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Metta for Sri Lanka's Christian Community

metta
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#1

There has been a horrific series of terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka targeting Christians on Easter Sunday. Over 200 ppl are reported dead. Sri Lanka has been marred by inter-religious violence for some time, but (as far as I know) this is the first time Christians have been targeted on such a scale. Please send the victims thoughts of metta. :pray::heart:

UPDATE: CNN is now reporting this is the deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11.


#2

This is horrible! Thank you for posting.


#3

:heart::heart::heart:


#4

This attack is targeted primarily at western influence with xtianity being seen as an expression of that.


#5

The news coverage that came in last night was devastating. So sad. So unnecessary. Metta and karuna to the whole Sri Lankan community.


#6

I’m not sure this is the time to be making hasty unfounded judgements, especially as no group has claimed responsibility and we do not actually yet know the real motivation for these abhorant attacks.

Let us all be unified in peace and goodwill.


#7

:pray:


#8

you can join our chanting for Sri Lanka at 6pm CET tonight!


#9

Will do! :anjal:


#10

Ere long, alas! This body will lie upon the earth, unheeded and lifeless, like a useless log.

Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm.

Neither mother, father, nor any other relative can do one greater good than one’s own well-directed mind.
SuttaCentral


#11

Feeling sad for the victims of terrorism is one thing, and the fact that among the possibilities of human existence, some truly believe that their mission in life is to go and kill defenseless people is another. This might be a cause for mixed feelings: sadness over the innocent lives that have been lost, and feeling lucky for encountering good teachings in this life.


#12

It sounds like it has been confirmed that an ISIS-inspired group was behind the attack. This group, Nations Thawahid Jaman (NTJ), has defaced Buddha statues before. Sri Lankan gov’t ignored warnings about it the attack. FWIW.


#13

What should be the appropriate or ideal emotional response when “calamities” like this happen?
Or what would an enlightened person or someone who has seen the Dhamma feel?

I’m inspired by people who rushed into hospitals to donate blood, despite the threat.


#14

Call Me By My True Names
Thich Nyat Hanh

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to, my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.


#15

I believe upekkha would be the background response and anukampa the proactive one. In 2016 over 15,000 children around the world died every day from largely preventable causes, so I don’t think it’s sensible to have a stronger emotional response to acts of violence that kill a few hundred. It is of course a horrible act of violence and a tragedy though.

Violence, death, unreliability and impermanence are part of the nature of this world, may we all abandon sorrow, agitation, and yet still care for all living beings.

:anjal:


#16

I feel there must be a true and sustained effort by all leaders of religious organizations in Sri Lanka to abandon violence and oppression as a tool, and truly fall back on fundamental values of community and cooperation, and peacebuilding and abadonment of violence as a tool of influence.

I was looking today for messages from Muslim groups in Sri Lanka, and found this:

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said it condemned the attacks “on our Christian brothers and sisters on their Holy Day of Easter, as well as on the hotels in Colombo.” It said that it mourned the loss of “innocent lives due to extremist and violent elements who wish to create divides between religious and ethnic groups to realize their agenda.”

Issues with and between religions in this world are complex and difficult. Some religions in their foundational texts describe violence and torture, and in some cases, justify violence against others. These texts, of course, give direction and justification to those with fundamentalist and violent dispositions. Other religions, such as Buddhism and Jainism, reject violence absolutely. The paradox, of course is that “Buddhist” groups like Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) have used and fomented violence in Sri Lanka against Muslim communities for years. These “Buddhist” groups, like BBS, should be absolutely rejected and scorned by all practicing Buddhists.

Muslim communities like Muslim Council of Sri Lanka need to do all they can to reject violence within their communities, and reject the violent themes that have given some to take up violence against non-Muslims. They need to root out the preachers and teachers of violence in their schools and mosques. There needs to be an absolute promise that violence will not be taken as a solution to conflicts between religious groups. Any religion that believes that violence is allowable in any context must teach and advocate that violence be rejected, regardless of what some ancient (Muslim, Jewish or Christian) texts might prescribe. Rational leaders of these religions need to take stock of their manmade ancient texts that included deluded Iron Age violent sensibilites that called for gay people, infidels, and other innocent people to be harmed or killed because of their status. If people truly believe in a good and just god, they must rationally consider and teach that no good and loving god or prophet would ever promote the harming and killing of innocents.

