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Buddhadharma : Winter 2006
winter 2006| 34 |buddhadharma up, if nobody around you is interested in what you have to teach, you are not going to be interested in teaching them. Same goes for Ichiro Suzuki, the baseball player. It makes sense for him to want to be in a country where they really get his sense of playing. What do you think we Westerners need in order to develop our understanding? The most important thing to develop is love for people and love for one’s country. Without that, we fall into conceptualization. What do you mean by “love for one’s country”? How do we express that in our practice? What we receive from our country – our safety, our livelihood, our upbringing, our cultivation as a human being – does not refer to a political system, or to a present government, but to this place where we live. I don’t mean profit making or benefiting the country’s political situation, but appreciating our home, this place. How does one love one’s country without succumbing to nationalism? As the sutras say, we must let go of all notions of a self, a being, a life, or a soul. Unless we overcome these, we go astray in our attempts to love other people and love our country. This is a difficult question right now in America. The deep love we have for our country is often confused with the political system that supposedly maintains that nation. Our leaders play on our patriotism when they undertake political and military adventures. One might call it nationalism. This is a dangerous tendency, I think. How can we cut through such delusions? People should not support a system in which humans kill other people. We can’t support that as Buddhists. You can’t answer this question in the abstract, though. We have to go case by case. But to draw a clear line, it is the teaching of the Buddha that we RolAndScHmid Lunch at Sogenji Temple.