A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the month “February, 2011”

The weekend is here, and the kids are bored

You have had a rough week at work and were looking forward to relaxing at home. Or perhaps it’s just a regular weekend, and the kids are bored. How about having a short session, of tidy up the house, to help out the one who does most of this?  Also tidy up the yard, go through old clothing and donate it. Having some household chores on the list on a weekly basis is good for the kids. Make sure that they learn all the skills they would need to maintain a home by themselves. Yes even girls can learn how to fix a leaky tap, and boys can learn how to cook. This will not only keep them occupied, but also give them needed live skills, and when they are in a future relationship will be better partners as well. By not teaching them these skills, you are making it harder for them in the future. After these chores are done don’t forget to have something fun, for the whole family. Afterwards if it is early go on a picnic, or a walk along the beach. Or have a bbq in the backyard or even order in pizza if it’s dinner time. The point is to get the work done, then enjoy the time together in quality time, as the saying goes.

Buddhism and China

One thing I need to mention. When I talk about I in the individual self, it’s a reference to thoughts, speech or actions we as an individual can accomplish or aspire to. It would be more correct to use the term not self, for I separates us from the other beings around us as unique. The western view point tends to see us as individuals, and that we have the right to be seen as unique individuals. Also that we are allowed to be as we are, and must be accepted as we are. That we have individual autonomy, the right to live as we see fit, and treated with impartiality accorded to an individual. Buddhism does not hold the view of self or I, as we are just borrowing the physical elements that make up our body. As there is no “I” or self, there can be no demand for inalienable rights. Demanding our rights is a slippery slope that can be covered with greed, and anger. That our interaction with those around us should realize they are only the way they are now, because of their past choices and actions, and that in the future they may be totally different.  We should strive to make the choices that will help others towards enlightenment, open to the possibility and likelihood they will change in the future. That the best we can do is offering others the opportunity to better themselves; we can’t do it for them, or force them to change. That each of us has Nirvana as our goal, just the path will be different for all, based on the karma each of us has earned, is earning and will earn in the future. So when I use I it a reference to myself only to differentiate between beings, not as a level or as a measure of uniqueness.

Buddhism and Politics

I am going to mention a little on Buddhism and politics. Buddha gave instructions to rulers and those in authority, on how to treat those they presided over. His instructions were meant to promote a peaceful harmonious society free from poverty. I am not aware of his instructions to citizens and their relationship with their rulers. However from the concept of non-violence, rebellions are not recommended, but neither are they prohibited from what I know so far. His guidelines did include the principles of respecting each other’s traditions, our elders, men, women, children, beliefs of different religions. That our system of government should encourage peaceful and harmonious dialogue, when the decisions are made, to go our own ways in harmony, and continue to live in harmony. Those governments should only do what the people in general authorize or willing accepts, and not forcing the views of minorities over the views of the majority. This means respecting the views of the minority, while ensuring that the majority are listened to. That the rule of law should not allow the abduction of others for any reason. Nor should the laws allow the subjugation of others, or the enslavement of others. Permit all to earn a livelihood without fear, of loss of life or health. That marriages or unions between spouses are considered one of equals. Buddha held up examples of rulers that while men just like the rest of us, exhibited the qualities that make for a good leader or ruler.

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