non-violence in extreme cases.

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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 27, 2010 1:16 am

Dan74 wrote:Running away from life is contrary to Buddhadhamma. Whatever our responsibilities are, whatever our environment is, this is our kamma, this is where we practice and develop brahma-viharas. Developing aversion to life, feelings and responsibilities is a way of nihilism, an escapist fantasy that leads to a dead end rather than awakening, which always faces the here-and-now directly. Engaging fully, mindfully, with a mind clear, holding nothing back, is how we see through the delusion, how we develop the brahmaviharas, the factors conducive to awakening and finally turn towards practice with 100% commitment.



Running away from existence IS BUDDHA DHAMMA. Samsara is tough and rotten to the core... It is like a sinking ship, a burning house. Some people choose to escape it.



Just as a tiny bit of faeces has a bad smell, so I do not recommend even a tiny bit of existence, not even for so long as a fingersnap. (AN 1, 18)

A simile might help. A person born in a harsh prison, raised in that prison, who has spent all their time in the prison, can only know prison life. They don't even suspect that anything beyond their prison can exist. So they make the best of prison. Those who think positively, because they have gone to prison seminars, begin to think that the harsh prison is instead a wonderful place. They even compose songs like "All jails bright and beautiful ... the good Lord made them all"! Others get involved with social service, compassionately decorating the prison cells of others. When someone gets tortured or otherwise punished in jail, they think something has gone wrong and look for someone to blame. If someone suggests that it is the very nature of jail to be suffering, then they are dismissed as a pessimist and told to "Get a life!". One full moon night, a prisoner discovers a door leading out of the jail and goes through. Only then does he realize that jail was inherently suffering and you can't make it otherwise. He goes back to tell his fellow prisoners. Most don't believe him. They can't even imagine anything other than their jail. When he says that the jail is suffering and the cessation of imprisonment is happiness, he is accused by one and all of escapism.

Sometimes people rebuke me saying "You monks are just trying to escape from the real world!".

I reply "Well done! At last someone else has understood Buddhism!"

What's wrong with escapism, especially when one realises that the real world is the harsh prison

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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Ben » Thu May 27, 2010 1:27 am

Mukunda wrote:
Ben wrote:
Mukunda wrote:If you already have the gun, that speaks quite a bit of your mind set.


I don't think so. There are many people who have guns, and in my case - bows, who use them for target shooting.
As there are many collectors of weapons who never take them out of their climate controlled environment to fire them at sentient beings.


The primary of purpose of weapons is to harm or kill other beings.

I would say it depends on the intention of the person using the implement.
Mukunda wrote:I fail to see the logic of one committed to not harming other beings being attracted to implements of death for any purpose.

Its your baggage, not mine.
Go into any kitchen and you will find a myriad of implements of death - you'll find them in the knife draw. And I'm sure you can use any number of daily objects as implements of death. How many people get killed each year from being belted by a hammer, or a wrench, or intentionally run over by a car. They are also objects that are used as weapons. Should we stop using them too? Or is it just the big bad target shooters who have questionable ethics, kammic load and poor judgement??

Mukunda wrote: Target practice can be practiced using darts, bean bags, etc, and collecting is wide open to almost anything.

Quite so, but one cannot hit a 120cm target from 90 metres with a bean bag or a dart. Not only that, they are not olympic sports.
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 in extreme cases.

Postby Dan74 » Thu May 27, 2010 1:35 am

Alex123 wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Running away from life is contrary to Buddhadhamma. Whatever our responsibilities are, whatever our environment is, this is our kamma, this is where we practice and develop brahma-viharas. Developing aversion to life, feelings and responsibilities is a way of nihilism, an escapist fantasy that leads to a dead end rather than awakening, which always faces the here-and-now directly. Engaging fully, mindfully, with a mind clear, holding nothing back, is how we see through the delusion, how we develop the brahmaviharas, the factors conducive to awakening and finally turn towards practice with 100% commitment.



Running away from existence IS BUDDHA DHAMMA. Samsara is tough and rotten to the core... It is like a sinking ship, a burning house. Some people choose to escape it.



