|* Anger, Hatred, and Zen ~ Ammended
||[May. 24th, 2010|01:08 am]
A community for Zen Buddhists and those interested
We as Buddhists, are often affected by acts of injustice or hatred.|
When we learn that a toddler has been sexually abused, our hearts go out for that child. We feel much sorrow for that child's negative experience. When we learn that millions of people were marched into a large room where they and their relatives are systematically gassed to death, we emote certain feelings about that negative action that was executed against them. When we learned that millions of people were enslaved, lynched, shot, beaten, and unnecessarily humiliated, just because of their skin-color, we emote certain feelings about the injustice served to those people.
I think that we can all agree that the horrible deeds done to all of these people should be considered as despicable actions. Since actions are not human beings or sentient beings, it is perfectly permissible to "hate" these actions. Hating hatred is a healthy mental exercise. However, hating people who hate is quite self-destructive and is in direct violation of the Mahayana Bodhisattva Ideal. We cannot maintain the goal of leading all sentient beings to nirvana, while hating any portion of our family. Unfortunately, those horrendous actions were taken against the innocent, by seriously deluded members of our own family.
Hating Nazis, Klansmen, criminals, or rapists would be like having one of these people in your nuclear family and feeling hatred towards them.
These people after all, are members of the human family, they are sentient beings. As such, we have taken a vow to seek their spiritual freedom. We can only do this from the vantage point of love and compassion. Yes, I know it can be difficult, but we as Buddhists, and particularly as representatives of Zen, must have both the mental and spiritual resolve to feel our floodgates overflow with compassion for both predator and prey, both the culprit and victim alike.
How do we do this? We do this through our practice. Daily meditation of Shikantaza (Samatha and Vipassana if you wish) and Loving-Kindness. We do this by becoming intimately engaged with the phenomena in which we're dealing. So, we protest against that which Nazis stand for, not Nazis! We confront Klansmen and their issues because of the nature of their issues. Sure we can have civil debate, that is just one educational option used to expose the ignorant behavior for what it is. * However, we strive not to become engaged in physical violence. It is our duty to restrain from physical violence. Our goal therefore, is to always make every effort to employ the "turn the other cheek" philosophy, as much as is humanly possible.
To become angry about certain ideas, concepts, and actions is quite normal and should be permitted. To hate hatred and delusional ideas that thwart us from our Noble eight-fold path is commendable. However, under no circumstances should we allow ourselves to hate the deluded people sponsoring such illusionary ideas. Our anger about their delusion should be tempered before it becomes hatred for the deluded ones.
Our anger towards their delusional ideas should be only temporary and then it should be monitored, tempered, controlled, and then extinguished. When this is done, hatred has no foundation upon which to stand!
Socially Engaged Buddhists fueled by the compassion cultivated by their practice are a power to be reckoned with. This is especially so when powered by Zen!
No Anger! No Hatred!