Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Peace in Buddhist Perspective

Peace in Buddhist Perspective

Wisdom Quarterly editorial staff outline for a talk by the Ven. Dr. Karunananda

(noun): freedom from conflict, happy relationships, harmony, security, serenity, inner tranquility, stability, silence, and stillness.

Security - freedom from conflict, justice, outer or “world peace”
Mutual Responsibility - harmonious relations, “mutual peace”
Shamatha, Nirvana - ultimate serenity, tranquility, “inner peace”
Reason(s) for war between countries: greed, hatred, delusion, or fear
Solution or way to peace: mutual security, interdependence, diplomacy. We must always aim for justice in the form of a win-win solution so that both sides are happy.

--Story of Vitatubha, the Sakyan prince placed in married off to a neighboring country, who vowed revenge on the Sakyan Clan for being treated as an inferior fellow head of state
--The Buddha's advice to the Vajjian Confederacy: Seven Societal Practices for peace and invincibility:
  1. meet frequently in concord
  2. maintain rules not violating old ones with new ones
  3. act in accord
  4. listen to elders
  5. respect the women
  6. honor ancient practices
  7. support truth seekers

The reason for conflict between friends and family: unclear social duties
The solution or way to peace: Path of an Excellent Householder:
  1. Eradicate Four Vices in Conduct (murder, theft, rape, perjury)
  2. Overcome Four Unskillful Motivations (desire, anger, delusion, fear)
  3. Avoid Six Channels for Losing Money (intoxicants, loitering, unseemly shows, gambling, bad companionship, idleness)
  4. Make money as harmlessly as a bee gathering flower nectar and Divide Your Earnings in Four (spend one portion, reinvest two back into your business, and save the fourth)
  5. Practice Four Bases of Popularity and leadership (hospitality, sweet speech, generosity, impartiality to all)
  6. Duties (lowercase dharma) to and of our Six Social Relationships (parents, teachers, spouse & children, friends & associates, servants & employees, sramans & brahmins)
Follow the Noble Eightfold Path to heaven(s) or to final liberation:
1. Harmonious View -- you are interdependent on others
2. Peaceful Intention -- renunciation, friendliness/metta, harmlessness/karuna
3. Peaceful Speech -- kind, honest, uniting, calming & encouraging & useful (rather than idle)
4. Just Action -- protect life, protect property, protect bodies
5. Harmonious Livelihood -- no weapons, slaves & slaughter-animals & prostitutes, meat production and butchering, poisons, intoxicants (AN 5:177).
6. Peaceful Effort -- prevent unwholesome states; abandon them; arouse wholesome states; maintain and perfect them
7. Peaceful Mindfulness -- attentive and clearly comprehending (sati-sampajañña) our environment
8. Harmonious Concentration -- calm, cool, collected states of inner-stability (four meditative absorptions (jhanas)
PHOTOS: Buddhist Peace Fellowship delegation march; Burmese American Democratic Association of San Francisco 2008 peacewalk, peace sign from The Women's International Perspective (; Buddha image (Tibet House); lotus in hand (BPF).

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