Just as a tiny bit of faeces has a bad smell, so I do not recommend even a tiny bit of existence, not even for so long as a fingersnap. (AN 1, 18)

A simile might help. A person born in a harsh prison, raised in that prison, who has spent all their time in the prison, can only know prison life. They don't even suspect that anything beyond their prison can exist. So they make the best of prison. Those who think positively, because they have gone to prison seminars, begin to think that the harsh prison is instead a wonderful place. They even compose songs like "All jails bright and beautiful ... the good Lord made them all"! Others get involved with social service, compassionately decorating the prison cells of others. When someone gets tortured or otherwise punished in jail, they think something has gone wrong and look for someone to blame. If someone suggests that it is the very nature of jail to be suffering, then they are dismissed as a pessimist and told to "Get a life!". One full moon night, a prisoner discovers a door leading out of the jail and goes through. Only then does he realize that jail was inherently suffering and you can't make it otherwise. He goes back to tell his fellow prisoners. Most don't believe him. They can't even imagine anything other than their jail. When he says that the jail is suffering and the cessation of imprisonment is happiness, he is accused by one and all of escapism.

Sometimes people rebuke me saying "You monks are just trying to escape from the real world!".

I reply "Well done! At last someone else has understood Buddhism!"

What's wrong with escapism, especially when one realises that the real world is the harsh prison

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... NATION.htm


And yet, Ajahn Brahm refers to himself as "the happy monk," cracking jokes almost non-stop and exuding ease and contentment. What's it about, do you think?
_/|\_
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 27, 2010 1:39 am

One doesn't need to refute the other. You can be disenchanted & revulsed with existence in a wholesome and wise way and yet be happy due to being freed from kilesas.
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Dan74 » Thu May 27, 2010 1:47 am

Alex123 wrote:One doesn't need to refute the other. You can be disenchanted & revulsed with existence in a wholesome and wise way and yet be happy due to being freed from kilesas.


it is samsara and its root cause ignorance that the Buddha taught us to be "disenchanted & revulsed" with, not life. The teachings help let go of craving and attachment, but if craving and attachment are replaced with revulsion and aversion then kilesas cannot be removed - one is still tossed and turned on the self-same sea, except by the waves of revulsion and aversion. Where is equanimity then?
_/|\_
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Virgo » Thu May 27, 2010 2:50 am

Ben wrote:
Mukunda wrote:If you already have the gun, that speaks quite a bit of your mind set.


I don't think so. There are many people who have guns, and in my case - bows, who use them for target shooting.
As there are many collectors of weapons who never take them out of their climate controlled environment to fire them at sentient beings.

Sorry to the OP (original poster) and other posters to stray off-topic slightly, but just a quick aside for you Ben, if that is OK: do you shoot classical bows or new composts?

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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 27, 2010 2:52 am

Nibbida and viraga are wholesome qualities with "seeing things as they are" as the proximate cause.

While it is true that one needs to let go of avijja, what does avijja include? 1st NT is the truth of Dukkha. All 5 aggregates (that make up "life") are dukkha. Ignorance is ignoring and not-accepting that.


"And how is one a person in training, someone following the way? There is the case where, when seeing a form with the eye, there arises in a monk what is agreeable, what is disagreeable, what is agreeable & disagreeable. He feels horrified, humiliated, & disgusted with the arisen agreeable thing... disagreeable thing... agreeable & disagreeable thing. [repeat the same for other 5 senses]
"This is how one is a person in training, someone following the way.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Dan74 » Thu May 27, 2010 4:24 am

Alex123 wrote:Nibbida and viraga are wholesome qualities with "seeing things as they are" as the proximate cause.

While it is true that one needs to let go of avijja, what does avijja include? 1st NT is the truth of Dukkha. All 5 aggregates (that make up "life") are dukkha. Ignorance is ignoring and not-accepting that.


"And how is one a person in training, someone following the way? There is the case where, when seeing a form with the eye, there arises in a monk what is agreeable, what is disagreeable, what is agreeable & disagreeable. He feels horrified, humiliated, & disgusted with the arisen agreeable thing... disagreeable thing... agreeable & disagreeable thing. [repeat the same for other 5 senses]
"This is how one is a person in training, someone following the way.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Further down this sutta, it is said:

"And how is one a noble one with developed faculties? There is the case where, when seeing a form with the eye, there arises in a monk what is agreeable, what is disagreeable, what is agreeable & disagreeable. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful.


