Karma and September 11

A question and answer session in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C.. This talk was held at Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Singapore on October 27, 2001.

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  • Responding to the September 11 tragedy

    • Staying actively engaged with tangible support
    • Transforming the mind through tonglen and Chenrezig practice
    • Taking refuge to generate compassion for the terrorists

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 01 (download)

    Views on the United States invasion of Afghanistan

    • Questioning political decisions and their consequences
    • Recognizing the difficulties politicians face

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 02 (download)

    The role of karma

    • Experiencing group and personal karma
    • Thinking about what type of karma led people to harm others
    • Karma as mental intention and our own contribution that brings harms to others

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 03 (download)

    Rebirths of the victims of tragedy

    • Conditions that determine our future lives
    • Dying with a kind heart
    • Benefits of the Dharma practice

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 04 (download)

    Explaining the September 11 attacks to children

    • Supporting children to express their feelings
    • Generating compassion for everyone involved in the tragedy
    • Questioning how we treat violence as entertainment

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 05 (download)

    Karma and our environmental conditions

    • The environment as a result of our past actions and current thoughts
    • How the mind mistakenly views violence as happiness
    • Responding as Buddhists to prevent violence

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 06 (download)

    Counteracting vengeance

    • Strengthening Jewish/Muslim dialogue in the US
    • Benefits of interreligious faith services
    • Volunteering and promoting educational forums to reduce prejudice

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 07 (download)

    Discomfort with parodies of September 11

    • Recognizing how violent cartoons aren’t funny
    • The need for humor and sensitivity
    • Using humor to reduce fear and anxiety

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 08 (download)

    Destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas

    • Destruction as loss for all
    • Buddhists as examples in resolving conflicts

    Q&A on 9-11 attacks 09 (download)

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