“Master Gotama, I have heard older brahmins who are aged, burdened with years, teachers of teachers, saying: ‘In the past this world was so thickly populated one would think there was no space between people. The villages, towns, and capital cities were so close that cocks could fly between them.’ Why is it, Master Gotama, that at present the number of people has declined, depopulation is seen, and villages, an.i.160 towns, cities, and districts have vanished?”
3(1) “At present, brahmin, people are excited by illicit lust, overcome by unrighteous greed, afflicted by wrong Dhamma. As a result, they take up weapons and slay one another. Hence many people die. This is a reason why at present the number of people has declined, depopulation is seen, and villages, towns, cities, and districts have vanished.
Let’s have an exploration of perceptions… what arises in your mind when you see this picture ?
What thoughts arise regarding the people who put it up?
What changes when I tell you that these are my neighbors, only two houses down?
What the changes when I tell you they are a nice young couple who has come to Bhavana multiple times and asked questions about meditation?
And lastly, what changes when I tell you that they put that sign up because people went to their house and literally ripped out copper pipes to sell? In a place where the nearest police is 40 miles away, you are on your own out here. (ive never even seen police within 20 miles of Bhavana, don’t even know what they’d look like).
This is the importance of not rushing to judgement regarding other people. Sure our minds will do so, but do you question those initial judgements? Or just accept them as truth?
Now what if I told you that I, a Buddhist monk, was for years in lay life , a firearms owner and a member of the NRA, even while being a Buddhist practitioner and moving towards ordination?
Or that I was never a vegetarian in lay life?
Now because of this picture, my message may appear to be quite one sided, as someone who was an independent in lay life, I belonged to various groups that line up with the various political sides, like Sierra club and others. The reality is that this is a human problem, and I myself am guilty of rushing to judgement on people, it is something i still work on to this day, using the same questions I’ve posted here towards my own mind.
For those of you who’ve heard my teachings before, what does that new information bring up in your minds?
What do you suppose that new information will do if you hear me speak in the future, how will it affect what you hear me say? how will you perceive my intentions behind my message?
How often do we justify not having to listen to what someone has to say, just because they are one of “those” people?
This is why it’s important to treat each person you come across as a complicated human being, a sovereign individual worthy of common decency, and strive to work against our natural inclinations to to group people in categories , make judgments, and separate yourself from others as different, or better.
A bit of an announcement.
I’ve started to work on and produce a Buddhist podcast. I’ve named it “Student of the Path” Podcast, for obvious reasons(my youtube channel, discord, etc)
I’ve only so far created this introductory episode, explaining my thoughts and ideas as to what this podcast will be.
Welcome to a new year everyone. Bhavana is now out of seclusion and the first retreat is coming up. It’s a fairly busy time for Bhavana and for me right now, but I wanted to announce a project I’ve been thinking about the past few months.
I kind of toyed with it a little in the past, but this year what I’d like to get going is a podcast, for now I’ll call it the “Students of the Path Podcast” and I believe I will continue with the “10 Minute Dhamma” series I began last year.
I think for the beginning I will be covering very basic information about Buddhism, as I would like this for sure to become something that has good outreach to everyone who may be interested in Dhamma, and I will branch out from there.
I’m not sure if I will be doing this video and audio, or just audio, but I would like to eventually also have guests on and make it into a real deal serial podcast, but for now it’s time to just start small. In fact I’ve been procrastinating about it, which is why I wanted to make this announcement so it would give me the extra kick in the rear to devote some time to getting this started.
I have good feelings for Bhavana , and myself, this year, lets all try to make it a good one :).