So the loathsomeness is a provisional position to let go of clinging. It does no more characterise life than pleasure, beauty, etc.

Have a look at this thread:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4429
_/|\_
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Mukunda » Thu May 27, 2010 4:50 am

Ben wrote:Its your baggage, not mine.
Go into any kitchen and you will find a myriad of implements of death - you'll find them in the knife draw. And I'm sure you can use any number of daily objects as implements of death. How many people get killed each year from being belted by a hammer, or a wrench, or intentionally run over by a car. They are also objects that are used as weapons. Should we stop using them too? Or is it just the big bad target shooters who have questionable ethics, kammic load and poor judgement??


The difference between a paring knife or a chef's knife and a sword or bowie knife is quite obvious. The question isn't whether a paring knife can be used to hurt some one, but rather, is it designed for that purpose. I'd say lumping together kitchen utensils and common tools with items designed to cause harm demonstrates more "baggage" than my pointing out those items designed intent.
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Virgo » Thu May 27, 2010 5:04 am

Mukunda wrote:
Ben wrote:
Mukunda wrote:If you already have the gun, that speaks quite a bit of your mind set.


I don't think so. There are many people who have guns, and in my case - bows, who use them for target shooting.
As there are many collectors of weapons who never take them out of their climate controlled environment to fire them at sentient beings.


The primary of purpose of weapons is to harm or kill other beings. Even though there may be secondary purposes (i.e. target practice, collecting), I fail to see the logic of one committed to not harming other beings being attracted to implements of death for any purpose. Target practice can be practiced using darts, bean bags, etc, and collecting is wide open to almost anything.

It's simply about accumulations in the citta. One person may be attracted to darts, another to another kind of weapon. Trust me, I am not going to kill anyone. Nevertheless, I could hand someone their death very easily, with or without a "weapon". I may have weapons but that doesn't mean I will kill anyone with them silly. Playing with them is just a past-time.

I would say that just because someone has a weapon for any reason does not mean someone will kill someone else with it.
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Ben » Thu May 27, 2010 5:06 am

Designed to cause harm?
More like they are designed to aim and fire projectiles at an object.
As I said, it is all to do with intention.
The comparison of guns and bows against knives to show the flaw in your logic is valid

abc_gma_woodruff_edit_071031_mn.jpg
abc_gma_woodruff_edit_071031_mn.jpg (14.45 KiB) Viewed 871 times


Don't confuse the appliance with an unwholesome action.
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 in extreme cases.

Postby Mukunda » Thu May 27, 2010 5:39 am

Ben wrote:Designed to cause harm?
More like they are designed to aim and fire projectiles at an object.
As I said, it is all to do with intention.
The comparison of guns and bows against knives to show the flaw in your logic is valid

abc_gma_woodruff_edit_071031_mn.jpg


Don't confuse the appliance with an unwholesome action.


I am not confusing the appliance with the unwholesome action. The "objects" these items were designed to be fired at are primarily living beings. Mankind did not create bows or guns for the express purpose of hitting paper targets. How would you react if you saw someone walking down the street with a gun? Would your first thought be "I bet they're going to target practice"?

I am of the opinion that any use of such weapons creates subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) impressions in the minds of both the participant and observers simply because on a deep level, we recognize that these items are implements of violence.
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Virgo » Thu May 27, 2010 5:53 am

Mukunda wrote:The "objects" these items were designed to be fired at are primarily living beings. Mankind did not create bows or guns for the express purpose of hitting paper targets.


Talking about bows, since Ben is an archer, many bows are created especially for target archery, simply for sportsmanship. Hunting bows are created for hunting, not killing men. A long time ago men created bows to kill other men. Those times are long gone and men use guns to kill each other with usually. So bows are hardly ever created to kill men with. Many are created for sport.

Mukunda wrote:How would you react if you saw someone walking down the street with a gun? Would your first thought be "I bet they're going to target practice"?


