How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Cittasanto
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:28 am

Dan74 wrote:Not sure what you mean here.
the Buddhas teachings are a complete set of instructions, they can be looked at for a particular use, but the tools can be, and are useful for a wide variety of situations, you don't use a hammer to screw in a lightbulb, but a hammer can be used for more than putting nails in a wall!
That's great! The post above was actually in response to Retro.
which was a response to posts about my post.
There are countless opportunities to practice compassion throughout the day - from tending to my children when they are hurt or sad, being there for my partner, my parents, my students, etc. I've worked with people who have killed and abused children as a prison Buddhist chaplain too.

It's a great practice, a difficult practice (for me) and I fail often. I get irritated, overexcited, frustrated, etc. But to me, the important part is to keep it real and not disappear up my backside in some pseudo-Buddhist guise. To bring all of what I am to the interaction rather than my Buddhist persona - let it all hang out and deal with it as it is rather than as it should be. The prisoners were actually good teachers and they stripped me of a lot of nonsense in the first year that I was there. Also my kalyana-mittas, kids, my partner.
interesting considering you earlier put this
I will just cultivate an insular quietism which bolsters the delusion of self.
the purpose of practice is to see things as they are and act appropriately, no psudo-buddhist guise, or trying to see things other than how they are, just being truly balanced and calm with the way things are.

something I have learnt about failing in the practice is that it isn't what we are doing, but the reasons behind it, are we holding back practising fully, are we not protecting the cultivated skilful mind states?

The Buddha was uncompromising when it came to violence, war... Ghandhi was the same, violence wasn't the way; and they was respected for it, they kept it real, but they also didn't go with the flow of the world (which is what is generally meant with keeping it real.) those who go against the flow of the world and are not denying reality and are far more real than you may think.

(Edit= just corrected typos etc...
Last edited by Cittasanto on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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ground
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by ground » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:35 am

Dan74 wrote: Mingyur, Diamond Sutra is poison like all Emptiness teachings, if one has not got the basics down pat. This is standard Mahayana and I posted about it here:

http://zenforuminternational.org/viewto ... ess#p76508
You seem to associate "emptiness poison" with what I quoted as a response to that with which I associated "Mahayana poison" :smile:

Nevermind

Kind regards

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Dan74
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Dan74 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:49 am

I am lost now :shrug:
_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Ben » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:56 am

sattva wrote:
manas wrote:This is not an easy subject. So, read at your own risk. But I made the mistake of reading the news again, and as per usual, am upset by an article I read:

http://www.theage.com.au/world/staff-re ... 1retx.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I have compassion even for the tiniest creature. I was stung by a wasp recently, and as soon as I had brushed it out from my clothes, I shouted to the kids, "don't kill it!". I let the insect out the window. But I cannot have compassion for the human monsters who either kill, torture or sexually abuse children. I had better not state in this Buddhist forum what i think such monsters deserve, as it is more severe than the meagre punishments these scum are usually given by the lax legal system.

manas.
Forgive me for saying this:
You are the monster, the abuser, and so am i :hug:
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“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Dan74
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Dan74 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:00 pm

Indeed.

"Nothing human is alien to me." ~Terrentius, Roman playwright.
_/|\_

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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:28 pm

Dan74 wrote:I am lost now :shrug:
who are you talking to?
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Dan74
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Dan74 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:43 pm

Both posts above - yours and especially Mingyur's. Never mind - enough said already.
_/|\_

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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by sattva » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:10 am

manas wrote:
sattva wrote:
manas wrote:This is not an easy subject. So, read at your own risk. But I made the mistake of reading the news again, and as per usual, am upset by an article I read:

http://www.theage.com.au/world/staff-re ... 1retx.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I have compassion even for the tiniest creature. I was stung by a wasp recently, and as soon as I had brushed it out from my clothes, I shouted to the kids, "don't kill it!". I let the insect out the window. But I cannot have compassion for the human monsters who either kill, torture or sexually abuse children. I had better not state in this Buddhist forum what i think such monsters deserve, as it is more severe than the meagre punishments these scum are usually given by the lax legal system.

manas.
Forgive me for saying this:
You are the monster, the abuser, and so am i :hug:
Hi sattva,

did you happen to read the last post I made? About not applying labels or designations to anyone at all, even persons who have abused kids?

To then apply a label to me (and to yourself), does that make sense at all?
You're right. I did not read your last post, but i still stand by my answer :anjali:

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Aloka
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Aloka » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:16 am

Then you are also not the Buddha, nor the stars shining in the sky, nor the bird winging across the field, nor the mother reaching out to protect her child.
That sounds very similar to Thich Nhat Hahn's 'Call me by my true names'

http://www.quietspaces.com/poemHanh.html

To be honest I find his poem too romantic and unrealistic.

I still feel a ripple of aversion towards the abusers when I see frightened people suffering and being shot on the TV news, or hear about people sexually abusing and murdering small children. Probably less than I would feel if I was in direct contact with them, I really dont know, if I met them perhaps I would feel more compassion. I certainly felt horror when I saw the filmed footage of the treatment of Gadaffi from his captors during his last moments.

However there appear to be posters here who are on a much more advanced level of practice than myself .

Thank you for your posts everyone - time for me to start the offline day now !

with kind wishes


Aloka

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Dan74
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Dan74 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:40 am

Perhaps rather than invest too much in this current birth and the personal attributes that come with it, we can consider the countless births that have come before which may well have included that of a murderer and abuser?

If the sense of personal selfhood is loosened a little, we may not feel so discreet and distinct. I guess it is easy to forget yourself in the embrace of a lover but harder in the contemplation of a heinous act of a child molester.

True there is a sense of personal responsibility and it should not be swept under the rug of non-duality and yet...
_/|\_

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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Sanghamitta » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:49 am

I have no knowledge of any other birth...This is my birth. The only one I can know.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Aloka
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Aloka » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:13 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:I have no knowledge of any other birth...This is my birth. The only one I can know.


Well said. This is the lifetime that counts in the here and now.


_/\_

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daverupa
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by daverupa » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:28 pm

Aloka wrote:
Sanghamitta wrote:I have no knowledge of any other birth...This is my birth. The only one I can know.


Well said. This is the lifetime that counts in the here and now.


_/\_
Indeed; imbue the mind here and now, rather than build compassion up, piecemeal, via some imagined past or future.
  • "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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Dan74
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Dan74 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:17 pm

The mind is always here and now but this "here and now" is usually "mine here and now", "my wants here and now", "my frustrations here and now", etc.

When the "me" and "mine" are not held onto so tightly, "not me" and "not mine" are not so alien either.

It's not about belief so much as letting go of belief.
_/|\_

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Aloka
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Post by Aloka » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:29 pm

Dan74 wrote:It's not about belief so much as letting go of belief.
Indeed - and so letting go of belief and being fully present also includes letting go of speculation such as ...
" consider the countless births that have come before which may well have included that of a murderer and abuser?

:)
Last edited by Aloka on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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