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Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] Re: metta for Bin Laden: Oct 2

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  • upasaka@aol.com
    Hi, Herman - In a message dated 10/2/01 3:47:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... ============================= It seems you have answered your own question.
    Message 1 of 19 , Oct 2, 2001
      Hi, Herman -

      In a message dated 10/2/01 3:47:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      hhofman@... writes:


      > Howard,
      >
      > There being no self , what does kamma apply to? Namas and rupas, and
      > so do the fruits. Volition applies to cittas only, as far as I know.
      >
      > Happy to be corrected, of course :-)
      >
      > All the best
      >
      > Herman
      >
      =============================
      It seems you have answered your own question. Intention is a mental
      concomitant arising along with cittas, and kammic fruit is passed along. No
      real person involved at all, just a conditioned flow of discernment.

      With metta,
      Howard


      /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
      in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
      phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Robert Epstein
      ... On the other hand, Buddha spoke of liberating sentient beings , not countries or dharmas. Why would he speak of beings if there were no beings to
      Message 2 of 19 , Oct 2, 2001
        --- hhofman@... wrote:
        > Howard,
        >
        > There being no self , what does kamma apply to? Namas and rupas, and
        > so do the fruits. Volition applies to cittas only, as far as I know.
        >
        > Happy to be corrected, of course :-)
        >
        > All the best
        >
        > Herman

        On the other hand, Buddha spoke of liberating 'sentient beings', not countries or
        dharmas. Why would he speak of beings if there were no beings to liberate? Why
        would he not grant equal status to 'dharmas' and living beings if these beings
        were really nothing but 'kandhas' and of the same status as objects?

        In the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha says something to the effect that the correct
        understanding should be that 'when all sentient beings are thus liberated, no
        beings have actually been liberated'. so how does this contradiction work?

        My sense of this is that while there are no beings ultimately, the provisional
        minds and bodies which engage the concepts of being an entity or self, do
        experience suffering and various thoughts and feelings that impinge on that sense
        of self. That sense of self is illusory, but while that illusion is being held it
        is a source of suffering. So to 'liberate all sentient beings' is to remove the
        illusion of self from these bodies and minds.

        Countries don't exist. A country is a concept. It cannot entertain a concept of
        self or experience suffering. Neither can objects. Cittas are the only thing
        capable of experiencing suffering and while cittas are carrying the idea of self,
        they carry experiences of fear, anxiety, anger and hatred, and the sense of
        protecting and promoting the desires of that seeming self.

        It is thus those cittas, the consciousness that is related to the body and mind,
        that must be liberated from the false idea of self, and all the attendant akusala
        experiences that accompany the concept of self-entity.

        It is this sense, I think, that kamma applies to individuals. The body and mind
        within which the cittas of self and suffering arise are the individuals that must
        be liberated. No other factors of the manifest universe require awakening and
        liberation. Only consciousness.

        Robert Ep.

        ================================

        > --- In dhammastudygroup@y..., upasaka@a... wrote:
        > > Hi, Herman -
        > >
        > > In a message dated 10/1/01 10:29:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        > > hhofman@d... writes:
        > >
        > >
        > > > The laws of karma apply to the US as
        > > >
        > > =========================
        > > It's my understanding that kamma is an individual matter, as
        > are the
        > > fruits of kamma. If people acted in similar volitional manners,
        > then they may
        > > have similar kammic fruit. But nations having kamma is not a
        > Buddhist notion
        > > to the best of my knowledge.
        > >
        > > With metta,
        > > Howard
        > >
        > >
        > > /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn,
        > a bubble
        > > in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering
        > lamp, a
        > > phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond
        > Sutra)
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >


