The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:54 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

If anyone is genuinely interested in these issues from a Buddhist perspective, I highly recommend...

Buddhist Economic Philosophy As Reflected In Early Buddhism by Dr. Dharmasena Hettiarachchi.

I'm only a quarter of the way through it, but it is awesome.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)


Sounds very interesting. Is it available online, by any chance?
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:57 am

Greetings Lazy,

Not that I'm aware of, but it's available to buy online very cheap at the Buddhist Cultural Centre bookshop in Kandy, who seem to be momentarily off-line... "We are coming back online in less than a day!" if the construction page is to be believed.

http://www.buddhistcc.net/bookshop/inde ... anguage=en

Cheap here too - http://books.luckdhana.com/index.php?ro ... ct_id=1334

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:13 am

How about an Executive Summary Retro? :reading:

:anjali:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:21 am

Greetings Mike,

Well it's a thesis, and (keeping in mind, I'm only a quarter of the way through it) it seems to be spending most of the first section just legitimizing that "Early Buddhism" has any legitimate basis upon which to speak on the subject Economic Philosophy, addressing and ruling out potential objections from the likes of Max Weber.

Many interesting sutta quotations along the way, and whilst it's not yet putting forward a theory as such, the purpose is to show that material and spiritual development may not be merely compatible, but mutually synergistic.

As it is, the main thrust of what's been said to date, in a practical sense, is that it's very important for the lay Buddhist to find appropriate balance between material and spiritual cultivation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:29 am

cooran wrote:this man is speaking the truth about homelessness anywhere in the West.
I thought homelessness was a Buddhist virtue?
Daniel ;)
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:31 am

Re: Chownah et al: civil disobedience is complaining; but it's also an attempt to do so peacefully.

Re: the article: Deprivation's always relative. Better to practice being content with what one has.

It's natural to want to overthrow perceived and actual oppressors. But followers of the Buddha know the most dangerous oppressors are within. Until one can extend sati to daily life, it's probably wisest to let the less conflicted (between "Enlightenment" and The Enlightenment) do the overthrowing. The danger of politics is that it's necessarily bound with idealism, a pernicious fabricator of fabricated things.

Daniel :heart:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby whynotme » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:55 am

danieLion wrote:It's natural to want to overthrow perceived and actual oppressors. But followers of the Buddha know the most dangerous oppressors are within. Until one can extend sati to daily life, it's probably wisest to let the less conflicted (between "Enlightenment" and The Enlightenment) do the overthrowing. The danger of politics is that it's necessarily bound with idealism, a pernicious fabricator of fabricated things.

Daniel :heart:


:goodpost:

@ retrofuturist: wish political leaders all over the world have the wisdom of you
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:03 pm

The Buddha came from a community called (in Sanskrit) Sakyas.... This fact is of great historical importance, because according to the Buddha (or, strictly speaking, according to words attributed to him in the Maha Parinibbana Sutta) he modeled the...Sangha on that of such communities as his own.... They were isolated to the extent that they were self-governing, and their polity was of a form not envisaged in brahminical theory. We deduce that the heads of households...met in council to discuss their problems and tried to reach unanimous decisions. Some historians call this an oligarchy, some a republic; certainly it was not a brahminical monarchy, and makes more than dubious the late story that the future Budda's father was a local king. This polity presented the Buddha with a model of how a casteless society could function. In the Sangha he instituted no principle of rank but seniority, counted in that case from ordination....

The Buddha spent much of his time in cities....

There is some evidence that the Budda's message appealed especially to town-dwellers and the new social class. The term which constantly recurs [in the canonical texts] is gahapati, which literally means 'master of the house', i.e. 'householder'.... [T]he canonical gahapati is the head of a 'respectable' family--but not a brahmin, unless specifically said to be so.... In the Canon, most of them evidently own land, but they usually have labourers to do the physical work. Sometimes they are also in business.... The average gahapati who gave material support to the Buddha and his Sangha...seems to have been something like a gentleman farmer, perhaps with a town house. On the other hand, inscriptions in the Western Deccan, where Buddhism flourished in the early centuries CE, use the term gahapati to refer to urban merchants.... We must distinguish between reference and meaning: the meaning of gahapati is simple and unvarying, but the reference shifts with the social context.
Richard Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism: A Social History, pp. 49-50, 55-57
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Jason » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:46 pm

danieLion wrote:
cooran wrote:this man is speaking the truth about homelessness anywhere in the West.
I thought homelessness was a Buddhist virtue?
Daniel ;)


Yeah, in a world where being homeless by choice in the pursuit of spiritual awakening is respected, and it doesn't normally get 10 below 0 for at least 3 months of the year. It's not as much of a virtue in Detroit, however.
Last edited by Jason on Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Jason » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:49 pm

danieLion wrote:Re: Chownah et al: civil disobedience is complaining; but it's also an attempt to do so peacefully.

Re: the article: Deprivation's always relative. Better to practice being content with what one has.

It's natural to want to overthrow perceived and actual oppressors. But followers of the Buddha know the most dangerous oppressors are within. Until one can extend sati to daily life, it's probably wisest to let the less conflicted (between "Enlightenment" and The Enlightenment) do the overthrowing. The danger of politics is that it's necessarily bound with idealism, a pernicious fabricator of fabricated things.

