Friday, October 25, 2013

"Peace" in Buddhist Perspective

Abbot Dr. Karunananda (, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly (UPDATED)
Women's International Perspective (
Peace: harmony, security, freedom from conflict, happy relationships, serenity, inner tranquility, stability, silence, stillness.

1. Security means justice and the end of outer-conflict or “world peace.”
2. Responsibility means harmonious relations with others or “mutual peace.”
3. Nirvana
is ultimate serenity, joyful tranquility, or “inner-peace.”
There are three root reasons for war between countries: 1. greed, 2. hatred/fear (aversion), 3. delusion.
Jack Kornfield at Burmese American Democratic Assn. of San Francisco 2008 PeaceWalk
What is the solution, the way to peace? How can we gain mutual security, healthy inter-dependence, and honest diplomatic relations? We must aim for justice in the form of win-win solutions so that both sides are ameliorated and can feel well treated.
The Story of Prince Vitatubha: A half-slave/half-royal Shakyan prince was married off to a neighboring country. When he discovered his mixed birth and the disdain of his relatives, the Shakyans, he was humiliated and vowed revenge on the entire clan. He would avenge having been treated like an inferior even after he rose to the rank of head of state in the neighboring country.
The Buddha advised the Vajjian confederacy about social practices that would lead to societal peace and invincibility, Seven Societal Practices:
  1. Meet frequently in concord.
  2. Maintain rules, not violating old rules with new rules.
  3. Act in accord.
  4. Listen to elders.
  5. Respect women.
  6. Honor ancient practices.
  7. Support truth seekers.
Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) Buddhist Peace Delegation march

Reason for conflict between friends and family is unclear social duties (dharma).
Solution or way to peace is the Path of an Excellent Householder:
  1. Eradicate the Four Vices in Conduct (murder, theft, sexual misconduct, perjury).
  2. Overcome Four Unskillful Motivations (desire, anger, delusion, fear).
  3. Avoid the Six Channels for Dissipating Wealth (intoxication, loitering, unseemly entertainment, gambling, unfit companionship, idleness).
  4. Make money as harmlessly as a bee gathering nectar from a flower then Divide Earnings in Four (enjoying one portion, reinvesting two portions back into the business, and saving the fourth for times of need).
  5. Practice the Four Bases of Popularity and leadership (hospitality, sweet speech, generosity, impartiality to all).
  6. Perform the duties (dharma) incumbent on ourselves and our Six Reciprocal Relationships (mother and father, teachers and mentors, spouse and children, friends and associates, servants and employees, wandering ascetics and Brahmin priests).
Bhikkhu Bodhi (The Way to the End of Suffering)
(Buddhist Peace Fellowship)
Follow the Noble Eightfold Path to various heavens in space and other pleasant dimension or to final liberation from all rebirth and suffering (nirvana):
1. Harmonious View: We are all inter-dependent.
2. Peaceful Intention: renunciation (letting go), friendliness/metta, harmlessness/karuna
3. Peaceful Speech: kind, honest, uniting, calming, encouraging, useful (rather than idle chatter).
4. Just Action: protect life, protect property, protect others from injury.
5. Harmonious Livelihood: avoid trade in weapons, prostitutes, slaves, animals for slaughter, flesh (meat) butchering, poisons, intoxicants (AN 5:177).
6. Peaceful Effort -- prevent unwholesome states; abandon them; arouse wholesome states; maintain and perfect them
7. Peaceful Mindfulness: wakefulness and clear comprehension (sati-sampaja├▒├▒a) of the environment.
8. Harmonious Concentration: calm, cool, collected states of inner-stability (four meditative absorptions known as the material jhanas).

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