Bhikkhu Bodhi's reflections on the Fire Sermon

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Bhikkhu Bodhi's reflections on the Fire Sermon

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:26 pm

In earlier eras, greed, hatred, and delusion were viewed as dangerous because of their impact on the individual mind and on the people with whom one directly interacted. Today, however, these three “roots of the unwholesome” have acquired a global reach. They’ve taken on systemic embodiments—in organizations and institutions, in the formulation of policies, in the rules and protocols by which political and economic objectives are pursued. They exist not only as motives in individual minds but as forces that energize colossal social systems spread out over the world, touching virtually everyone. Thus they are now much more malignant than ever before.

For the rest:
-- http://www.parabola.org/reflections-on- ... ermon.html


Your thoughts on Bhikkhu Bodhi's reflections, as presented in the article, are most welcome.
with metta,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's reflections on the Fire Sermon

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:31 am

I totally agree with him, but western Buddhists often take this the wrong way and forget all about the individual level! Too many sincere and intelligent Buddhists get wrapped up in higher-level manifestations of greed and hatred (corporations, police violence, etc) to the point where they no longer pay any attention to the root causes. It's important to show compassion by attempting to engage with the society around you in a wholesome and constructive way, but there's more to Buddhism than just social activism. Obviously a scholar like Bhikkhu Bodhi knows this well but his message can be dangerous if heard without wisdom.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's reflections on the Fire Sermon

Postby ground » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:37 am

His reflections may be an instance of not putting the advice given in this sermon into operation.

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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's reflections on the Fire Sermon

Postby cooran » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:33 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I totally agree with him, but western Buddhists often take this the wrong way and forget all about the individual level! Too many sincere and intelligent Buddhists get wrapped up in higher-level manifestations of greed and hatred (corporations, police violence, etc) to the point where they no longer pay any attention to the root causes. It's important to show compassion by attempting to engage with the society around you in a wholesome and constructive way, but there's more to Buddhism than just social activism. Obviously a scholar like Bhikkhu Bodhi knows this well but his message can be dangerous if heard without wisdom.

I agree LonesomeYogurt. Well said! Individual level leads to corporate/national level.

with metta
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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Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi's reflections on the Fire Sermon

Postby pegembara » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:26 pm

The individual influences society just as much as society influences the individual.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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