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      • Robert Epstein
        ... Dear Herman, If you wish to respond to any of the specific things I said, I will be happy to correspond with you on these subjects off-list. It took some
        Message 3 of 19 , Oct 2, 2001
          --- hhofman@... wrote:
          > Robert,
          >
          > I will never make the diplomatic corps, I know, but you have written
          > some things to a monster. And that monster is not me, but a
          > projection of yours.
          >
          > So once you become aware of the high horse you are riding, and it
          > looks as though you are responding to things I am actually writing,
          > then we can perhaps keep communicating.
          >
          > All the best
          >
          > Herman

          Dear Herman,
          If you wish to respond to any of the specific things I said, I will be happy to
          correspond with you on these subjects off-list. It took some effort to make all
          of my points, so I don't really envision trying to start from scratch and revising
          my statement. I don't see you as a monster by any means, and you are putting
          words in my mouth by saying so. However, I do think some of what you said was
          insensitive in light of current circumstances, but that's as far as I would go.
          If you prefer not to continue the discussion in response to my answer, as mine was
          in response to your statement, I will be happy to drop the subject and go back to
          talking about the Dhamma as we know and understand it. Or in my case,
          misunderstand it......just my feeble attempt at a joke.......

          Regards,
          Robert Ep.

          ==========================

          > --- In dhammastudygroup@y..., Robert Epstein <epsteinrob@Y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > --- hhofman@d... wrote:
          > > > Robert,
          > > >
          > > > So Mr bin Laden is guilty then?
          > > >
          > > > I don't have the same privileged access to the truth as the US
          > media
          > > > does, obviously.
          > > >
          > > > I am not casual about the 7000 killed. Be careful with your
          > sweeping
          > > > statements, Robert.
          > > >
          > > > The US has killed more innocents than you may care to admit. It
          > is
          > > > built on the back of slavery. The laws of karma apply to the US
          > as
          > > > well, you know. Or did you imagine that the US became the
          > dominant
          > > > world power by being very nice to everybody.
          > > >
          > > > Two billion $US a year to help Israel suppress Palestine does not
          > go
          > > > without consequences.
          > > >
          > > > Stating facts does not condone the facts. I deplore the deaths of
          > > > 7,000 innocent people. I abhor violence and terorism. But I am
          > not
          > > > selective about where I see these things happening.
          > > >
          > > > While we are it, how many die each day on US roads, how many are
          > > > murdered , how many commit suicide? Is the deafening silence on
          > these
          > > > systematic casualties of the American way of life to be construed
          > as
          > > > tacit approval?
          > > >
          > > > All the best
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Herman
          > >
          > > Dear Herman,
          > > I am one of the people who care about people all around the world.
          > I care about
          > > the teenagers forced into prostitution in Southeast Asia, Latin
          > America and all
          > > around the world, the ten year olds working in shoe factories in
          > Guatemala, and I
          > > care about the women who are beaten and killed and raped by their
          > husbands legally
          > > under the Taliban, a Taliban that does not allow medical treatment
          > for women, or a
          > > widow to work to get food for her children, a Taliban that can beat
          > or kill
          > > someone if the 'police' suspect that they have trimmed their
          > beard. I also care
          > > at this particular moment about something that happened just the
          > other day: 7,000
          > > people were killed in a holocaust, a single horrible act that left
          > 7,000 families
          > > from 80 countries around the world in a sudden state of horrific
          > grief. I don't
          > > just care about the Americans that were in that building, I care
          > about all of
          > > them. I also care about the 300 some-odd firefighters and
          > policemen who willingly
          > > ran into that building to save people and lost their own lives.
          > >
          > > Do I care about the people who were killed in that blaze, the
          > hundreds who jumped
          > > out of 100 story windows to their death to avoid being burned up in
          > superheated
          > > airplane fuel more than I care about the insanely fanatical
          > hijackers who slit
          > > passengers throats and then propelled them to a fiery death? Yes,
          > in fact I do
          > > care more about those victims. Does that make me less evolved on
          > the path? If
          > > so, I don't mind waiting a bit to evolve further. When I turn into
          > a mechanical
          > > path-dweller who can only wax philosophically about how all things
          > are the same
          > > and that they are all empty, I will know I have gone down the wrong
          > path and gone
          > > too far. There is a dual nature to human beings, they are
          > inherently empty and
          > > fleeting beings, yet there is also suffering, happiness and beauty
          > in our lives.
          > >
          > > There is also the arising of compassion. I think that it is
          > appropriate when
          > > something horrifying is done to innocent people, without
          > speculating on their
          > > karmic deserts, to say first how sad and mortified we are that this
          > horror has
          > > taken place. Then you can go into your lecture about all the
          > reasons why the U.S.
          > > is wrong and bad and evil. Why don't you save it for after you
          > express your
          > > compassion for those burned and smashed and killed and turned into
          > a mass of body
          > > parts mixed with steel and blood? To me, that would be a moment of
          > real
          > > compassion, not a political statement, but a moment of being human,
          > which is
          > > allowable and also necessary.
          > >
          > > As I have said one time before, if you do not mention how you feel
          > about all the
          > > people who were killed, but just go straight into a political
          > speech, I have no
