Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

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Mantrik
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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Mantrik » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:46 pm

The Doomers (see I can do it too) predicate their 'extinction' case with very scant regard to the other variable - Population.
Greta clearly deserves her award for logic like this:
''Whether we start controlling births or not, we need to get to zero emissions.''

Whilst arguing that depleted resources will lead to 'extinction' (hyperbole, but let that pass), they seem incapable of protesting about population control which could prevent exhaustion of the resources.
It is as if they see zero emission pollution targets as viable, but population control targets as impossible and therefore not worth shouting about.
How about ER standing outside schools and shouting at parents to 'Stop Breeding!!' and glueing themselves to pushchairs.
It is as sensible at shouting at people catching trains in the UK when the main problem lies in countries like India and China.
Yes, I name my new population control movement 'Baby Doomers' ;)
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Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by tkp67 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:05 pm

Könchok Thrinley wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:32 pm
While I generally agree with Nemo, I must say that his critique is mostly fit for western Europe and English speaking countries. From my personal background I have to say that Treehuggingoctopus has a good point. And that is that half of the world had no say in the direction the planet will take for good 50 years. And when they finally got some say in it they just wanted to finally be able to have their periods with proper hygiene and have fruits all year round.

The blame is on all of us, yes some of us can be blamed more than others, but then again, the world can barely feed us and we are wasting resources on making mars bars. I love mars bars, but every time I have one I cannot help but marvel at how much energy, resources and work it costs to make them. From the packaging to the delicious caramel insides it is just an effin waste. Just like 60% things in supermarkets. The culture is messed up, those who sell it to us are messed up and those who profit from all of this are the worst.

I really like one story of a lama and his attendant, I don't know where I've heard it but it goes along kinda like this. Lama is in a bathroom with his attendant and the attendant uses 3 or 4 pieces of paper cloth to dry his hands and the lama starts scolding him "Don't use so many! You will deplete your merit!" It kinda lost it's magic in my re-telling but lately I can't help but think it is extremely true everytime I run out of toilet paper.
Being someone on the spectrum this and being over 50 I have a different perspective and my thinking on this issue has been along the following lines since I was a young adult.

The natural world outside of humanity is precious and deserving of reverence and respect.

Humanity is part of the natural world.

The counter intuitive capacity of mankind is all persuasive.

The negative consequence of this beyond my direct control.

My capacity to challenge this behavior in myself is the domain upon which I exert most control.

If I place my focus on where I have control and lose attachment to where I do not my energies and efforts are maximized.

In the end result, regardless of how the rest of the world chooses to perceive reality abiding by the most efficient means to take ownership of the part of this mess I am in control of is paying my debt to all Buddha of the ten directions past, present and future.

I struggled for a while because at times it felt meaningless then I saw someone like Steve Irwin use human nature as a means to work to benefit the natural world and realized I was working towards a similar potential if I stayed my course.

I am no Steve Irwin but I do not allow myself to dwell in the negative karma of others because it takes away from my ability to act meritoriously in regards to nature.

At some point it seems the most potent delusion is the one that allows us to buy into the delusions of others in a way that it takes away from our own practice. I always saw it as the sublime viral effect of negative human behaviors.

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Vasana » Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:28 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:46 pm
The Doomers (see I can do it too) predicate their 'extinction' case with very scant regard to the other variable - Population.
Greta clearly deserves her award for logic like this:
''Whether we start controlling births or not, we need to get to zero emissions.''

Whilst arguing that depleted resources will lead to 'extinction' (hyperbole, but let that pass), they seem incapable of protesting about population control which could prevent exhaustion of the resources.
It is as if they see zero emission pollution targets as viable, but population control targets as impossible and therefore not worth shouting about.
How about ER standing outside schools and shouting at parents to 'Stop Breeding!!' and glueing themselves to pushchairs.
It is as sensible at shouting at people catching trains in the UK when the main problem lies in countries like India and China.
Yes, I name my new population control movement 'Baby Doomers' ;)

Contrary to popular belief, its not population on its own that is the problem. It's the consumption habits of a given population. What we eat what we buy, the purpose of the economy we belong to. If we change our consumption habits and live within more ressonable means while challenging the idea that GDP growth is actually a measure of success, then the planet can indeed support a growing population. How much of the labour and products humanity makes are actually really essential? We could do without a lot of it and this would then change the carrying capacity for the earth to support a growing population.

