Non-Attachment to Views

This week’s Words of Wisdom from Lama Surya Das are from the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

The 17th Karmapa is the leader of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

“When spiritual beliefs are used to build up walls between people, this is a total misunderstanding of the purpose of spirituality. Spirituality should mean coming closer to yourself. When this happens, you become closer to others, too. Spirituality and religion should dismantle discrimination and labels, not shore them up. It should break, not create, barriers between people.”

– His Holiness the 17th Karmapa,

Ogyen Trinley Dorje

from: The Heart is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out

The above quote from the 17th Karmapa reminds me of the Second Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing (OI), Non-attachment to Views:

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. We are committed to seeing the Buddhist teachings as a guiding means that help us learn to look deeply and develop understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for. We understand that fanaticism in its many forms is the result is the result of perceiving things in a dualistic or discriminative manner. We will train ourselves to look at everything with openness and the insight of interbeing in order to transform dogmatism and violence in ourselves and the world.

The OI was founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966. It is a community of monastics and lay people who agree to live by the principles of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings.

The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings summarize the teachings of the Buddha in a way that people can easily understand. The trainings are offered to people who express an aspiration to join the OI. I spent about four and one-half years in training in an aspirant sangha before being ordained.

The Second Mindfulness Training expresses the idea of non-attachment to views. This applies even to Buddhist ones and especially “When spiritual beliefs are used to build up walls between people.”

Another one of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings talks about compassionate listening and loving speech. In practicing this training, the natural process is “coming closer to yourself. When this happens, you become closer to others, too.”

How do you feel about the 17th Karmapa’s quote in relationship to the Second Mindfulness Training? Are either of these worthy of practice in your life? Please share.

To Learn More…

About the book: The Future is Now, which pairs contemporary photography with 108 sayings on how to live more compassionately and consciously, is the Karmapa’s first mainstream work. In it, he offers advice on such universal and personal themes as social values, the environment, freedom, responsibility, loneliness, and contentment. Fresh, bold, timely photos and straightforward text make the ancient teachings of Buddhism accessible to everyone.

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