Kim OHara wrote: ↑Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:39 pm
We are all
here thanks to the generosity of David and the admin team, so you are every bit as entitled to an opinion as anyone else.
SDC wrote: ↑Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:46 am
You're a senior member of the forum with a great reputation. I enjoy your opinions so please never hesitate to offer them.
Thank you Kim and SDC for your kindness.
This forum is what connects me to other Buddhists, and it happened that i represent a minority on this forum in the sense that not many members are from the Middle East and that my approach to practicing the dhamma is not as scholarly or systematic. This is why i usually feel more connected to sub-forums that appear to be less directly linked to the dhamma such as: news and politics, lounge and personal experience.
I feel more at home in these sub-forums because the doctrine (the timeless dhamma) can be seen through our differences and our attempts to investigate the truth.
I also tried to use the news and politics section as a part of my practice, i have never seen it as separate from it. To provide few examples:
When the news came out about the possible summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un, some forum members mentioned that Trump is nominated for noble peace prize, and as i don't see him as a real peace maker, when the news came about the cancellation of the summit, i felt the urge to share the news on the forum, then few days later, the news came that the summit will go on as planned before, and when i read that, i asked my self: why i don't have the same urge to share this news? I detected some hypocrisy/bias, and i felt that the only way to be truthful is to share the updated news even if it goes against what i posted earlier. Somehow, i did it for myself.
One thread i participated in was about the conflict between Arabs and Israelis, and as the discussion unfolded, i spoke about Jerusalem and that when i visited the city and saw what people are fighting over i realized how lucky i am for having encountered the Buddha's teachings. This, to me, was an example of how the dhamma can become a cause for conceit and arrogance. I sometimes ask myself a hypothetical question: if the Buddha saw what i did, would he approve? in this particular instance, the answer was no.
When i read SDC's input on the "compassion for women" thread, it made me rethink my position (i did not change it though).
Few weeks ago, No Mind opened a thread about the royal wedding, not a very interesting topic to many nor directly related to the dhamma. As the discussion unfolded, Ven Dhammanando was asked if he supports the monarch's, and his answer included that the Buddha's position on this is similar to Hobbes's Leviathan. when i read the Venerable answer, i revisited the philosopher. Hobbe's view is that it is better to obey a monarch even if his actions are not perfect and referred to the state of nature which is not very pleasing. When all this happened few weeks ago, the situation in my country was normal, but as i am typing this, my country is descending into chaos. Jordan is a monarchy, and the government introduced new taxes, and there are demonstrations and strikes everywhere. We are on the brink of a disaster. When my colleagues and friends asked me to join the strikes, i refused, and i did not refer them to the Buddha, but to Hobbe's views. I shared the video with my colleagues at work who are encouraging demonstrations, and on my personal Facebook.
Kim's input on the global warming thread is impressive regardless if we are interested in global warming or not. It is a thread that has been going for a long period of time with frequent updates. When Sarath opened a thread on how we make the world a better place, Kim answered by sharing a link to the global warming thread. Who said that every type of passion is against the Buddha's teachings? There are wholesome desires that can help us with our practice.
Some members argue that the dhamma shines when it is separated from politics, but i do not agree. I view the above to be more real than speculating about what makes one a sotapanna, or whether there are enlightened human beings out there or not.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
This was the last word of the Tathagata.