Response (2) to "Some Lessons From the Last Football Match"
Response to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheDailyEnlightenment/message/537
Response (2) to "Some Lessons From the Last Football Match"- A TDE Reader + Shen Shi'an
KL: Thanks Shian, for continually coming up with contemporary issues in your writings. :)
SS: Thanks for finding it interesting :-]
KL: Would like to share whats going through my mind when I read your article on the Zidane-Materazzi issue. I find your article, as often the case for many Buddhists, too outwardly analytical and judgemental.
SS: Hmmm... I just read the whole article again... Seems okay to me. Maybe whether it is overly analytical and judgemental is subjective? (I got praise mail for the article too.) Not sure if you clicked [continues here...] to see the rest of the article at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/zeph/message/991
KL: We as Buddhists, often have this habit of using the Dharma knowledge and insights that we hold to judge whats happening around us. Perhaps because Dharma provides us with answers in all aspects of life and gladly encouraged to see and make sense of happenings through the lens of Dharma. You did mention about not pointing fingers. Yet, judging and making sense is only a thin line.
SS: Yes indeed. Incidentally, I came across someone online a few days ago, who was apparently so judgemental (Yes, I'm unfortunately judging here!), that he felt another person to be judgemental, while this judged person is himself apparently sure of himself not being judgemental. Ironicial indeed. I don't know which person was the judgemental one. It can be paradoxical at times. Maybe both were being judgemental. Sometimes, we perceive someone to be of a certain way, because we happen to be of that certain way too. The world is a mirror of our perception. But of course, those with extremely faulty perception will not readily percieve this truth.
KL: The Dharma as medicine is used for purifying our defilements, not as a code through which we judge the external world and its people.
SS: Yes, the Dharma is medicine for purification. But we can share medicine too, by pointing out defilements and suggesting cures. If many people are bickering over a contentious issue worldwide, should we remain absolutely silent? Doesn't seem too socially engaged or helpful... The Buddha himself does speak up to right wrongs - on massive scales too. For instance, he actively spoke against the unfair tradition of the caste system. He was against an ingrained social norm. Was he judging the external world and its people? I think it is alright if we speak up with good intentions in a gentle and beneficial manner.
KL: My personal response to the Zidane-Materazzi issue is to turn it into our own Dharma practice in twofold: See this whole incident as a real life Dharma lesson to me on anger.
SS: Agree totally. This is the nature of the article. Eg. there are statements in the article like "The cause of anger is from within us, never without."
KL: Serve as a powerful reminder of the destructive and terrible nature of anger. Therefore, to practice patience more conscientiously.
SS: Agree totally too. This was reflected in statements in the article like "'A spur of anger can burn away a forest of merits.' Such is the potentially destructive power of anger." & "Standing up for one's dignity does not require brute force - especially when only one's pride is hurt, with no endangering of one's life." There was also speak of being gentlemanly.
KL: And then, spontaneously, without thinking, great compassion arise for both Zidane and Materazzi. For they are truly our precious Dharma teachers, by teaching us, through their own experience, the Dharma of Anger. For which both paid heavy prices...
SS: Agree totally. The compassion aspect was reflected in statements like "Zidane need to forgive himself after repenting, just as his fans need to forgive him too." & "Let's make it a truly "beautiful game" - by letting it bond the world with fellowship, instead of dividing any two parties - even if it is just two groups of fans, two countries, two teams or two players."
It is sad that neither Zidane nor Materazzi have expressed true repentance to the world or each other yet. They would be even more precious Dharma teachers to the world by publicly being gracious enough to shake hands and apologise to each other, teaching us the Dharma of forgiveness.
KL: "Deceived by myriad illusions like the moon reflections in water, sentient beings wander through the cyclic chains of life. So that they may be at ease in the luminesce of primordial awareness, may I activate the Bodhi mind, contemplating on the 4 Immeasurable states!" --Jigme Lingpa
KL: For me, I feel, there is no need to think and analyze deeply about this issue because it is often through the process of conceptual thinking, that many important insights are lost for conceptual thoughts are in nature, egocentric.
SS: Here's something interesting. I also personally think there is no need to think and analyse this issue too deeply. In fact, I don't like to think too much. Thinking is somewhat a disease after all. But the "insights" (for what they are worth as being "insightful", if at all) I wrote arose in me more or less spontaneously. I don't analyse too purposely. (I didn't even watch the World Cup - other than the repeat telecast of the last match.) I also ensure final written articles have as little traces of ego as possible, deleting any I am aware of. Maybe I failed in your eyes. Will try harder to perfect this. :-[
KL: Through seeing, instead of thinking, all that you have said in the article would be comprehended, without a single thought.
Therefore no grasping.
Thereby, encounters such as this issue, becomes practice.
SS: Er... I wish this is true for most of us unenlightened beings. If Zidane and Materazzi could do just that in your verse above, the controversy wouldn't have arose in the first place. In fact, after so long, it seems they still have not comprehended the ideas in your verse. Sometimes, some analysis is helpful to guide others - thus did the Buddha teach in an analytical manner as recorded in many sutras. Thus did many masters write many lengthy analytical treatises and commentaries too. As long as unenlightened, some thinking is needed before we leap totally into the non-conceptually non-dual :-]
[ Days after the above discussion, as reported in a news article on 21 July 2006, both Zidane and Materazzi were fined by Fifa for 7,500 francs and 5,000 francs respectively, and banned for 3 matches and 2 matches respectively. Since Zidane had retired from footballing, he will be doing 3 days of community service. During the Fifa hearings, both apologised to Fifa for their inappropriate behaviour and expressed their regret at the incident. There was no report of them apologising to each other, and it is unclear if Zidane regretted his headbutt in full, as he only "half-apologised" to the press previously. May they and their fans be well and happy! ]