Where I am one sees guns often. Sometimes they are going to target practice, sometimes to kill things.

That is OK. This is samsara. Thinking they are bad or that they should stop or are bambi killers and so on is just attachment and aversion, just unwholesome qualities.
Mukunda wrote:
I am of the opinion that any use of such weapons creates subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) impressions in the minds of both the participant and observers simply because on a deep level, we recognize that these items are implements of violence.


Pity that you can't control these things.
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby ground » Thu May 27, 2010 6:18 am

zac wrote:i've always wondered about the extent to which non-violence could be practiced in hypothetical situations. a realistic example would be that you have a gun, some person is going to kill your whole family/sangha/friends/etc. and all you have to do is shoot them. is that ok or not?


What is the use of "hypothetical situations"? Those are the result of conditioned habitual thinking and the result of pondering on them will be one of conditioned habitual thinking. Perpetuation.

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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 27, 2010 7:40 am

TMingyur wrote:
zac wrote:i've always wondered about the extent to which non-violence could be practiced in hypothetical situations. a realistic example would be that you have a gun, some person is going to kill your whole family/sangha/friends/etc. and all you have to do is shoot them. is that ok or not?


What is the use of "hypothetical situations"? Those are the result of conditioned habitual thinking and the result of pondering on them will be one of conditioned habitual thinking. Perpetuation.

I agree. I think that the only sensible thing to do is to cultivate positive and peaceful qualities try not to have events escalate into such a difficult situation.

And recall that non-violent approaches can work. - but it takes a great deal of discipline. For example, I understand that for non-violent protests that Martin Luther King led in the 50's and 60's there was a lot of planning and training on behaving in a friendly and non-violent way while being carried off by the police, etc.

What would the Buddha do?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... buddhajaya
Nāḷāgiriṃ gaja-varaṃ atimattabhūtaṃ
Dāvaggi-cakkam-asanīva sudāruṇantaṃ
Mett'ambuseka-vidhinā jitavā munindo
Tan-tejasā bhavatu te jaya-maṅgalāni.

Nāḷāgiri, the excellent elephant, when maddened,
Was very horrific, like a forest fire, a flaming discus, a lightning bolt.
The Lord of Sages defeated him by sprinkling the water of good will:
By the power of this, may you have victory blessings.

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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Pannapetar » Thu May 27, 2010 10:03 am

Virgo wrote:I would say that just because someone has a weapon for any reason does not mean someone will kill someone else with it.


While this may be true individually, unfortunately, this statement does not hold true for a large statistical population. The USA is a case in point, where gun violence is quite high (though it's higher in some other countries such as Colombia). There is an undeniable relation between regulation of firearms ownership and firearms used for homicide/suicide. Put simply, guns are more often used for killing in those places where guns are easier to obtain.

I think that fascination with weapons ought to be questioned.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Hoo » Thu May 27, 2010 12:49 pm

JMHO but this usually becomes a non-topic when discussion of firearms is introduced. Separate topic, subject to the knee-jerk beliefs and views held by many, rarely if ever room for open minds to consider and discuss. Instead of dealing with others' attachment to their views, I usually find it more productive to deal with my own and see if I am "being Dhamma" by holding such a view.

But to answer the OP's comment, with regret I would take out the aggressor. But my goal for this life is to simply become a functioning Buddhist layman. Enlightenment will, needs be, come later. In the meantime, maybe it pays to consider why one feels safe enough to practice. Is it because we have delegated violence to others in our society to keep us safe?
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Sekha » Thu May 27, 2010 5:18 pm

To come back to the original question of this topic, there is no way in which one could use violence, and retaliate. Here are the Buddha's words about it:

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. Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby PeterB » Thu May 27, 2010 5:32 pm

Dukkhanirodha wrote:To come back to the original question of this topic, there is no way in which one could use violence, and retaliate. Here are the Buddha's words about it:

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. Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Yes well that was the Buddha Dukkhanirodha..I am certainly not going to sit around beaming good thoughts while someone saws off my limbs.
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Re: non-violence in extreme cases.

Postby Sekha » Thu May 27, 2010 5:37 pm

:|
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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