If you meet the Buddha

Generalizing about a religion is a dangerous thing. A generalization that had seemed safe was that Buddhism is a peaceful religion. It's all about compassion, isn't it—about renouncing desire and learning to empty yourself?

Yes, but that very project can turn violent. The Buddhist teaching of "no self" can be used to justify killing the no self in front of you. Historically it has been used in precisely that way, according to essays in the new book Buddhist Warfare.

The authors cite a 17-century Zen master who wrote: "The uplifted sword has no will of its own, it is all of emptiness. It is like a flash of lightning. The man who is about to be struck down is also of emptiness, and so is the one who wields the sword."

What's most shocking, as reviewer Katherine Wharton points out, is not that Buddhists have engaged in sustained violence. It's that the killing has been defended with "with detailed reference to the Buddha's central philosophical tenets."

It's a reminder that all religions have distorted ways of being practiced. And a reminder that the connection between a particular religious belief and a particular practice is not always obvious—or exactly what the religion textbook writers say it is.

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Aside from the discussion

Aside from the discussion presented on Buddhism, the fact that Buddhism does not lead one to Jesus Christ, and therefore does not lead one to salvation makes this religion non essential to the person who is looking for God's truth by which to live by and save their soul.

Emptiness or "no self" does

Emptiness or "no self" does not mean the self does not exist. It means that there is no inherently existing self seperate from everything else AND that the self is interdependent or a dependent arising. What we do to others we do to ourselves.

On Buddhism Violence

It is interesting how the Christian Right set themselves up as being so Godly upright and honorable to get their own narrow interests pushed through politically...while letting millions of people suffer needlessly with no health insurance. Where is the honor and 'Love Thy Brother as Yourself", in that? This is coming from someone who is a Christian

On Buddhism Violence

It is interesting how the Christian Right set themselves up as being so Godly upright and honorable to get their own narrow interests pushed through politically...while letting millions of people suffer needlessly with no health insurance. Where is the honor and 'Love Thy Brother as Yourself", in that? This is coming from someone who is a Christian

Buddhism and violence

I recently traveled to Myanmar (Burma). Although the official State religion is Buddhism, you have to 'shake your head' when: the elections, moving of the capital city to the middle of the jungle and opening fire on peaceful Buddist Monk protestors is led as a result of counsel from the head state astrologer. The monks carrying begging bowls upside down on their heads during the protest processions became especially poignant to me when I learned that the realization of a better life (in the next) is cemented by the giving of alms to the monks. They were refusing alms from the military leaders. It's all rather like indulgences...

Samsona

Every religion has wackos. Buddhism seem to have very few.

Just a Thought

I think there are many assumptions in this article, one of them being that:
Acts done by people in the name of a religion defines the religion.

For example Christianity is a very good religion, but very awful things have been done in the name of God, for example the Inquisition. And that can be said for many if not all the religions. But the religion per se is a well of virtue.

Most religions and texts of those religions need a context when explained, if the comment/text/discourse is said without a context it can be moved into anyones interests, but that does not mean that the comment/text/discourse is flawed, it means that IT NEED a context.

That is why I've always liked

That is why I've always liked Alan Watts' "The Way of Zen" as an introduction over many others. Watts, at least in this book, is honest about the ways in which Zen (only one of many strains of Buddhism, of course) has often been used in Asian cultures to train soldiers and impose authoritarian structures and abusive social control. Even so, there are many wonderful benefits and much wisdom in the tradition.

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