Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

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Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby Ben » Sat May 19, 2012 4:00 am

Dear all,

Some of you might find the attached pdf of interest or inspiring, or both.
Your comments are welcome.
with metta,

Ben
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"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby Kim OHara » Sat May 19, 2012 11:04 am

Excellent! An accurate diagnosis of the problems we face and a positive view of the solutions.

:bow:
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby daverupa » Sat May 19, 2012 3:08 pm

I found it well-argued, succinct, true, beneficial, & produced at the right time.

:anjali:
    "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: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby SDC » Wed May 23, 2012 1:45 am

Even keeping in mind the context of this speech and the Venerable's obvious good intentions, I still don't get it. Like others have said the speech was spot on in regards to the world's problems, but it just wasn't what I would've said if I had such an audience. I would've attempted to make it far more personal. But that is just me.

With that, it is likely that the Venerable's level of development exceeds my own and he had a specific reason for presenting the teaching in this way. I just don't see it.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby Dan74 » Wed May 23, 2012 2:38 am

I think it was a very good speech.

Maybe SDC is right and more of a personal touch would've be great. An opportunity to touch the audience and affect transformation right there. These ideas that Ven Bodhi has put forward have been around for a while and generally get relegated into the "too hard" basket. More of a personal appeal could shift them a bit closer to the "to do" basket perhaps. I don't know.
_/|\_
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby SDC » Wed May 23, 2012 4:16 pm

Dan74 wrote:I think it was a very good speech.

Maybe SDC is right and more of a personal touch would've be great. An opportunity to touch the audience and affect transformation right there. These ideas that Ven Bodhi has put forward have been around for a while and generally get relegated into the "too hard" basket. More of a personal appeal could shift them a bit closer to the "to do" basket perhaps. I don't know.


And not even so much "too hard" but those things are more of the effects of our misunderstanding and not the cause. For me, that is a strange (not necessarily bad) way to apply the teaching. But, hey, it was the UN. He is wonderful monk and I think it took guts to go up there and say what he did.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby Volker » Sun May 27, 2012 4:42 pm

I could not find anything in the address about biodiversity destruction as a major problem of actuality and wonder if buddhism is not rather as anthropocentric as most other religions. Admittedly, the gallopping extinction of plants and animals all over the earth was not a problem 2600 years ago, but buddhists should be able to adapt to such changes as well.
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby hanzze_ » Sun May 27, 2012 5:51 pm

Dear Volker,

maybe it has so much unseen effects that it is not needed to make this points to an issue. The healing of that problems are natural side effects by defending the real cause of it. So it does not lead to unproductive pro and contras of alternative ways beside uprooting the basis cause.

And how does it effect unmeasurable:

Five faultless gifts

"There are these five gifts, five great gifts — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. Which five?

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans...

"Furthermore, abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking what is not given. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the second gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning illicit sex, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from illicit sex. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the third gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning lying, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. And this is the eighth reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing; to welfare & to happiness."

— AN 8.39
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Vesak Day Address at UN, 2012

Postby gavesako » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:26 pm

There is a Vesak conference happening in Bangkok right now, because according to Thai calender the day of Visakha Puja is on the 4th June this year:

http://www.undv.org/vesak2012/en/

They have a full program with some academics presenting papers on interesting topics as well:

http://www.undv.org/vesak2012/en/book.php

:reading:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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