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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Don't Just Sit There

How can we sit on our over-fed asses when the continued rise of fascism, jingoism, and ecocide, (no less speciesism, sexism, racism, and classism) fuel humanity’s race to the bottom?

The importance of our relationships upon the spiritual path is lauded in the “Noble Friendship” discourse of the Sam-yut-ta Ni-ka-ya thus dispelling the myth that the Buddha teaches us to be self-centered contemplatives. But what did Lao Tzu have to say about a sage’s response to societal crisis?

In the eighty-one chapters of the Tao Te Ching (a wonderful book that complements the Dharma and should be on the reading list of every Buddhist) we read that both extremes of scatteredness as well as the attempts to control others lead to disastrous results. In contrast to humanity’s controlling tendencies the first fruit of Lao Tzu’s path is simplicity. But what is that?

Simplicity is the centered spontaneity that is inferred in the Buddha’s teachings of the seven enlightenment factors. Ironically the correct practice of the seventh and eight folds of the Buddha’s path have the side-effect of inducing our choices, utterances, and deeds to flow from centered spontaneity, like water though a garden hose.

The effective practice of the Dharma equips us to effortlessly, spontaneously, and subtly exploit global interdependence like the delightful clacking of falling dominoes knocking one into another.

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