I want to love and respect all people of all religions. Sometimes, this practice of Metta gets hard, and difficult to truly employ. But as difficult as it is to reject feelings of contempt, and the need for revenge, it is our only hope. Religions need to learn and practice nonviolence, absolutely. This must be demanded in every church, mosque, temple, and public square. As the Buddha has said (MN 128) :

For enmity in this world
is never settled by enmity.
It’s only settled by love:
this is an ancient principle.

Others don’t understand
that our lives must have limits.
The clever ones who know this
settle their quarrels right away.

Breakers of bones and takers of life,
thieves of cattle, horses, wealth,
those who plunder the nation:
even they can come together,
so why on earth can’t you?.


#17

There are two separate practices, metta and insight and enlightenment cannot be attained solely by practising metta. In the present case the insight practitioner would use the media information to boost the theme of recollection of death, in this case untimely. When the delusion of the intoxication with life is penetrated through the recollection of death, then reality is revealed.

“Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect… that ‘I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death’? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] living person’s intoxication with life. Because of that intoxication with life, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that living person’s intoxication with life will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker…”–-AN 5.57

The Buddha-to-be’s response to death caused him to embark on the path to enlightenment:

“Even though I was endowed with such fortune, such total refinement, the thought occurred to me: ‘When an untaught, run-of-the-mill person, himself subject to death, not beyond death, sees another who is dead, he is horrified, humiliated, & disgusted, oblivious to himself that he too is subject to death, not beyond death. And if I — who am subject to death, not beyond death — were to be horrified, humiliated, & disgusted on seeing another person who is dead, that would not be fitting for me.’ As I noticed this, the living person’s intoxication with life entirely dropped away.” AN 3.38


#18

I beg to differ.

Would you feel more sad when you lose a loved one than the death of someone you don’t know?

Why do we equate “sensibility” or “rationality” with the so-called “objective reality”? Should we perceived/reduce ourselves to “mere numbers” in order to be sensible?

If we want to be truly objective, then why not to blame the parents of those who died (either by terrorist attacks or by poverty related causes) as the ultimate cause of death is birth? would not that be sensible?


#19

When I feel this way I always try to remember that we are all deluded beings. Some more than others. And each and everyone is suffering. That’s why they want to escape and go to a better world.
As a Sri Lankan residing in Australia this news disturbed me a lot but it also made me contemplate on the danger of samsara.

The people who died in the recent attacks had many fatal opportunities 10 years ago to die in suicide bomb blasts but they died only now. Some of the perpetrators had more wealth than many of us, who had a great life of sensual pleasures but they chose to end lives of random innocent humans as revenge which promised them a “better” place.
The leaders and politicians who got prior warnings about the attacks didn’t act on them due to personal gains/negligence. They were informed about the danger of such people with harmful ideologies by Muslim religious leaders some years ago but chose to ignore so that they could be re-elected by that minority. The choices they made resulted in this. Delusion about power, better worlds, happiness etc., has made choices on behalf of them to create the rest of their existence which may not be a fun one. If we don’t train to exit fast we might do the same. The best way is to feel sorry for them and keep our 3 doors guarded at all times. :pray:t4:


#20

The Sri Lankan bombings security failure can be compared to the popular interpretation of mindfulness as exclusively a state of equanimity or “letting go”. But in AN 7.63 mindfulness is characterized as the gatekeeper of a frontier fortress:

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has a gate-keeper — wise, experienced, intelligent — to keep out those he doesn’t know and to let in those he does, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. With mindfulness as his gate-keeper, the disciple of the ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this sixth true quality is he endowed.”

If the gatekeeper were just practicing equanimity, he would recognize an enemy but simply note it and take no action, which is exactly what the Sri Lankan security apparatus did. AN 7.63 makes it clear that mindfulness must actively employ the tactics of right effort regarding preventing unskillful thoughts entering the mind.