investors / elite bankers et al do need to be held to account, because by their 'occupation' so many people are losing their jobs, houses, all they honestly worked for, on account of the boundless greed of these people. They really are like parasites who live immensely wealthy lives off the hard work of others, and surely we can understand a bit of 'harsh speech' from the protesters and possibly see it in perspective.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:55 am

:goodpost:
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:51 am

I'd really like to see a sutta reference where the Buddha teaches about how we should only make our living by "the sweat of our brow".....I don't think he said that or anything else directly to that effect.....can anyone provide one/some?
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby ground » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 am

manasikara wrote:I can recall a place where the Buddha says (according to sutta) that a layperson should earn their living honestly, 'by the sweat of one's brow', and obviously, without thieving and trickery. Those who plant no seed in the ground to feed others, nurse no wound, build no house, nor do any other useful thing for humanity, but *only* trade with other people's hard earned money (just figures on a screen to them, anyway): these greedy investors / elite bankers et al do need to be held to account, because by their 'occupation' so many people are losing their jobs, houses, all they honestly worked for, on account of the boundless greed of these people. They really are like parasites who live immensely wealthy lives off the hard work of others, and surely we can understand a bit of 'harsh speech' from the protesters and possibly see it in perspective.


What appears as "parasites" in times of decay appears as "symbiotic support" in times of flourishing abundance. The play of hope and fear manifesting at different times.


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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby cooran » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:24 am

chownah wrote:I'd really like to see a sutta reference where the Buddha teaches about how we should only make our living by "the sweat of our brow".....I don't think he said that or anything else directly to that effect.....can anyone provide one/some?
chownah

Hello chownah,

Possibly this sutta?

Conditions of Worldly Progress
"Four conditions, Vyagghapajja,[3] conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life. Which four?
"The accomplishment of persistent effort (utthana-sampada), the accomplishment of watchfulness (arakkha-sampada), good friendship (kalyanamittata) and balanced livelihood (sama-jivikata).

"What is the accomplishment of persistent effort?
"Herein, Vyagghapajja, by whatsoever activity a householder earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other kind of craft — at that he becomes skillful and is not lazy. He is endowed with the power of discernment as to the proper ways and means; he is able to carry out and allocate (duties). This is called the accomplishment of persistent effort.

"What is the accomplishment of watchfulness?
"Herein, Vyagghapajja, whatsoever wealth a householder is in possession of, obtained by dint of effort, collected by strength of arm, by the sweat of his brow, justly acquired by right means — such he husbands well by guarding and watching so that kings would not seize it, thieves would not steal it, fire would not burn it, water would not carry it away, nor ill-disposed heirs remove it. This is the accomplishment of watchfulness.

"What is good friendship?
"Herein, Vyagghapajja, in whatsoever village or market town a householder dwells, he associates, converses, engages in discussions with householders or householders' sons, whether young and highly cultured or old and highly cultured, full of faith (saddha),[4] full of virtue (sila), full of charity (caga), full of wisdom (pañña). He acts in accordance with the faith of the faithful, with the virtue of the virtuous, with the charity of the charitable, with the wisdom of the wise. This is called good friendship.

"What is balanced livelihood?
"Herein, Vyagghapajja, a householder knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.
"Just as the goldsmith,[5] or an apprentice of his, knows, on holding up a balance, that by so much it has dipped down, by so much it has tilted up; even so a householder, knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.
"If, Vyagghapajja, a householder with little income were to lead an extravagant life, there would be those who say — 'This person enjoys his property like one who eats wood-apple.'[6] If, Vyagghapajja, a householder with a large income were to lead a wretched life, there would be those who say — 'This person will die like a starveling.'

From the trans. of AN 8.54 by Narada Thera Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: Conditions of Welfare
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nara.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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