The Hague: The Dalai Lama said Saturday that he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission during a four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers. (Source)
…In his homily, Pope Francis said the reading should help Christians “reflect on how to act in daily life when there are misunderstandings,” but also to understand “how the father of lies, the accuser, the devil acts to destroy the unity of a family, of a people”.
According to a Vatican News report on the homily, Pope Francis said that it was with his silence that Jesus defeated the “wild dogs”, the devil, who “had sown lies in the hearts”. (Source)
Edit 9/16/18: FWIW, while I find it interesting that the Pope has said the devil uses accusations as a weapon against good people and while I find this idea worth considering, I doubt its application in today’s context is entirely pristine. That said, false accusations are very common, very destructive, and very much worth analyzing before reacting emotionally to them.
As for using “silence” to deal with false accusations or “people lacking good will,” this fails as do so many general religious rules. Christianity in particular suffers from too many decent but overly simplified heuristics not being subject enough to human valuation and wisdom.
Silence is good when dealing with narcissists and others in some situations, but not in all situations. When we decide on our own—or even with the help of the Pope—that someone is “lacking good will” and deserves the silent treatment, we run the risk of cowering behind false “virtue,” to say nothing of the possibility that we may also be engaging in a false accusation ourselves even if that accusation is kept silent.
Buddhism is not immune to the same problem. For example, Buddhists are frequently counseled to be careful about what they say but rarely counseled to be careful about what they hear or how they hear in general. Many bad ideas can form in the mind through simply mishearing or misunderstanding what someone has said.
Traditional religions, as with most belief systems, contain too many simple ideas that absolutely must be analyzed in each context before they can be wisely applied. ABN
STOCKHOLM (AFP) –
The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said Wednesday that “Europe belongs to the Europeans” and that refugees should return to their native countries to rebuild them.
Speaking at a conference in Sweden’s third-largest city of Malmo, home to a large immigrant population, the Dalai Lama — who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 — said Europe was “morally responsible” for helping “a refugee really facing danger against their life”.
“Receive them, help them, educate them… but ultimately they should develop their own country,” said the 83-year-old Tibetan who fled the capital Lhasa in fear of his life after China poured troops into the region to crush an uprising. (Source)
Most Buddhists know that a bodhisattva is someone who helps others through their understanding of “enlightened practice” or “enlightening practices.” The Buddha is called a bodhisattva when referring to the time before he became a Buddha.
A bodhisattva uses wisdom to do compassionate work or “generous” work, to use the terminology of the Diamond Sutra. Strictly speaking, “generosity” in the Diamond Sutra means sharing the Dharma with others, but in practice this concept can, of course, take many forms. For example, maybe just being nice to someone will help them more than an extensive Dharma talk.
It is possible when studying the Diamond Sutra to experience a kind of spiritual ecstasy or meditative ecstasy as one contemplates the fulsome purity of mind that attends the selfless generosity discussed in the sutra. At such times, you know without doubt that this is a higher state of mind, a better way to be; it feels like a genuine glimpse of Buddhahood, of the enlightened state of a Buddha.
I for one have no doubt that those states are higher and realer than the mundane states of mind we so often are consigned to. But it is important to understand that the Diamond Sutra is not only about being generous. It is also about being wise.
In all Buddhist traditions at all times, the highest virtue is always wisdom.
A well-known analogy is often used to explain this. If you want to save someone who is drowning you must know how to swim. If you can’t swim and you jump in the water, you will not only not help but probably lose your own life as well.
Generosity must be tempered with wisdom. The Diamond Sutra is not about moral idealism or the belief that “individual rights and responsibilities are universal, regardless of outcome.”
Buddhist teachings are all about good outcomes. The point of Buddhist practice is to become enlightened. When we glimpse the bliss of pure selfless generosity, we are glimpsing Buddhahood. But at that point we are still merely bodhisattvas, at best. In this world, absolutely pure, selfless behavior can get you robbed and killed. So you need some smarts, a sense of what really can be done to get real outcomes. Even terrible reprobates can be helped and can change, but don’t be foolish about your chances for success or the methods you use.
This is a revised version of a post first posted on October 21, 2014
…Several months later, when it became clear that Donald Trump was the likely GOP candidate who would win the primary (March/April 2016), Hillary Clinton signed-on to purchase the opposition research from Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS. (Source)
The graphic below is very informative. Start at the top at “Searches” (Nellie Ohr’s illegitimate searches of the NSA/FBI database) and follow the arrows clockwise back to the top where the FISA court approves the spy warrant on Carter Page and by extension the entire Trump campaign team. ABN