"The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:02 am

BlackBird wrote:I have had a bit of a personal change of heart regarding my involvement in these topics. I asked myself last night: What would the Buddha say to me about all this? I think he would ask me:
------------------
Does all this lead to passion or to dispassion?
It leads to passion Bhante.

Is what leads to passion to be cultivated or abandoned?
Abandoned Bhante.

So do not involve yourself in these things, for progress in this Dhamma is achieved by cultivating dispassion, not by cultivating passion.

------------------
That's how I think the Buddha would council me about this.

That's not to say I believe we should not speak about these things as a community from time to time. As others have said a 'conspiracy of silence' I believe could be quite damaging, and I am never in favour of censorship where it is not absolutely necessary. I think it's also necessary to reiterate one final time, because clearly there are some people and Venerables who think my intentions are unskillful: My intentions were almost always for the purposes of trying to improve the state of the Sasana, to help rid it of detritus and to help prevent people from winding up in monasteries that might lead to their disillusionment, where they otherwise might have ordained.

I would caution everyone, lay and ordained too, against projecting intentions onto people. We are not mind readers. If we make judgements of people's intentions without actually knowing them, we run the risk of making them feel bad. Those kind of judgements are never skillful.

I thank the moderation team for a reasoned and moderate decision that takes into account the merits of both sides of this argument.

And finally, I think now might be a good opportunity for me to ask for forgiveness from any persons whom I may have offended by my speech here. I have never intended to offend anyone or to ever make anyone feel unwelcome. So I am sorry if that has ever been the case. I would hope that any further interactions between us might be amicable.

metta
Jack


:anjali: :candle:
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Scandals in the Sangha and the relevance to our practice

Postby binocular » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:28 am

Dan74 wrote:Of course ill will is a fault, but not being able to know the minds of others, I prefer to give people benefit of doubt unless conclusively proven otherwise.

When the scandals in Burma have come out, how have many Buddhists reacted? By declaring the actions of those "radical Buddhists" in Burma as hateful, ill-willed etc, repeating how hostilities are not appeased with hostilities and so on. These Buddhists have proposed to know the intentions of others.
And these same Buddhists are in some position of power, such as moderators here. Per default, these people win, get ahead, come out on top.
When I called for a more careful evaluation of the situation, I was accused for supporting a pogrom and such, and how I need an attitude adjustment.

I don't consider myself a Buddhist. I am still trying to decide whether to take up this path or not.
When I look at who gets out on top in conflicts: yes, it is indeed the ill-willed Buddhists. This is the kind of role-modeling that takes place among Buddhists. Not always, but certainly often enough to give me the impression that the Buddhist sangha is yet another installment of the gladiator arena that life generally is.

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby Dan74 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:56 am

Binocular, many here were saddened at the news coming from Burma. Some actually have connection to the place. I spent only two weeks but there were amazing two weeks and Ben, I believe, has been a number of times.

Some people may have been angry at what they understand to have happened. While anger is not a wholesome response, we are human beings here and I am fairly certain everyone here gets angry on occasion.

I don't recall much ill-will, if any, but this just underscores how different people's perception are. What I do recall is you trying to excuse the events by arguing that the Muslims in Burma were a threat. They may well have been perceived to be a threat, but I am yet to see any evidence that they were. Whenever such events happen, whether in Yugoslavia, Rwanda or indeed to the Jews in Europe, the minority is perceived to be a threat, but that doesn't excuse it. In any case broadbrushing the people and killing innocents is murder plain and simple, nothing there that can be whitewashed or excused, though of course it is understandably human.

So to be frank, I think you got off lightly. What you were putting forward in that thread I found completely off the mark and inappropriate.
_/|\_

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby cooran » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:58 am

Well said, Dan.

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby perkele » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:43 pm

binocular wrote:I don't consider myself a Buddhist. I am still trying to decide whether to take up this path or not.
When I look at who gets out on top in conflicts: yes, it is indeed the ill-willed Buddhists. This is the kind of role-modeling that takes place among Buddhists. Not always, but certainly often enough to give me the impression that the Buddhist sangha is yet another installment of the gladiator arena that life generally is.

You don't see the good intentions of others, friend.
Our perceptions are also intended, on a very deep level that is hard to access. And the more we get hypnotized into them the more difficult it is to let go.
Take this not as an attack, but as a hint.
Then you will already make some valuable change.
:anjali:
Don't be buddhist or anything. Disengage, disinvolve. That is really the path to peace.

