There are loopholes in the law. For this reason, the law is not absolutely fair. In this world, only cause and effect are absolutely fair and impartial. - Hsing Yun
The Buddha's earliest teaching was the noble eightfold path. Number #5 on the list is "Right Livelihood" or "Right Way To Make A Living." Generally, that refers to work as being positive because the labor is of benefit to others. Chinese Zen Master Hsing Yun elaborates: "Many people find work a hardship and filled with pressure. That is because they look at work simply as a way to make money, build a reputation or for their own benefit, which is why they find it exhausting. If we take our work as a form of giving, then we will be happy."
The Gradual Discourses of the Buddha, contains this prescription of five teachings for a patient to follow:
1) select the right food;
2) eat at the right time;
3) keep in contact with your physician;
4) do not worry; and,
5) be compassionate toward nurses.
Inspired by a conversation with the Dalai Lama on the philosophy of compassion as a source of happiness, US billionaire Thomas Denny Sanford has donated US$100 million to the University of California San Diego to fund scientific research into empathy and compassion and into ways to cultivating these qualities among healthcare professionals for the benefit of themselves and patients.
Sanford had a private meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader in 2017, when His Holiness visited UC San Diego as a commencement speaker during his “Compassion Without Borders” tour of the United States.
“I have been inspired by the work and teachings of the Dalai Lama, whose interest in the intersection where science and faith meet is deep and profound,” Sanford said a statement. “I have had the opportunity to see how grace, humanity, and kindness can change people and the world. This gift extends that vision. Doctors work in a world where compassion is essential, but often lost in the harsh realities of modern medicine. If we can help medical professionals preserve and promote their compassion, based on the findings of hard science, the world can be a happier, healthier place.”
That's the opinion of author and journalist Maureen Callahan whose opinion piece was recently published in the New York Post. Leading off with the shooting at Gilroy, CA., where the 19 year-old white male shooter was asked "why are you doing this" and his response "because I'm really angry" Callahan offers these sad but real insights:
1. There is a common thread - "From those mass shooters who have attacked the innocent before, we know it’s a specific strain of anger — deep, repressed, biblically vengeful — felt most commonly by young men, almost always white, who report feeling alienated, dispossessed, misunderstood, victimized and all too often rejected by women."
2. There are no safe places - "Their chosen outlet is the mass slaughter of innocents, carnage at places the rest of us once deemed safe — schools, hospitals, places of work and worship, concerts, carnivals — all meant to hold us hostage, in fear of the next reprisal we’re not responsible for and won’t see coming."
3. Their anger is fueled in the same pattern - "The ever-incubating mass shooter, these young men nurturing their anger through first-person shooter games, violent pornography, through racism and a fascination with guns and violence, is our greatest, most stubborn and pressing threat — more so, I would argue, than Islamic terrorism or Russian hacking or immigration or trade wars."
4. There needs to be a collective cultural response - " From the White House on down, to figuring out why young men in the world’s greatest, most prosperous country are so goddamn angry."
(Read her entire column at: www.nypost.com).
The principle that creates a wise society and a wise life is simple and universal: Actions based on greed, hatred, disrespect, and ignorance inevitably lead to suffering. Actions based on their opposites—generosity, love, respect, and wisdom—lead just as surely to happiness and well-being. - Jack Kornfield
"When presented with disquieting thoughts or feelings, cultivate an opposite elevated attitude," is an important teaching by the ancient yogic sage, Patanjali. A powerful example of one who makes that transition from the negative to the positive is the 14th Dalai Lama.
Indian journalist Vijay Kranti, recently interviewed the Dalai Lama asking how life as a refugee has affect the Dalai Lama personally, to which His Holiness replied:
“Generally speaking, these years have been a sad period. For the Tibetan nation as a whole this is the darkest period in history. But then difficulties and problems also help you come closer to reality. They also increase your inner strength. If China had not occupied Tibet then I might have been living in comfort. In that case I may have been a superficial Dalai Lama.”
Here's a powerful insight about nature, generosity and expansive growth from Norman Fischer, founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation and author of The World Could Be Otherwise: Imagination and the Bodhisattva Path.
"The grasses on the hillside are ready to burst out green as soon as a little rain falls and a little sunlight peeps through. Weeds and vines tangle all over the place. Life stopped in one place pops up somewhere else. Nature is prolific. Even the falling apart of things is generous: big trees topple willingly in heavy winds; they provide food for insects, bacteria, fungi, and other trees and plants. It’s sad in our time to see so many species disappearing. More than sad. But species have always disappeared, and new species have always arisen. When we say we are destroying or protecting the earth, we are expressing our dismay and our love, but we are also being a bit arrogant: the earth is fine, and life on earth will continue in some form no matter what we do, because life is generous and fecund and it cannot be stopped. As long as the sun shines, life in some form will continue."
Not only are disturbing emotions transient, they are also distorted—they are not based on an accurate view of what is happening and do not give rise beneficial responses to situations. - Thubten Chodron
Because we all have flaws, the most important struggle in which we must engage is with ourselves. - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Victor M. Parachin ...is a
Vedic educator, yoga instructor, Buddhist meditation teacher and author of a dozen books. Buy his books at amazon or your local bookstore.