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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

Thich Nhat Hanh discusses the keys to practicing mindfulness from the Buddhist Order of Tiep Hien, "Interbeing"

Part 1
"Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist teachings are guiding means to help us learn to look deeply and to develop our understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for."

We need to understand that "human life is more precious than any ideology or doctrine." The power of ideology can be too much for human life to bear. "If you have a gun, you can shoot one, two, three, five people; but if you have an ideology and stick to it, thinking it is the absolute truth, you can kill millions." Do the Holocaust or the Crusades come to mind? Peace can only be achieved when we are free from fanaticism.

The scientific mind yields to skepticism, constant re-evaluation and verification. This uncertainty and search for truth leads to modification of currently held and past assumptions and hypotheses. We should apply that same model to other areas of our lives and our world, helping us to defend against dogma, doctrine, and ideology that threaten human life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

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