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Thread: Understanding the four noble truths.

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosamundi View Post
    Thank you, I shall read and re-read the notes and books you have suggested.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts about them, Rosamundi.

  2. #12
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    Rosamundi: "This is coming from some discussions that I have had whereby I have attempted to be compassionate and then been criticized for failing to actually do anything about it."
    First: The Buddha explained that our practice has the distinct advantage of taking at least one person out of the mix of violence. He explained that acting violently only creates more violence. As I understand this teaching my concern and responsibility is to assure that "I" am non violent and that through personal intent to cause no harm I am in fact reducing the world's violence.

    From there it is our job to teach the dhamma (Buddha's teachings as found in the Four Noble Truths and all the suttas to others by sharing what we have learned and through our personal example.

    If we feel qualified and motivated to seek positions of power to effect more beneficial change in this regard we are certainly free to do so to the limits of our individual abilities. Buddha himself took a role of leadership in the first sangha he formed from his followers and look at all the good he did. In my case I started in this regard to teach my children to be non violent and to cause no harm. That makes four more practitioners of non violence in the world, besides myself and my wife, their parents. Then there are all those folks in our community with whom we interact, who are certainly affected by our non violence, or loving-kindness and our compassion.

    Last comment from me: "Don't allow others to "should" on you. You do what you know to be right for you. For that you are responsible. Do more only if you feel motivated and qualified to do so.

    Just my honest opinion based upon my personal experience.

    Suggest you read "The Simile of The Saw", where Buddha teaches the importance of non violence.
    Last edited by Olderon; 03 Jun 18 at 03:15.

  3. #13
    Forums Member Rosamundi's Avatar
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    May 2018
    Thank you Olderon, that is most helpful. You are absolutely right, I do have people in my circle who are becoming non violent. I was astonished last week when my young adult son asked if he could have veggie food from now on, so that makes 3 of the 4 people in my household veggie. It must rub off somehow!

    Also, I have heard of the 'should' theory before, but in the heat of the moment, allowed myself to feel guilty!

    I will add that item to my reading list.

  4. #14
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    Jul 2018
    Nova Scotia
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosamundi View Post
    In feeling compassion for those that are suffering, I don't actually stop their suffering, do I?

    I am finding it difficult to separate and understand these thoughts - feeling compassion for those that are suffering (for example, war), and the fact that I cannot actually do anything about it.
    Hi, Rosamundi.

    The feeling of compassion doesn't actually do anything about it, but if it motivates you to do something about it, then you can reduce the suffering of others. It is true that one average person can't stop a problem as big as war (though sometimes one exceptional person can), but one person can solve smaller problems.

    Compassion is not directed at groups. So having compassion of an entire army sounds good, but doesn't help anyone unless it is directed at individuals. Breaking the group down to individuals allows you to put your compassion into practice. Having compassion for Private Smith in that army means that you can help him deal with specific issues that are causing his suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosamundi View Post
    I feel that Buddhism teaches "the world is a terrible place - move on and don't think about it". Have I understood that correctly? I feel I must have misunderstood it.
    I think that Buddhism teaches that there is suffering in the world, so pick a sentient being who suffers and help them.

    Om mani padme hum

  5. #15
    Forums Member Thinker's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
    Hi Rosamund, Loving kindness or compassion for others is a tool for escaping the more dominant conditioned focus that is the self (I or me ), with loving kindness practiced in earnest we listen better, we stop and change our usual inner questions of will this benefit me or how will this effect me attitude that has been ingrained in us from childhood.

    The Four Truths and the path is a vehicle for transforming our thinking and behavior!

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