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Re: Scandals in the Sangha and the relevance to our practice

Postby daverupa » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:49 pm

binocular wrote:When I look at who gets out on top in conflicts: yes, it is indeed the ill-willed Buddhists.


'Gets out on top' means something different for me, I think. How do you define "success", in other words? Reference to social standing and access to social power aren't a part of how I see it.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby BlackBird » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:47 pm

Imo nobody wins in conflicts. Everybody wins with harmony though.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby perkele » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:28 pm

BlackBird wrote:
Imo nobody wins in conflicts. Everybody wins with harmony though.

Sadhu!
:anjali:

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Re: Scandals in the Sangha and the relevance to our practice

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:18 pm

binocular wrote:And these same Buddhists are in some position of power, such as moderators here. Per default, these people win, get ahead, come out on top.
...When I look at who gets out on top in conflicts: yes, it is indeed the ill-willed Buddhists. This is the kind of role-modeling that takes place among Buddhists. Not always, but certainly often enough to give me the impression that the Buddhist sangha is yet another installment of the gladiator arena that life generally is.


Life is imperfect. Strong survive, weak die out. In business, sharks seem to get ahead. Would be strange if it were different. Unfortunately as "Broken Buddha" has shown, Catholic church isn't the only one with problems. People are imperfect and can ruin a perfect sangha.
"dust to dust...."

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:20 pm

BlackBird wrote:Imo nobody wins in conflicts. Everybody wins with harmony though.


No. In business it is the sharks that win. Good will is sign of weakness that sharks exploit to their benefit. You try to be nice and give them their fair share only to result that they grab it, and demand "give me more!!!" and then treat you like a rug to walk on, and after all of this they treat you like "it is your fault!". People pretend to be best friends, and then at the first opportunity stab one in the back and try to fleece you as much as possible. Why?
Because as someone who pretended to be "almost like a family member" has said "because I can".

I had seen bad experience of others...

Real life is tough... Either you take your piece from others or they take yours. The resources are limited. We can't just create stuff out of nothing. The $100 that you have, means that someone else didn't get this $100. The food that you ate means that someone else didn't get to eat this... Etc.
"dust to dust...."

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Re: Scandals in the Sangha and the relevance to our practice

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:33 pm

Alex123 wrote:
binocular wrote:And these same Buddhists are in some position of power, such as moderators here. Per default, these people win, get ahead, come out on top.
...When I look at who gets out on top in conflicts: yes, it is indeed the ill-willed Buddhists. This is the kind of role-modeling that takes place among Buddhists. Not always, but certainly often enough to give me the impression that the Buddhist sangha is yet another installment of the gladiator arena that life generally is.


Life is imperfect. Strong survive, weak die out. In business, sharks seem to get ahead. Would be strange if it were different. Unfortunately as "Broken Buddha" has shown, Catholic church isn't the only one with problems. People are imperfect and can ruin a perfect sangha.

The perfect Sangha is a conceptual Sangha. Even in the Buddha's day the monastic order had it's rogues, it is said. Looking for perfection in the world of convention is suffering.

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby binocular » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:48 pm

BlackBird wrote:Imo nobody wins in conflicts. Everybody wins with harmony though.

Everyone is equal, except that some people are more equal than others, eh?

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby binocular » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:53 pm

Dan74 wrote:I don't recall much ill-will, if any, but this just underscores how different people's perception are. What I do recall is you trying to excuse the events by arguing that the Muslims in Burma were a threat.

There you go. Imputing on me - again - that I tried to excuse the events there.
Talk about ill will.


They may well have been perceived to be a threat, but I am yet to see any evidence that they were. Whenever such events happen, whether in Yugoslavia, Rwanda or indeed to the Jews in Europe, the minority is perceived to be a threat, but that doesn't excuse it. In any case broadbrushing the people and killing innocents is murder plain and simple, nothing there that can be whitewashed or excused, though of course it is understandably human.

So to be frank, I think you got off lightly. What you were putting forward in that thread I found completely off the mark and inappropriate.

Talk about ill will.
What I've been saying all along. Make stuff up, accuse a person of something they didn't do, and then proceed in righteous condemnation of them.
Thank you. So Buddhist.


