Thursday, September 27, 2007

Burma and the Monks

Click on the picture for a current blog on the Burmese uprising of 2007.

This picture pretty much sums up what I love about Buddhism, particularly Mahayana Buddhism (The Burmese practice Theravada Buddhism but while some things are different, the basics are the same.) These monks are using peaceful prayer and ritual as their protest in the face of their enemies. Several monks (and a Japanese journalist) lost their lives today because of it. In Buddhism, enemies may have guns pointed at you, but a Buddhist sees no enemy, only a being who needs compassion. Buddha has given these monks the strength to become bodhisattavas, humans made divine by suffering for the benefit of all.

It's hard to live up to and takes great patience and an open heart through all obstacles that comes one's way. I certainly hope that these kind monks help free their people and restore the democracy the people of Myanmar voted on but was denied. Good luck, Burma.

All who comprise the great assemblage of Bodhisattvas are equally powerful and equally beneficial to countless beings, so that all things seem to be at their command. Sometimes beautiful lotuses and lotus trees are caused by them to grow from the middle of the ocean, or a teardrop is transformed into an ocean. Everything in nature is at the Bodhisattva's call. Fire can appear as water; water can appear as fire. It is all because of the strength of the Bodhisattva's attitude, the aspiration and action. For us this says that the practice of compassion must be given full consideration, and it must at all times be in our awareness and at all times performed."

~ 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, teaching on Compassion. (Extract of article in I K H newsletter at Ngawang Geleg's site.)

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