A Buddhist monk explains mindfulness for times of conflict

I appreciate my friend and fellow North Meadow Friends attender, Anne Reynolds, sharing this article with us today.

The article is an interview with a disciple of Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese American Brother Phap Dung.  He says “Compassion is not sitting in your room; it’s actually very active and engaging.”

Regarding the election, he expressed what many of us have been trying to say, that we need to address the conditions that lead to the election of Donald Trump, not focus on the man himself.

“We see the mind like a house, so if your house is on fire, you need to take care of the fire, not to go look for the person that made the fire. Take care of those emotions first; it’s the priority. Because anything that comes from a place of fear and anxiety and anger will only make the fire worse. Come back and find a place of calm and peace to cool the flame of emotion down.

As a collective energy, fear and anger can be very destructive. We make the wrong decisions if we base it on fear, anger, and wrong perception. Those emotions cloud our mind. So the first thing in the practice that we learn from the Buddhist tradition is to come back and take care of our emotion. We use the mindfulness to recognize it. 

What’s in my heart is that people find the patience and clarity to listen before they start to blame and criticize.

Dialog is what is needed now, and that can only happen when we ourselves actually listen deeply.

We build the future.  If we are fearful, the future will be fearful.  Community practice is what is needed now.

 

 

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