Buddhism in Southeast Asia includes a variety of traditions of Buddhism including two main traditions: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Theravāda Buddhism .
But Buddhism, like the other great faiths, has not always lived up to its principles - there are numerous examples of Buddhists engaging in violence and even war.
T he recent Buddhist-inspired violence in places such as southern Thailand shocked many. When I lecture on these events, people often ask if these are ‘truly’ Buddhists. After all, violence does not fit into the popular narrative of Buddhism being wholly peaceful. But they are indeed ‘true’ Buddhists, and many are monks. The problem is that the ‘peaceful Buddhist’ narrative is erroneous. It prevents us from understanding the causes of violence. Buddhists, after all, have an agency that goes beyond Hollywood stereotypes of mystical monks, Himalayan mountaintops and Shangri-La.
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Says the lama to his pupil: "Do you understand that you don't really
Upon which the pupil replies: "Whom are you telling that?"
Even more troubling, the building blocks of existence, mind and matter, are themselves unsatisfactory by their very nature. Mental and material phenomena are so inherently unstable they are changing all the time, arising and dissolving from second to second (although we can't perceive this instability without training our attention through meditation practice). In reality they are nothing but empty appearances, without substance—and such illusions cannot be depended on for lasting happiness.
Copyright © 1996 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2009-AUG-16
Author: . Robinson