Author: Vishvapani

Burmese Atrocities: The Problem With A Buddhist State

http://www.wiseattention.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/tftd170912.mp3 In Burma Buddhists are committing atrocities against Muslim Rohingyas. We must speak out, not just against the violence, but the very idea of a Buddhist nation that underpins it. Thought for the Day 12.09.2017 When I hear about the horrific repression that’s being inflicted on the Muslim Rohingyas, I share many of the outraged feelings that others are expressing. But I feel something extra as well: shame that these things are being done by my fellow Buddhists for the sake of a Buddhist state and with the support of many Buddhist monks. How did we get here? I don’t want to over-simplify the situation in Rohingya, or generalise the responses of all Burmese Buddhists. But the question remains: the Buddha said that ‘hatred is never overcome by hatred, but only by love’; so how has the faith he founded become associated with such brutality? It won’t do to set a pure, spiritual ‘essential Buddhism’ against the distorted version that’s endorsed by Burmese generals. No doubt, distortion occurs, but our ideals have to be judged by their effects. In practical reality, Buddhism isn’t just about spiritual teachings; the domain of Buddhism includes whatever is done in its name or by its adherents. If there’s a contradiction between Buddhist teachings and this reality, it’s important to understand how it arose. I would ┬ábegin by questioning ┬áthe very idea of a...

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Mindful Eating

We’re eating more and putting on weight. Why is it so hard to change our habits, and how can simplicity and paying mindful attention help? I am sure I’m not the only one finds himself delving into the fridge for a snack and then asking, “What on earth am I doing?” This week we heard preliminary results from a huge study by researchers at Birmingham University showing that, however fit we are, being overweight increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Add in cancer and diabetes and the case for maintaining a healthy weight is irrefutable. We already...

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