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March 15, 2007


Buddhist Jihad

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche once said this:

"Try to understand how we perceive good and bad things in life according to our own delusions, our confused thoughts and conflicting emotions.

We must try to understand that samsara is by nature impermanent, that things change constantly, that there are no solid entities to cling to.

If we begin to look at the world in this way, then we can begin to generate inconceivable compassion toward all beings, with the thought of freeing them from suffering and confusion, and fostering their happiness and peace of mind."

I don't know if you've heard the Dalai Lama speak about Chairman Mao, or the communist Chinese, who have committed genocide in Tibet, but it's worth a listen. It's quite the reverse of how they speak about him.



I consider myself a fairly serious student of the Dharma, although only a raw beginner. I've benefitted from a great deal of help and guidance from friends and fellow Dharma-seekers (including you, by the way).

I've had the opportunity to attend a number of day retreats and a two-week pilgrimage to Taiwan. I've read probably a hundred books by such great teachers as Venerable Master Hsing Yun, HH the Dalai Lama, and Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

But I've got a long way to go. I'm much more compassionate and much more right-minded, I think, than I was only a few years ago, and I feel that I'm steadily progressing toward the kind of compassionate understanding that the great teachers talk about.

But I have to say this. I truly hope that I never find compassion in my heart for the people who perpetrated the cowardly, murderous terrorist attacks against my country - and against all civilized people - on 9/11/01. I call Khalid Sheikh Mohammad "Shake Mo Ham-Head" because it's degrading to him as a Muslim and as a human being. I wish he could see it. I wish I could personally keep him at Gitmo for eternity - it would be my heaven and his hell. I never thought I'd be capable of wishing torture on anything - any sentient being. But this guy has changed my mind.

HH the Dalai Lama has compassion beyond my comprehension. I'm sure that some day I'll understand better. But as I see it right now, I can't muster even the slightest empathy for someone like Ham-Head. I only regret that so many of his co-conspirators are too dead to share his waterboarding.

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