This really hurts, you know. I would think that someone who has been practicing Buddhism for so long would actually pay attention to what people say. Instead, it's like highschool all over again. It would be funny if it wouldn't be so sad.

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby perkele » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:37 pm

Valued binocular,

binocular wrote:This really hurts, you know. I would think that someone who has been practicing Buddhism for so long would actually pay attention to what people say. Instead, it's like highschool all over again. It would be funny if it wouldn't be so sad.


thank you for sharing your awareness.
It seems very true in some very important sense.

However, take into consideration that so many people here say so many things that it is not easy to listen to everything.

And some things then are wrongly judged as "unwholesome", because they hurt, and people don't like to hear.

Of course, we have to learn right awareness. But we cannot be all aware of everything at the same time. And here many things are shared which are not always useful for all. And then some person says: I don't like it.

Dan74 wrote:So to be frank, I think you got off lightly. What you were putting forward in that thread I found completely off the mark and inappropriate.

So, to say something like this does not really help. Better to say nothing if one does not know better than by close in "winning". One should close in "acknowledging", and saying sorry maybe if one does not understand. So things get lighter.
The thing is, people here are much drawn into all this, arguing back and forth in their minds, to maybe argument for peace.

So one should give those people peace. Really, they are waiting to share wholesome awareness when the time is right. One should be aware a bit more and let go of one's personal fighting.

Of course, binocular, people should learn that.
So thanks for sharing your awareness.
:anjali:

Let's see how we can take it. Let's try and take it with right acknowledgement and not arguments.

We don't know and understand every perspective. That we must rightly acknowledge.


Of course, binocular, what you have been saying about Burma I think mostly was a good intended to stop senseless gossip and fantasy about what is going on in a culture that most of us don't even know. Although I was mostly not really aware to judge with right knowing. But maybe the arguments were not convincing.
However, never try to "win" by arguments. By arguments one never wins. They only go on and on.

That, you clearly know and see for yourself. So don't be sarcastic. But be aware.

I have not been very aware to judge, but I think this is generally your problem:
Here often people are much about "arguments". Much intellectual talking which even goes off reality into spheres of only fighting for wrong acknowledgement. We are in different realms of perception and we must rightly acknowledge this that we don't know much to share wholesome awareness.

So when you see fighting going on far away, don't take it as "yours". Look around where you are. Maybe there are also good things to do.

But in between hot fighting there is also often very useful dialogue. So it is really better to disengage from what is only too hot. Be patient. Things will be better. Patience is the highest virtue, as the Buddha said. It really cannot exist without virtue, and it is the first and last virtue.

It can happen. We cannot be aware of everything.

Don't be sarcastic about the Buddha's Dhamma, only because people have eaten too much of it and are fighting about it. It's not your problem.

We will learn. Have patience.

We are here to learn and share.

:anjali:

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby BlackBird » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:11 pm

binocular wrote:
BlackBird wrote:Imo nobody wins in conflicts. Everybody wins with harmony though.

Everyone is equal, except that some people are more equal than others, eh?


I fail to see the relation between Animal farm and what I've said, perhaps you could elaborate for me :)
If you're suggesting I hold a view similar to the pigs, you couldn't be more wrong.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:41 am

BlackBird wrote:
binocular wrote:
BlackBird wrote:Imo nobody wins in conflicts. Everybody wins with harmony though.

Everyone is equal, except that some people are more equal than others, eh?


I fail to see the relation between Animal farm and what I've said, perhaps you could elaborate for me :)
If you're suggesting I hold a view similar to the pigs, you couldn't be more wrong.



Life is cruel and being nice doesn't do it, in fact it makes one a rug for stronger & more cruel person to rub one's dirty boots on.
Acts of kindness, unfortunately, can often be used against one by sharks.
"dust to dust...."

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby Dan74 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:45 am

Binocular,

First I think you mistake disagreement for ill-will. Ill-will to me means being negatively disposed towards someone. Disagreeing with your words or opinions doesn't mean I am against you. It just means I disagree. I may disagree strongly because I judge your opinion to be insensitive or harmful, but it doesn't mean that I am ill-disposed to you, as a person. I disagree with my friends, my wife and my kids, but I still care about them very much.

binocular wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I don't recall much ill-will, if any, but this just underscores how different people's perception are. What I do recall is you trying to excuse the events by arguing that the Muslims in Burma were a threat.