And the notion of our possible extinction is usually rooted in the possibility of a cascade of tipping points triggering irreversible, runaway warming at levels which many current and future societies would not be able to sustain. More drought, more crop failures, more extreme weather, more disease, more conflict. The science is here if you are willing to engage in it. The same science Greta asks adults to consider before slating her for whatever the reason of the day is.

Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene
https://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252

Image

Interdependent tipping points which could cause a domino effect among each other.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

Impacts of change at 1.5 and 2 degrees. https://interactive.carbonbrief.org/imp ... n=Redirect


(We're currently heading for around 3 or 4, IF we're lucky enough to avoid the tipping points mentioned above...some of which paleoclimatic records show have tipping point thresholds in the temperature range we're already passing though)

So while absolute human extinction may be hyperbole, a very very large reduction of humanity is not so far fetched.

Then even without warming, there's the 'Safe operating space for planet earth' framework - at least 4 of 9 planetary boundaries crossed already.
Yet policy makers still don't engage with these issues systematically , as interdependent phenomena :shrug:

Image
Last edited by Vasana on Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Vasana » Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:41 pm

And the problem isn't just India and China, it's the entire planet. Of course if they're slow to get on board that's an undeniable problem, but every point of a degree in warmimg and other ecological factors will make a huge difference and so we do what is still within our reach.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Mantrik » Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:45 pm

Vasana wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:28 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:46 pm
The Doomers (see I can do it too) predicate their 'extinction' case with very scant regard to the other variable - Population.
Greta clearly deserves her award for logic like this:
''Whether we start controlling births or not, we need to get to zero emissions.''

Whilst arguing that depleted resources will lead to 'extinction' (hyperbole, but let that pass), they seem incapable of protesting about population control which could prevent exhaustion of the resources.
It is as if they see zero emission pollution targets as viable, but population control targets as impossible and therefore not worth shouting about.
How about ER standing outside schools and shouting at parents to 'Stop Breeding!!' and glueing themselves to pushchairs.
It is as sensible at shouting at people catching trains in the UK when the main problem lies in countries like India and China.
Yes, I name my new population control movement 'Baby Doomers' ;)

Contrary to popular belief, its not population on its own that is the problem.
Two straw men:
'Popular belief'? I've yet to come across anyone who ascribes to that view, let alone seen it as 'popular', and certainly wrote no such thing as 'on its own' myself.
You cannot protest about the effect of the actions of people without also accepting that it is related to the the number of them able to act, and campaigning for control of that number.
I did not write that it was 'only' India and China. Sorry, can't debate when you choose to invent straw men.
http://www.khyung.com ཁྲོཾ

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Vasana » Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:57 pm

I'm not sure they are straw men, at least not intentionally so. I've spoken to many people who frame human population as the central issue while others go as far as comparing humanity to a cancer or virus to the planet. It's obviously only my experience but I've spoken to many people with that view and I'm aware of foundations who focus exclusively on the population argument so maybe it's a stretch to call it popular at a global or national level buts it definitely a sentiment more and more people are holding.

You didn't write 'only' but did say it was 'the main' problem. I disagree but it's no big deal. I'm under no illusion people change their minds from discussions like this.
You cannot protest about the effect of the actions of people without also accepting that it is related to the the number of them able to act, and campaigning for control of that number.
Birth control and education of women in developing countries was billed as one of the top ways to reach negative emissions by an initiative called Project Drawdown. So I'm not saying we don't need to talk about population, just that it should be consumption habits and the ideologies of eternal gdp growth first under scrutiny. If we can fix the problem at it's source, then population dynamics and the carrying capacity change. Reducing population without changing our economic system won't solve things in the long run.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:33 pm

