|Posted on June 13, 2016 at 3:50 AM|
Terror: A Buddhist Perspective
Statement from the White Lotus Temple, Las Vegas in Response to the Pulse Nightclub Shootings
This is a cautionary tale that the Buddha would have utilized as a parable...a teaching moment of Dharma for us.
Indeed, he would point out that to react to this type of violence and all such worldly tempests without due Mindfulness and sobriety, we fall into a very unique trap of our own devising...nay, an ideological cage...an ethical and Dharmic dilemna.
By this, I mean that if in the name of upholding values such as human dignity, right to worship, freedom and liberty...(gifts which all persons ....nay, all sentient beings should be blessed with), and by such 'upholding' we actually abridge and negate these very core values and blessings, then what was it all for...have not these tempests and violent upheavals of our day not succeeded and won? After all, we self-defeat our own values and dignity by doing so...and thereby prove, by our OWN Karmic choice...that the terrorists were, in action and ideology...correct.
As Buddhists, we strive to be examples of loving kindness, dignity, and remain mindful of all sentient beings, of their welfare, their happiness....their 'interbeing' with us and all things. We each strive daily to do this, the best we can with what we have to work with, as we know how, always learning, practicing, growing.
What the terrorists lack....is our greatest strength....the Love which fosters an environment of true creativity, freedom of will and conscience...indeed, the blessings and dignities of life itself. All they have, is destruction.
Even the darkest of caverns, which illuminated by the tiniest of lamps....glow with the warmth of newly discovered awareness, as does an infant emerging from the womb into a new world...a new life. Such passages, like birth, are always tempests and trials while they happen...yet if responded to appropriately, with sound bodhichitta, the intentional mindset of Enlightenment and Loving Kindness...they actually lead to fuller life and light for all beings. Otherwise, if not so recognized, these 'death doors' of life's inevitable challenges destruct us...nay, destroy us...walking about like the living dead, banging our heads upon so many stalagtites of our fears on the cavern's ceiling and fumbling blindly in the dark over the stalagmites of our negative emotions and energies upon the cavern floor, having BLOWN OUT our only source of light. This is the terroists job...this is their dilemna....NOT ours. If we keep our lamps lit, those pesky cave stalagtites keep their slimy little protrubances to themselves, thank you....and the stalagmites prove to help highlight the true path before us.
Walk upright, dearest ones, fearing not...for the opposite of Fear is Love! This is our power...our mighty weapon...a truth which is unassailable by anyone...the source of all power and light in all the Universe.
So get back to your lives, your worship, your shopping....too many joys are awaiting you...so many growth moments....and the tea is getting cold.
And I don't know about you, but I don't like cold tea..... or to paraphrase the 7th Doctor from the Doctor Who series:
"Oh there are many things I don't like...such as burnt toast...and bus station terminals. All that lost luggage...and so many more lost souls....."
Let loving kindness be your answer to the Terrorists.....let it be your answer of NO to their tempestuous question of your dignity.
So hear me, you brutes of terror....and heed me well; you cannot take my dignity from me or anyone, ever! It is defended! It's champion is LOVE...the Great Promise....a promise that is kept and cannot be torn asunder except by the one who made it.
Besides, I don't like bus terminals either.....or the destination you are trying to take me to; you can take back your one way bus ride ticket, thank you very much just the same.
No, I think it's much more comfy right here, thank you so kindly....And besides....all that tea is getting colder by the minute.
May the Blessings of the Dharma be with you all; the Blessings of the Triple Gem's the love and light of your path.
May Bodhichitta arise where it has not yet arisen, remain where it is manifest, and may it grow forever, more and more, without limit.
---Rev. Orgyen Jampa Dorje (Rev. William L. Chamberlin),
Abbot: Temple White Lotus, Las Vegas, NV.