Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fundamental Buddha Practice and a Political Decision

A fundamental aspect of Buddha Practice is seeing what is so and doing what is called for of us. Sometimes we  speak of this as insight and skillful actions. "Seeing what is so" is not limited to our usual self-centeredness, our usual dualistic perspective. This is body-mind dropped away, body-mind of self and others forgotten as myriad phenomenon manifest our life; - just this. Skillful actions is manifesting this not-two wisdom and compassion.

Of course, what is called for of us varies according to who, what, where and when. If we are a monk in a practice place what is called for is different than if we are a parent at a child's party is different than if we are a police officer is different than if we are a mayor is different than if we are a carpenter is different than if we are a cook is different than if we are a farmer.

An interesting articulation of this, and to me a surprise to find in this material - whether we agree or disagree with the positions and conclusions - is the following political statement that was sent to me:

"If one thinks Iran will moderate, that contact with the West and a decrease in economic and political isolation will soften Iran’s hardline positions, one should approve the agreement.  After all, a moderate Iran is less likely to exploit holes in the inspection and sanctions regime, is less likely to seek to become a threshold nuclear power after ten years, and is more likely to use its newfound resources for domestic growth, not international adventurism.

But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.

Admittedly, no one can tell with certainty which way Iran will go. It is true that Iran has a large number of people who want their government to decrease its isolation from the world and focus on economic advancement at home. But it is also true that this desire has been evident in Iran for thirty-five years, yet the Iranian leaders have held a tight and undiminished grip on Iran, successfully maintaining their brutal, theocratic dictatorship with little threat. Who’s to say this dictatorship will not prevail for another ten, twenty, or thirty years?

To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great. "

The above is an excerpt from a statement by US Senator Charles Schumer of New York.