Vasana wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:57 pm
I'm not sure they are straw men, at least not intentionally so. I've spoken to many people who frame human population as the central issue while others go as far as comparing humanity to a cancer or virus to the planet. It's obviously only my experience but I've spoken to many people with that view and I'm aware of foundations who focus exclusively on the population argument so maybe it's a stretch to call it popular at a global or national level buts it definitely a sentiment more and more people are holding.
Same here. Btw, I wholly agree that overpopulation is a major problem, one to a great extent responsible for ongoing biocide: if human beings occupy so much land and use so much resources, there is only so much left for non-human life. But while I recognise the need for (humane!) decrease of human population, I also cannot but recognise the fact that even if we halved our numbers we would not really slow down climate changes: the Third World countries are responsible for a tiny portion of the emissions.

Conversely, curbing climate changes -- and doing so humanely, which is to say in the light of global social justice, in tandem with global wealth redistribution -- will in all likelihood reduce overpopulation by itself (improved standards of living plus decent standards of living nicely generally seem to do the trick). As you already pretty much noted:
Vasana wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:57 pm
Birth control and education of women in developing countries was billed as one of the top ways to reach negative emissions by an initiative called Project Drawdown. So I'm not saying we don't need to talk about population, just that it should be consumption habits and the ideologies of eternal gdp growth first under scrutiny. If we can fix the problem at it's source, then population dynamics and the carrying capacity change. Reducing population without changing our economic system won't solve things in the long run.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Simon E. » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:40 pm

So...”precious human birth” is less important than preserving Samsara?
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Vasana » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:47 pm

One of the criteria for a human birth qualifying as a 'precious human birth' is that there are favourable conditions for Dharma practice. Even in Dharma practicing countries these conditions are likely to decrease or at least face disturbances, no less than countries with even less access to Dharma.

So while we're not here to preserve samsara, preserving the teachings longevity in this world system and the favourable conditions for people to be able to meet and practice the Dharma should be something we're concerned with. If some of those conditions are related to climate and ecology then those are things we should be concerned about.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Simon E. » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:55 pm

And the conditions for practising Dharma are....what? Social harmony? Plenty? Egalitarianism?


You know..just like Tibet at the time it produced giants of Dharma? Or the feudal Japan that produced Zen despite widespread starvation?

I would suggest that the conditions that produce Dharma practitioners are not defined by their lunch or heating arrangements.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:59 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:40 pm
So...”precious human birth” is less important than preserving Samsara?
Last time I checked the meaning of the word "samsara" it did not signify the realm of all nonhuman life on the planet. It did however have much to do with living one's life in such a way that it brings much pain, misery and possibly death to others.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Simon E. » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:08 pm

Pain misery and death are unavoidable in Samsara. Solar panels will not alter that. Only freedom from Samsara will. For us and all beings.
Which is not to decry the use of solar panels.
Buts let’s be real. This world system will pass away along with all compounded things. The best we can do is not make that sooner than it need be.

And when it does pass away karma vipaka will ensure a whole new playground.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Vasana » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:13 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:55 pm
And the conditions for practising Dharma are....what? Social harmony? Plenty? Egalitarianism?
The Five Personal Advantages
being a human being
born in a central land
with faculties intact
lifestyle not harmful or wrong
with faith in the three pitakas
You know..just like Tibet at the time it produced giants of Dharma? Or the feudal Japan that produced Zen despite widespread starvation?

I would suggest that the conditions that produce Dharma practitioners are not defined by their lunch or heating arrangements.
The conditions are that the teachings survive , a teacher present and so on. If you are worrying about where you| next meal is coming from or if your home has been destroyed or broken in to, Dharma practice might not be so easy to implement, especially in countries where access to Dharma is already sparse enough socially for there to be no solid foundations in the face of adversity...or when the availability of supreme teachers isn't quite as abundant as old Tibet, India, China, Japan and so on.

I'm sure you can imagine the social conditions that would allow for more interest in mind and dharma and those that entrench us deeper In samsara, materialism and survival.