There you go. Imputing on me - again - that I tried to excuse the events there.
Talk about ill will.


Well, please go over that thread and see what you wrote. I just jumped back and saw this:

binocular wrote:If someone were to come to cause you and your loved ones harm, what would you do?
Would you just stand there and let them do it?


binocular wrote:But what should those monks do?
Sit there and watch as people are being harmed? Spread thoughts of goodwill to everyone?


Is it unfair to describe these words as "trying to excuse the events by arguing that the Muslims in Burma were a threat"?

Where do you see ill-will? Perhaps in the eye of the beholder...

binocular wrote:
They may well have been perceived to be a threat, but I am yet to see any evidence that they were. Whenever such events happen, whether in Yugoslavia, Rwanda or indeed to the Jews in Europe, the minority is perceived to be a threat, but that doesn't excuse it. In any case broadbrushing the people and killing innocents is murder plain and simple, nothing there that can be whitewashed or excused, though of course it is understandably human.

So to be frank, I think you got off lightly. What you were putting forward in that thread I found completely off the mark and inappropriate.

Talk about ill will.
What I've been saying all along. Make stuff up, accuse a person of something they didn't do, and then proceed in righteous condemnation of them.
Thank you. So Buddhist.


They say truth hurts and perkele below implies that I was being unskillful and this would not help. He/she may well be right, I don't know. At this stage it seems to me that you are not interested in the truth but in people agreeing with you, validating you, praising you and your views, etc. This does not lead to an honest exchange where equals are free to disagree and participants are mature enough to take different perspectives on board. Let me ask you - are you open to different views?

binocular wrote:This really hurts, you know. I would think that someone who has been practicing Buddhism for so long would actually pay attention to what people say. Instead, it's like highschool all over again. It would be funny if it wouldn't be so sad.


Hurting was certainly not my intent, but some say that we best learn through pain. As for being a good Buddhist etc I have only practiced for 10 years and I still screw up quite a lot. In fact I am almost sure that this whole exchange will benefit no one, but on the off chance I am sitting here in the middle of a busy Saturday, between fixing the shed and cooking lunch for my family, in order to write to you, a stranger I've never met and probably never will. Does this also sound like ill-will to you?
_/|\_

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:44 am

Good on you Dan. :goodpost:

Binocular, it is not fair to project emotions onto people based on how you think they might be feeling. You shouldn't assume that just because someone disagrees with what you've said, even if their disagreement is a very strong disapproval, that this therefore means they're harbouring ill will against you.

Plenty of people here and on the internet in general are in the habit of seeing what they want to see in others posts, instead of asking that person to clarify what it is they're in fact feeling or intending. Projecting doesn't do anyone any good at all.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby dagon » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:19 am

Apologies for the thread drift.

The latest scandal to hit the “press” in Thailand involves about 30 monks who tested positive to drugs. I had consider mentioning it at the time but decided not to given recent forum history.
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/442347/tha ... r-drug-use

However reading the whole of the moderated thread (thanks guys) I believe this story has some value in correcting what I perceive as being an imbalance in what has been written. I am sorry if I offend anyone but there a tone that comes across that the majority of posts that western Buddhists are the guardians of the Dhammar and that the Asian countries are unable or unwilling to act where mundane human behaviors have prevailed over the teachings (as I understand them) of Buddha. The events behind this story show that this is not always the case.

Maybe it is time to highlight the actions that the monastic and secular authorities are taking in the Asian countries rather than focusing of the failings of some monks. A more positive attitude will empower those of good intent whereas a negative will build barriers.

Regards and best wishes to all
paul

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:31 am

A concern I actually have about all these scandals in the news in Thailand is it might futher make Thai laypeople disillusioned with the Sangha. That might result in less support for good honest monks who are not involved in these things simply becase Thai laypeople might become fed up with the scandals and think they can't be bothered supporting monks when they don't know what's going on behind closed doors. That really would be a tragedy for the multitude of virtuous monks, who do not deserve to suffer at the hands of the bad eggs. It's a difficult one, because on the other hand, you can't just hide these things or expect journalists not to publish these stories. One good thing though I think is that the authorities are really pulling their weight in this area of late, and it might in part actually be because of all the negative press forcing them to act. Hard to say really.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta


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