Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

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DooDoot
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Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:49 pm

I would imagine in Buddhist history, monks aligned themselves with unwholesome governments, believing such an alliance would help the survival or perpetuation of Buddhism.

In the West, since the arising of Protestantism, government has increasing become the realm of the merchant/business class.

Returning to the present time, say a monk is requested to provide teachings about stress reduction, non-attachment, non-judgmental awareness, etc, to the employees of a corporation that is considered by many to be harmful (e.g. a Wall St bank).

Since metta is something universal directed towards all beings, for the welfare of the many, is it appropriate for Buddhists & monks to engage in such forms of Dhamma propagation that may benefit one social group but harm another social group?

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mikenz66
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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:30 pm

I guess it depends on whether one sees some of these things as "alignment" or as simply giving advice to people who need help.

The Buddha gave advice to kings, and others, involved in unwholesome pursuits.

King Pasenadi, by his own admission, was not living a wholesome life:
"Just now, lord, I was engaged in the sort of royal affairs typical of head-anointed noble-warrior kings intoxicated with the intoxication of sovereignty, obsessed by greed for sensual pleasures, who have attained stable control in their country, and who rule having conquered a great sphere of territory on earth."
Bu the Buddha still gave him advice, in this and other suttas:
"So it is, great king! So it is, great king! As aging and death are rolling in on you, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?"
See: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Mike

DooDoot
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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:43 pm

mikenz66 wrote:King Pasenadi, by his own admission, was not living a wholesome life:
"Just now, lord, I was engaged in the sort of royal affairs typical of head-anointed noble-warrior kings intoxicated with the intoxication of sovereignty, obsessed by greed for sensual pleasures, who have attained stable control in their country, and who rule having conquered a great sphere of territory on earth."
Sure. But did the Buddha provide King Pasenadi teachings to make King Pasenadi's pursuit of greed more efficient & stress free? Or did the Buddha give King Pasenadi teachings to reduce greed, reduce intoxication & reduce military conquest? The issue in my topic here is about helping people perform unwholesome work more efficiently, with less stress.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:50 pm

DooDoot wrote: Returning to the present time, say a monk is requested to provide teachings about stress reduction, non-attachment, non-judgmental awareness, etc, to the employees of a corporation that is considered by many to be harmful (e.g. a Wall St bank).
There are few organisations that someone, somewhere does not consider to be harmful. Many people consider Wall St. banks to be beneficial. The same applies even to the armed forces. Providing the monk does not directly advocate killing or stealing or other forms of bad conduct, then it is the responsibility of the individuals themselves how they mindfully conduct themselves thereafter, and that monk does nothing wrong.

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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:58 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
DooDoot wrote: Many people consider Wall St. banks to be beneficial. The same applies even to the armed forces.
I referring to monks & Buddhists. Did the Buddha recommend being a soldier (SN 42.3)? Did the Buddha recommend predatory finance & indebtedness (AN 4.62)? It does not seem so. Is what Wall St did leading to the GFC beneficial? What has the military done since 2001 that is beneficial?

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mikenz66
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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:31 pm

Hi DooDoot,

The Buddha was not against commerce, if done without exploitation. In fact, the whole monastic enterprise relies on lay people having enough wealth to support monastics. Furthermore, as I said, gave advice to people who at the time were not behaving wholesomely, with the aim of helping them to behave better in the future.

How would you suggest approaching engagement with organisations that you disapprove of?

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Mike

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:37 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:
DooDoot wrote: Many people consider Wall St. banks to be beneficial. The same applies even to the armed forces.
I referring to monks & Buddhists. Did the Buddha recommend being a soldier (SN 42.3)? Did the Buddha recommend predatory finance & indebtedness (AN 4.62)? It does not seem so. Is what Wall St did leading to the GFC beneficial? What has the military done since 2001 that is beneficial?
The Buddha didn't recommend being a soldier, but he didn't, as far as I know, prohibit teaching the Dhamma to soldiers. The same applies to indebtedness, and moreover AN 4.62 is not about those who lend money, much less about predatory finance. In fact, it makes no recommendations at all, other than to reflect on types of happiness. I don't think that we can erect a critique of banking on the slender foundation of the Buddha's recognition of the fact that lack of debt makes householders happy.

Wall St. is not a monolith that acts with a single mind. In fact, it's merely a metonymic term for some tendencies in Western financial systems that some people currently don't like. It's quite possible that a lot of what the financial and corporate sectors did was beneficial to a lot of people, or at least was intended to be. They funded medical developments, and improved the standard of living for lots of people. The kamma accrues to the individuals, based on intention alone.

As for "the military", which military do you mean? The Italian Navy seems to spend much of its time rescuing African economic migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean. Again, the intention of the individuals concerned is key here, and again, I don't think the Buddha proscribed teaching them the Dhamma.

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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by sgns » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:50 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:43 pm
Sure. But did the Buddha provide King Pasenadi teachings to make King Pasenadi's pursuit of greed more efficient & stress free? Or did the Buddha give King Pasenadi teachings to reduce greed, reduce intoxication & reduce military conquest? The issue in my topic here is about helping people perform unwholesome work more efficiently, with less stress.
Sadhu.

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DooDoot
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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:26 am

sgns wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:50 am
Sadhu.
Thank you. :)

Saengnapha
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Re: Does universal metta & corporate Buddhism have a conflict of interest?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:58 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:49 pm
Since metta is something universal directed towards all beings, for the welfare of the many, is it appropriate for Buddhists & monks to engage in such forms of Dhamma propagation that may benefit one social group but harm another social group?
Isn't the Milinda Panha all about this?

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