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BUDDHIST IDEAS FOR ATTAINING WORLD PEACE
Posted by meera1022 on Sunday, May 20, 2007

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BUDDHIST IDEAS FOR ATTAINING WORLD PEACE
By Ron Epstein

(Lectures for the Global Peace Studies Program, San Francisco State University, November 7 & 9, 1988)


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INTRODUCTION
Buddhism teaches that whether we have global peace or global war is up to us at every moment. The situation is not hopeless and out of our hands. If we don't do anything, who will? Peace or war is our decision. The fundamental goal of Buddhism is peace, not only peace in this world but peace in all worlds. The Buddha taught that the first step on the path to peace is understanding the causality of peace. When we understand what causes peace, we know where to direct our efforts. No matter how vigorously we stir a boiling pot of soup on a fire, the soup will not cool. When we remove the pot from the fire, it will cool on its own, and our stirring will hasten the process. Stirring causes the soup to cool, but only if we first remove the soup from the fire. In other words, we can take many actions in our quest for peace that may be helpful. But if we do not first address the fundamental issues, all other actions will come to naught.

The Buddha taught that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful actions. If the minds of living beings are at peace, the world will be at peace. Who has a mind at peace, you say? The overwhelming majority of us live in the midst of mental maelstroms that subside only for brief and treasured moments. We could probably count on the fingers of both hands the number of those rare, holy persons whose minds are truly, permanently at peace. If we wait for all beings in the world to become sages, what chance is there of a peaceful world for us? Even if our minds are not completely peaceful, is there any possibility of reducing the levels of violence in the world and of successfully abating the winds of war?

To answer these questions, let us look first at the Buddha's vision of the world, including the causality of its operations. Then, in that context, we can trace the causes of war. When the causes are identified, the Buddha's suggestions for dealing with them and eliminating them can be discussed. Finally, having developed a Buddhist theoretical framework for understanding the nature of the problem and its solution, we can try to apply the basic principles in searching for concrete applications that we can actually put into practice in our own daily lives.

 
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BUDDHIST IDEAS FOR ATTAINING WORLD PEACE - meera1022 - Sunday, May 20, 2007- ( 3 )
--- Re:BUDDHIST IDEAS FOR ATTAINING WORLD PEACE - meera1022 - Sunday, May 20, 2007
--- Re:BUDDHIST IDEAS FOR ATTAINING WORLD PEACE - meera1022 - Sunday, May 20, 2007 - ( 1 )
------ Re:BUDDHIST IDEAS FOR ATTAINING WORLD PEACE - idrissa356 - Sunday, June 24, 2007
 

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