Author Topic: Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society  (Read 569 times)

Offline nweinham

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Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society
« on: February 22, 2018, 01:27:49 pm »
Hello, Can anyone point me to the Buddha's own words on how the pursuit of mindfulness meditation (eg: satipatthana, vipassanna) may directly benefit the community? I understand how the Four Noble Truths can improve the quality of life for an individual, but I'm curious if Buddha spelled out how these practices might also improve society. I can connect the dots on my own  but I am looking for his words with sources, please. Thank you for your time. Peace.

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2018, 10:30:40 pm »
Hi NW

The Four Noble Truths & Satipatthana create Enlightened Noble Beings, who can be examples of peace plus sources of knowledge for society. Therefore, the Four Noble Truths & Satipatthana can indirectly better society. As for the direct actual betterment of society, Enlightened Noble Beings teach the ordinary people in society certain teachings for society, such as at this link: https://www.mahidol.ac.th/budsir/Contents.html.

In his 1st sermon, the Buddha said the Four Noble Truths were for those who had left the household life, i.e., society.

Kind regards  :namaste:


Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 02:39:52 am »
I rather like what the Sedaka Sutta has to say:

"Looking after oneself, one looks after others.
Looking after others, one looks after oneself.

And how does one look after others by looking after oneself?
By practicing (mindfulness), by developing (it), by doing (it) a lot.
And how does one look after oneself by looking after others?
By patience, by non-harming, by loving kindness, by caring (for others).
(Thus) looking after oneself, one looks after others;
and looking after others, one looks after oneself.


https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn47/sn47.019.olen.html
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline nweinham

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Re: Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2018, 11:39:18 am »
Thank you Dairy Lama,  ;D   I appreciate your quote and the link. This is helpful.

I like the parable on the page you linked to:
" But the Buddha's parable goes even further, for the safety and well being of the bamboo acrobat's beloved assistant also hangs upon the master's successful practice of mindfulness. "
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 12:17:39 pm by nweinham »

Offline nweinham

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Re: Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 12:06:52 pm »
Thank you VisuddhiRaptor,
Yes, the benefits and possibilities of Enlightened Noble Beings seems intuitively understandable. Thank you for summarizing it so clearly. Going beyond the intuition, I'm searching for more direct evidence of how Buddha may have connected the dots with regards to these practices helping society. Your mention of his first sermon is very helpful.

Also, the link you provided is interesting. Plenty of material to review. Lots of Buddha's guidance on participating in society. I appreciate this resource, though after an admittedly brief review I do not see a direct, simple correlation spelled out in the Buddha's own words how the practice of meditation benefits society.

I do not mean to be disagreeable. And I am thankful for your help. I am a proponent of meditation and know first-hand how the practice improves life. Someone recently asked me a question which i could not answer and that's what prompted this line of inquiry.

It is enough for me that meditation improve the life of the meditator. But I am interested in compiling any quotes by the Buddha regarding how meditation improves our society. You have given me some leads to follow. Thank you!

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 07:38:27 pm »
I posted in my original post meditation does not directly benefit (the majority of) society; that the benefit is indirect.

Kind regards  :namaste:

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2018, 08:07:31 am »
Quote
nweinhama: ... "I'm searching for more direct evidence of how Buddha may have connected the dots with regards to these practices helping society."

Buddha established a relationship with the community.  Monks visited the villagers on a daily basis during their alms rounds and exchanged a share in the towns-peoples' daily meals for a lesson in The Dhamma, and in this manner, the dhamma was taught in small daily doses, and the entire family (children as well as adults) were the beneficiaries of his teachings.

You may find Buddha's recommendations to his monks here:

The Vinayahttps://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/vin/index.html

Here is a summary of the contents:

Quote
The Vinaya Pitaka, the first division of the Tipitaka, is the textual framework upon which the monastic community (Sangha) is built. It includes not only the rules governing the life of every Theravada bhikkhu (monk) and bhikkhuni (nun), but also a host of procedures and conventions of etiquette that support harmonious relations, both among the monastics themselves, and between the monastics and their lay supporters, upon whom they depend for all their material needs.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Lotusmile

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Re: Question re Buddha's thought on bettering society
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2018, 11:21:02 pm »
Hello, Can anyone point me to the Buddha's own words on how the pursuit of mindfulness meditation (eg: satipatthana, vipassanna) may directly benefit the community? I understand how the Four Noble Truths can improve the quality of life for an individual, but I'm curious if Buddha spelled out how these practices might also improve society. I can connect the dots on my own  but I am looking for his words with sources, please. Thank you for your time. Peace.
According to the Flower Adornment Sutra, One is all and all is one.

 


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