IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Some Buddhist ideas about peace.

Despite the teachings about peace found in nearly all religious traditions, some religions have been, for various reasons, involved in (if not directly the cause of) many of the worst historical and contemporary violent conflicts. However, among the older religions, the Buddhist tradition is the exception in this regard. I know of no major wars that were fought in the name of Buddhism…do you? Therefore, I think the teachings of Buddhism in regard to peace are worth our attention.

Here’s the text of a lecture given by Ron Epstein at San Franciso St. Univ. some years ago, which presents a nice summary of Buddhist teachings on peace. In one section he explains that:

“…force and violence, even to the level of killing, never solves anything. Killing generates fear and anger, which generates more killing, more fear, and more anger, in a vicious cycle without end.”

If you look further into Buddhist teachings you will find the idea that the world is impermanent and that suffering comes from trying to hold on to what is impermanent (ie attachment). The key to true freedom and enlightenment is detachment and compassion for others (and for their suffering) and for all life. From this derives a way of life which involves purifying ones’ thoughts and actions and serving others in the spirit of compassion.

Looking at Buddhist peace “praxis”, I think we can say that this tradition promotes the idea–discussed in an earlier post–that outer peace can only come through the conscious search for and practice of inner peace. Though, again, the latter implies an active commitment to service.

Here is another essay (by a former military officier), which applies Buddhist teachings to the problem war and the promotion of peace.

(note again: ideas found in the above linked articles are not endorsed by IGbarb, except as being interesting)

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October 17, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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