Monday, January 28, 2013

Do Not Lie

One of my prisoner BuddhaPals wrote me, complaining that some of his fellow prisoners lie to their penpals. Here is my response.

L,

You started me thinking about “do not lie.” When we go through lay ordination, we think about each of the precepts. But later, we realize there are some (if not all) of the precepts we have not been considering whole-heartedly and that we need to revisit.

The first thing that comes to mind is “do not judge.” There is that great line from the Bible “And why behold you the speck that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye.” I think that is humbling. And it reminds me of the considerable job it is to get that beam out of my own eye.

There are so many levels of telling the truth. It is not just our words, but our actions. Do we know ourselves? Are we pretending to be someone we are not?

The idea of karma is that we are the result of our actions. Creating good karma is a full-time job. One response to those that are generating bad karma is compassion. The Buddha, in a previous life, killed a pirate who was going to kill everyone on a boat. Did he do it to save all but the pirate? No. He did it, out of compassion, to save to pirate from accumulating bad karma.

It is easier to be compassionate toward those that we like. When they are having a hard time, it hurts us. But how about those that we detest? Can we have compassion for them too? That's a good challenge for all of us.

Mr. Kim

Here's Buddha's Metta Sutta on kindness:
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would this work for our diplomats? H.

Kim Mosley said...

I'm not sure what "this" is exactly, or how to define "work." But sure, it would.