We are privileged to be able to practice to the degrees we are. Ideally everyone will gain increased privilege for practicing Dharma. This is unrealistic but persevering and extending what we can is better than nothing. This is also related with what Dharma kings, rulers and translators are about. They improve the general social conditions for practice and accessibility of the Dharma.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Vasana » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:17 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:08 pm
Pain misery and death are unavoidable in Samsara. Solar panels will not alter that. Only freedom from Samsara will. For us and all beings.
Which is not to decry the use of solar panels.
Buts let’s be real. This world system will pass away along with all compounded things. The best we can do is not make that sooner than it need be.

And when it does pass away karma vipaka will ensure a whole new playground.
Exactly. And so harm reduction and preserving beneficial conditions is very important in this degenerate age. We can slow the degeneration and if this results in more Dharma practice, this is the most ethical pathway
. Even on a secular level, reducing unnecessary degrees of harm and suffering is just the right thing to do, even if in the long long run things are bound to decline.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Simon E. » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:30 pm

Some of the best teaching I was fortunate to receive was from teachers who spent periods of their lives not knowing when they would next eat. One was reduced to trying to eat shoe leather.
I am not suggesting that their attainments were the result of privation. But those privations were not a barrier to them either.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Vasana » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:01 pm

Sure, I'm not denying great practioners underwent extreme hardships. I'm talking about regular people and their access to the Dharma in light of unfavourable circumstances. Also talking about people who are so focused on basic survival needs (either now or in the future) that any deep practice is just out of the question even if it were available. Changing climate and ecological conditions will change accessibility and increase obstacles for practicing Dharma in many places. Obstacles will always exist for as long as karma does and so reducing their scope is worthwhile. Harmonizing the elements is worthwhile.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Simon E. » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:15 pm

Im not convinced.
Of course widespread food and water shortages would be a cause of great suffering and should be avoided if at all possible by all means necessary.
But Dharma has thrived In conditions of great hardship.

It’s prosperity that is the enemy of Dharma.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by justsit » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:52 pm

FWIW, some of us in the US were acutely aware and did try to alter the course of environmental degradation. The EPA was created in 1970, and Earth Day was made an annual event. We started recycling and trying to live simply. Not all of us sat around doing nothing. But as usual, the people/corporations with the money made public policy.

Image

However, at the same time we were also fighting a fierce ongoing battle to end the war in Vietnam, and to have the initiatives of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 implemented throughout the country. Both of those encountered massive resistance by the powers that were in charge. Leaders were being assassinated, the political scene was chaotic.
Environmental issues were important, but as we were not prescient, we perhaps didn't realize the speed and scale of the changes that were being wrought. As the graphs on acceleration noted by Vasana show, things changed so radically so quickly it was difficult at times to keep up.

Given finite resources and energy, were we wrong to prioritize people over the environment? Maybe - history will judge.

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Queequeg » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:56 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:08 pm
Pain misery and death are unavoidable in Samsara. Solar panels will not alter that. Only freedom from Samsara will. For us and all beings.
Which is not to decry the use of solar panels.
Buts let’s be real. This world system will pass away along with all compounded things. The best we can do is not make that sooner than it need be.

And when it does pass away karma vipaka will ensure a whole new playground.
So... this is the Buddhist version of the Boomer's excuse for doing nothing?

I am being pointed here, but its not gratuitous or meant to troll - it is a pointed criticism of your expressed views.

And what is this period of widespread starvation in Japan that produced Zen? I'm not aware of this period of Japanese history.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Why Greta Thunberg Should Be Time’s Person of the Year

Post by Queequeg » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:00 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:30 pm
Some of the best teaching I was fortunate to receive was from teachers who spent periods of their lives not knowing when they would next eat. One was reduced to trying to eat shoe leather.
I am not suggesting that their attainments were the result of privation. But those privations were not a barrier to them either.
Dude, if you were reduced to eating shoe leather, even an audience with Gautama Buddha wouldn't benefit you. While he's explaining the 8fold path, you'd be eyeing his shoes. Come on.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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