Friday, 17 August 2018

Marxist Metta



"In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly – only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!"

"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 or demanding in nature. Let them not do the slightest thing That the wise would later reprove. Wishing: In gladness and in safety, 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."

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The false promise of Mindfulness

A lot of what comes out of the rapidly growing "mindfulness industry" concerns using meditation as a palliative to soothe the stresses of existence in a contemporary capitalist environment.

 This article provides an insightful critique of this approach. Here is a snippet:

  "Mindfulness as taught by the Buddha is not merely a pacification of stress but one important aspect of a deep engagement with suffering that has a revolutionary nature, distinct from but in some ways complementary to that of the social revolution. Appreciating mindfulness for its revolutionary potential is not simply respectful of the Buddha’s teaching, it may be the only thing mindfulness is actually good for."

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1 percent is hijacking mindfulness

This article is well worth a read.

Zizek is definitely onto something,  I think , with his critique of "Western Buddhism":

 “It enables you to fully participate in the frantic pace of the capitalist game, while sustaining the perception that you are not really in it; that you are well aware of how worthless this spectacle is; and that what really matters to you is the peace of the inner Self to which you know you can always withdraw.”

Friday, 7 December 2012

Tricycle article on the Dalai Lama and Marx

The popular Buddhist magazine Tricycle has an interesting and informative  on-line article on the Dalai Lama's relationship with Marxism.

The article also has some critical comments, following Zizek, on the potential for Western Buddism to foster an apthetic attitude towards suffering and injutice.

Well worth a read.

Friday, 8 June 2012

For whom the Bell Tolles

In my view, Eckhart Tolle has some useful things to say regarding present moment awareness and so forth. However, when he ventures into the "Consciousness is evolving" realm things get troubling.

The troubling aspects are insightfully described by "David the Blade" at the Guruphiliac blog:

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Nietzsche, Buddha, Marx

For all his vanity, grandiosity and offensiveness,  in my view Fiedrich Nietzsche had some profound insights. It may seem incongruous at first glance to suggest common threads between his philosophy, that of his compatriot Karl Marx, and the work of the Buddha.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Ambedkar: Buddha or Karl Marx

A classic article on the Buddha and  Marx was penned by the inspiring Indian political leader, jurist  and writer B.R. Ambedkar.  The essay was in draft form at the time of Ambedkar's death.

Ambedkar's death happened a few months after his conversion to Buddhism,  in which he also converted 500,000 of his supporters from the Dalit ("untouchable") caste. The revival of Buddhism in contemporary India through the Dalit Buddhist movement owes much to this event.