For a Future to Be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Mindfulness Trainings

Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, Maxine Hong Kingston, Stephen Batchelor, Joan Halifax, Christopher Reed, Annabel Laity, Patrici

Language: English

Pages: 290


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Five Mindfulness Trainings—protecting life, acting with generosity, behaving responsibly in sexual relationships, speaking and listening deeply and mindfully, and avoiding substance abuse—are the basic statement of ethics and morality in Buddhism. In For a Future to be Possible, Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh and fourteen prominent co-authors discuss these Five Mindfulness Trainings and offer insights and challenges for how they might play an important role in our personal lives and in society.

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have the time and space to do the things they like the most-walking, sitting, breath­ ing, and helping fellow monks, nuns, and laypeople - and to realize what they want. Monks and nuns don't marry in order to preserve their time and energy for the practice. " Responsibility" is the key word in the Third Mindful­ ness Training. In a community of practice, if there is no sexual misconduct, if the community practices this mind­ fulness training well, there will be stability and peace. This

eating kosher food in which only the meat of non-predatory animals and birds was kosher to eat; the food of mammalian life (milk) and mammalian death (meat) could not be eaten together; even this restricted kind of meat could only be eaten if the ani- 1 16 Arthur Waskow mal had been slaughtered in a painless way with prayerful consciousness and ritual; and vegetarianism was viewed as the higher, but not compulsory, path . Today we must ask ourselves a broader question: Is it food alone that

of the seashells I bring home from a morning walk on the beach and arrange on the tabletop by size and color and shape. It's a basic human fascination with sameness in difference and difference in sameness. My friend Graham Carey tapped the source of this thrill when he surprised his children one Christmas with a home­ made book, later published as The TaiL Boolc: page after page, nothing but animal tails, from fox to lizard, from lion to swallow, from the peacock's fan to our own almost

hope that a Larger view is. The larger view is one that can acknowledge the simultaneous pain and the beauty of this complexly interrelated real world. It is this realization, in part, that the image of Indra's Net strives to manifest. So far it has been the earlier subsistence cultures of the world, especially the hunters and gatherers, who have - paradoxically - most beautifully expressed their gratitude to the earth and its creatures. As Buddhists we have yet something to learn on that score.

as right and wrong, good and evil. Even though I may j ustifY my conviction of what is right and wrong by appealing to conscience or intuition or Buddha nature, such an appeal is likewise an act of faith in some­ thing (such as conscience) that I can neither prove nor observe. "Buddhist ethics" generally refers to those sets of precepts that I commit myself to as a layperson, a monastic, an as­ piring bodhisattva, a Zen practitioner, or a follower of the Vajrayana. Precepts are formal statements

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