          > > way of knowing that you care about these people. You actually need
          > to say it, and
          > > express some feeling for them. They weren't 'Americans', they
          > didn't represent a
          > > poitical structure or a country. They were people who suffered
          > horribly and left
          > > behind more people who are suffering miserably. So give metta to
          > them first. Let
          > > them have a bit of metta please, before you lecture their recently-
          > departed
          > > kandhas.
          > >
          > > Yes, as I said, I know bin Laden is guilty because he has admitted
          > it. There is
          > > also strong evidence from other sources in both the original World
          > Trade Center
          > > bombing and the two U.S. embassies in Africa that were bombed. But
          > that is
          > > besides the point. There is no doubt that there are terrorist
          > camps in
          > > Afganistan, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq. There is no doubt that the
          > Taliban has committed
          > > thousands upon thousands of crimes against humanity against its own
          > people. There
          > > is no doubt that the Taliban's single greatest supporter is bin
          > Laden, who
          > > personally gave them three million to jump start them at their
          > inception, and has
          > > supported them ever since as they support him. There is no doubt
          > that Sudan and
          > > Pakistan has also formerly supported the Taliban. They have both
          > now severed ties
          > > in the wake of this tragedy.
          > >
          > > To compare the current tragedy and the horrors of the Taliban to
          > U.S. auto
          > > accidents seems very strange to me. The 'American way of Life' is
          > represented by
          > > automobiles, which are the killers you want to attack? Personally
          > I would rather
          > > die in an auto accident, than be beaten to death or have my throat
          > cut in the
          > > public square, as happens in Afganistan every day.
          > >
          > > Now that I have said all that, let me say two things to give you an
          > idea of how I
          > > feel about people. I am not a nationalist. I just think that
          > Americans have a
          > > right to be considered people as much as anyone else. I have been
          > writing to all
          > > my email groups and friends where anti-Arab sentiments are
          > expressed, saying that
          > > anyone who harms an Islamic-American, as has happened several
          > times, because of
          > > their beliefs or appearance, are as bad as the terrorists, and I
          > mean that. I
          > > have nothing but respect for Muslims, and most Muslims are peace-
          > loving people.
          > >
          > > I also wish I lived in a world where we cared as much about the
          > million Rwandans
          > > killed in their holocaust as we do about those killed in Western
          > countries, and I
          > > have said that as well. I do care about all people equally. But I
          > will shed my
          > > tears for the victims first, and then the killers second.
          > >
          > > Robert Ep.
          > >
          > > ===============================
          > >
          > >
          > > > --- In dhammastudygroup@y..., Robert Epstein <epsteinrob@Y...>
          > wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > --- hhofman@d... wrote:
          > > > > > Hi there,
          > > > > >
          > > > > > While we are distributing metta to Mr bin Laden, we should
          > > > perhaps
          > > > > > also send some to all those who already have branded him
          > guilty
          > > > for
          > > > > > whatever they believe him to be guilty of, just because it
          > said
          > > > so in
          > > > > > the newspaper, radio and tv.
          > > > >
          > > > > Nothing personal, herman, but give me a break!
          > > > > Giving metta is one thing, being casual about the 7,000 people
          > who
          > > > were killed in
          > > > > one stroke, is another. Nothing compassionate about that.
          > > > >
          > > > > bin Laden has made it plain that he is involved in terrorist
          > acts
          > > > and wants to
          > > > > destroy the U.S. You don't need to go to court for that. He
          > has
          > > > stated his
          > > > > objections too, and they are not about overall foreign policy,
          > > > which of course,
          > > > > has some horrible aspects to it.
          > > > >
          > > > > 1/ He believes it is an unholy desecration of the Muslim holy
          > land
          > > > to have U.S.
          > > > > troops in Saudi Arabia, which contains the holy city of Mecca.
          > > > >
          > > > > 2/ He believes the U.S. should stop supporting Israel, and
          > allow
          > > > the Palestinians
          > > > > to claim Palestine as their own.
          > > > >
          > > > > He issued a statement saying that if the U.S. wanted 'acts of
          > > > terrorism and
          > > > > intimidation' to stop, the U.S. should leave Saudi Arabia and
          > > > withdraw from the
          > > > > peace negotiations. In other words, he is going to dictate
          > U.S.
          > > > foreign policy by
          > > > > killing large numbers of civilians. He can use plenty of
          > metta,
          > > > but that doesn't
          > > > > mean what he does is okay in any way, shape or form, causing
          > > > suffering to
          > > > > countless thousands. Does that matter, or only the evils of
          > U.S.
          > > > policies?
          > > > > Please answer.
          > > > >
          > > > > > And then some metta to the designers, executioners and
          > supporters
          > > > of
          > > > > > US foreign policy which is always dualistic, always good
          > versus
          > > > evil,
          > > > > > with US always the goodie, and therefore always quite
          > illusory.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > And then some metta to the rest of us, because selective
          > metta is
          > > > > > really quite absurd.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > With metta
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Herman
          > > > >
          > > > > Yes, and metta to you too, Herman. You deserve it as much as
          > > > anyone.
          > > > >
          > > > > Robert
          > > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > > __________________________________________________
          > > Do You Yahoo!?
          > > Listen to your Yahoo! Mail messages from any phone.
          > > http://phone.yahoo.com
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >


