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Buddhadharma : Fall 2010
75 fall 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly Reviews and explores the consequences of this. These include the transformation Bud- dhist spaces into military spaces, with a corresponding loss of a sense of sacred- ness. He also demonstrates that this is not a modern development, but is linked to an older alliance between Buddhist monastic institutions and the military in Thailand. This alliance blurred the roles of monk and soldier, with the lat- ter often taking on temporary monastic ordination. The volume concludes with a reflection by Bernard Faure, who addresses a num- ber of themes that run through the book. He suggests that the justifications for vio- lence throughout Buddhist history sound like casuistry, much like the arguments invoked in the present day to justify war- fare or torture. He cogently argues that since Buddhists emphasize compassion as one of their key teachings, Buddhists in particular need to clearly elucidate their often-complex views regarding violence. He concludes by suggesting that we “ask ourselves whether being a Buddhist does not require a confrontation with the violence that lurks at the heart of real- ity (and of each individual), rather than eluding the question by taking the high metaphysical or moral ground.” Faure’s question is an excellent one. As any meditator knows, the capacity of the human mind for distraction, diver- sion, and denial is vast. Moreover, it is arguably the case that the basic human tendency to idealize our “insider” group, and demonize an “other,” “outsider” group, lies at the root of human conflict. I would also suggest that the tendency of some Buddhists (myself included) not to acknowledge the pitfalls encoun- tered by Buddhist communities in past and present times, is a symptom of the underlying disorder that results in out- breaks of religiously inspired violence. A close reading of this book will be an eye-opening experience for readers who hold any idealistic views of Buddhism and its history. “e only way to bring about the beerment of living beings is to demand that our morals meet standards that are humanistic, life-affirming, and modern.” – Venerable Master Hsing Yun Buddha’s Light Publishing www.blpusa.com (626) 923-5144 Available from blpusa.com, amazon.com, and fine bookstores everywhere. In For All Living Beings, Master Hsing Yun offers an exposi- tion of the threefold practice of morality, meditation, and wisdom, and shows how these practices must begin with commu- nity and helping others. Both a manual for Buddhist practice as well as a roadmap to Buddhism’s future, For All Living Beings weaves history, cul- ture, and warm storytelling to show how ea of us can learn from the Buddha’s teaings to live a life that is happy and peaceful. Upcoming Retreats: * Joy and Spaciousness * Mind in Nature * Dream Yoga and Authentic Communication * The Power of Goodness *Opening the Field of Awareness *The Moment of Change Ratna Ling Retreat Center Call 888.944.3777 ratnaling.Com “ Enlightenment is a journey from your heart to your heart.” Tarthang Tulku Ratna Ling is located in Sonoma County, 2.5 hours North of the Golden Gate Bridge.