Daniel :heart:


I still don't think means we should let ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters be oppressed from without. The greatest danger of the practice, in my opinion, is the tendency of practitioners to ignore the world while seeking their own happiness, and expecting 'someone else' to fix things for them.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:07 pm

Jason wrote:I still don't think means we should let ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters be oppressed from without. The greatest danger of the practice, in my opinion, is the tendency of practitioners to ignore the world while seeking their own happiness, and expecting 'someone else' to fix things for them.

Agreed. A practice that allows the practitioner to ignore the misery of others is, at best, unbalanced.

:namaste:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby namaste » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:55 pm

Joan Halifax wrote a good essay about this, that can be seen on ZFI's Occupy WallStreet thread. "This is what compassion looks like", she titled it. She writes that the Buddha taught how a king should govern properly, so as to look after his subjects compassionately. He would definitely have been on the side of the "99%" .
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:57 pm

Namaste namaste,

namaste wrote:She writes that the Buddha taught how a king should govern properly, so as to look after his subjects compassionately


Yes, some of those were quoted back here... viewtopic.php?f=16&t=10075#p154240

:reading:

The quotes were sourced from P.A. Payutto's "A Constitution For Living" - http://www.watnyanaves.net/uploads/File ... living.pdf

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:20 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Jason wrote:I still don't think means we should let ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters be oppressed from without. The greatest danger of the practice, in my opinion, is the tendency of practitioners to ignore the world while seeking their own happiness, and expecting 'someone else' to fix things for them.

Agreed. A practice that allows the practitioner to ignore the misery of others is, at best, unbalanced.

:namaste:
Kim


Yes, I feel that this is about balance.

In my tradition there is a time in practice where just about all energy is focused within and one's quite oblivious to external concerns. This is the time when hard insight work is done.

But generally both before and afterwards, we recall that the separation between the internal and external is illusory (afterwards it is more of a recognition than a recollection) and we do our bit for the environment that we are in. The kind of work and the level of commitment varies from one person to the next, of course.

I feel that the level of commitment tends to go with metta bhavana - cultivation of loving-kindness and compassion (karuna). Which can be either direct or indirect (when the self gets out of the way compassion blossoms).
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:30 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Jason wrote:I still don't think means we should let ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters be oppressed from without. The greatest danger of the practice, in my opinion, is the tendency of practitioners to ignore the world while seeking their own happiness, and expecting 'someone else' to fix things for them.

Agreed. A practice that allows the practitioner to ignore the misery of others is, at best, unbalanced.

:namaste:
Kim

"The misery of others" is--usually--at best a fabrication. The Buddha had compassion, but he didn't have to to have compassion, or act on his compassion. We should consider carefully his example. He didn't try to help anyone, let alone society, until after he became the Buddha. And even after that, so the legend goes, he had to be convinced by The Brahma deity Sahampati.

I'm not discouraging social change. I'm encourage doing it well, and in line with the Dhamma.
Daniel :heart:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby danieLion » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:46 am

Dan74 wrote:

Yes, I feel that this is about balance.


@ Kim, Jason & Dan. You are setting up a distinction not justifiable via the teachings of the Buddha. Self-compassion vs. compassion for others is a false dichotomy, and no matter how much you invoke "balance", it won't validate the belief.
Daniel :heart:
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:07 am

It is false, once the dichotomy of self and other is seen as false, until then it is very valid.

Why did the Buddha urge us to cherish all sentient beings like a mother cherishes her only child? Was he setting up false dichotomies?
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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby Jason » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:52 pm

danieLion wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Jason wrote:I still don't think means we should let ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters be oppressed from without. The greatest danger of the practice, in my opinion, is the tendency of practitioners to ignore the world while seeking their own happiness, and expecting 'someone else' to fix things for them.

Agreed. A practice that allows the practitioner to ignore the misery of others is, at best, unbalanced.

:namaste:
Kim

"The misery of others" is--usually--at best a fabrication.


Heh, I'll tell that to homeless Tony the next time I see him. "You're not really suffering, Tony, it's just a fabrication."

The Buddha had compassion, but he didn't have to to have compassion, or act on his compassion. We should consider carefully his example. He didn't try to help anyone, let alone society, until after he became the Buddha. And even after that, so the legend goes, he had to be convinced by The Brahma deity Sahampati.

I'm not discouraging social change. I'm encourage doing it well, and in line with the Dhamma.
Daniel :heart:


So... what? We should just do nothing until (1) we become a Buddha and (2) have a brahma deity convince us to act?
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby whynotme » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:13 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Jason wrote:I still don't think means we should let ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters be oppressed from without. The greatest danger of the practice, in my opinion, is the tendency of practitioners to ignore the world while seeking their own happiness, and expecting 'someone else' to fix things for them.

Agreed. A practice that allows the practitioner to ignore the misery of others is, at best, unbalanced.

:namaste:
Kim

Do you know how many predators hunt and kill other animals every day, sea land and air? How many children die in Africa because of war and starvation? How many people dies because of traffic accidents each day?

Are these things the misery of others? Do you even think about them?

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Re: The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street

Postby cooran » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:09 pm


Heh, I'll tell that to homeless Tony the next time I see him. "You're not really suffering, Tony, it's just a fabrication."

...........

So... what? We should just do nothing until (1) we become a Buddha and (2) have a brahma deity convince us to act?


Hello Jason,

A little Atimāna rising in you over this? :jumping:

With karuna,
Chris
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---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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