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        • Robert Epstein
          Dear Christine, I read the whole article and found it very interesting and worthwhile. Deep listening to the world is most certainly something that Americans
          Message 4 of 19 , Oct 2, 2001
            Dear Christine,
            I read the whole article and found it very interesting and worthwhile. Deep
            listening to the world is most certainly something that Americans have been
            lacking, as well as many citizens from other countries....perhaps everywhere.

            A very potent Buddhist message from one of my favorite teachers....

            Best,
            Robert Ep.

            =============

            --- Christine Forsyth <cforsyth@...> wrote:
            > Hi Herman,
            >
            > You may be interested in reading the article that this excerpt is
            > from:
            >
            > http://www.buddhistnews.tv
            >
            > "If I were given the opportunity to be face to face with Osama bin
            > Laden, the first thing I would do is listen. I would try to
            > understand why he had acted in that cruel way. I would try to
            > understand all of the suffering that had led him to violence. It
            > might not be easy to listen in that way, so I would have to remain
            > calm and lucid. I would need several friends with me, who are strong
            > in the practice of deep listening, listening without reacting,
            > without judging and blaming. In this way, an atmosphere of support
            > would be created for this person and those connected so that they
            > could share completely, trust that they are really being heard." --
            > Thich Nhat Hahn
            >
            > metta,
            > May all be safe and protected,
            > May all be healthy and strong,
            > May all be happy of heart and mind,
            > May all live with ease and wellbeing.
            > Christine
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >


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