A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

You all enlightened!

I have been reading How to Train a Wild Elephant by Jan Chozen Bays MD. In chapter three she talks about using filler words in our conversations. Words that don’t add to a conversation, but stall for time while we think of what to say. her final words for the chapter are a quote from Zen Master Suzuki Roshi “I think your all enlightened until you open your mouths”. I started to think of filler words, then went beyond, to thinking of things we say that are not needed. Gossip is the first useless speech that came to mind. It is not wholesome and can cause suffering, so if we concentrate on not gossiping, we won’t be using conversational fillers. To be aware of our speech, means we are aware of our thoughts, as these precede speech. Not gossiping would make you a happier person, as no one will be offended by you, talking about them. You might not end up in the position of having to defend what you said, or apologize. So show the world you have taken a step towards enlightenment, and help eliminate gossip, as well as umm, ah, you know.

Facebook sheds $25 billion in market capialization

The news today had an article about Facebook having lost $25 billion in capitalization since it’s IPO recently. To put this in perspective, according to http://www.photius.com/rankings/economy/budget_expenditures_2012_0.html this would be enough to fund the entire national Government budget of all but 65 governments for one year. You may ask what this has to do with Buddhism? The earning of a sufficient income to support yourself, and you family, plus do good works for others is encouraged. The lead underwriter for Facebook’s IPO Morgan Stanleys total share value is less then this amount. This is more than a simple error, somewhere greed became the motivating factor. I am not going to point fingers at anyone, will let the courts determine what happened. Rather, if you invest, following the same principles as Buddha advised us to apply to our lives, you would not be one of those who have been part of this. He advised us to test everything before we apply our efforts to it. Buying a company at 100 times its earning means if things don’t change, it will be 100 years before you receive your money back from earnings. Apple would have only required 14 years when it was first listed. A bank account paying 1% per year would return your investment quicker. The moral behind this post, if you follow Buddha’s guidance in your life, you might invest in the market, but wouldn’t gamble a century to get your money back. If we are greedy, we made find our selves the victim of another’s greed. I express my compassion to those who suffered, however if there is a call for public money to bail out the investment community, I will oppose it, for it would be the same as an unsuccessful thief, telling the police to take money form passers by, because he didn’t get enough trying to steal from his victim.

Privacy

In the news here in Canada, one of the main stories is about the issue of privacy, in regards to social media sites on the internet. Over the last few years Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has repeated a strong concern over lack of safeguards to protect users personal information on sites such as Facebook. Some companies will use the country with the laxist standards, and say we are being too heavy handed. It is interesting to note that twice over the last few years Facebook has announced major policy changes to enhance the security of users personal information worldwide, with in a day or two of accepting the requirements, that the Canadian Privacy Commissioner demanded.  As a Buddhist should we worry about privacy laws? If we use anonymity to say things that we would never allow to be attributed to ourselves, then we gain more negative karma then if we just said the things without hiding. However making sure that personal data is protected from those who would use it in ways to harm us, should be encouraged. In the same manner you don’t want everyone to have your bank card and pass pin code, giving them easy access to your money, nor do you want to allow people to have access to personal information, that could be used in negative ways.

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