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Karma and current ethical issues continued

60 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, second volume in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • How the precept for not killing was established
  • Assisted suicide and suicide do not stop all of our pain and suffering
  • Importance of appreciating the potential of one’s life
  • What is buddhist view about our usefulness
  • Recognizing the difficulty and purpose of our precious human life
  • Questions to consider about death penalty
  • Views on being a vegetarian versus consuming meat
  • Sexual ethics is about non-harmfulness and care for others

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 60: Karma and Current Ethical Issues Continued (download)

Contemplation points

  1. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as he presents these modern day ethical issues, talks a lot about dependence and karma, and doesn’t give any hard and fast answers about what to do and not do in these particular situations. Why is this? What does it say about these issues and about the mind that likes to make things black and white?
  2. Why does assisted suicide does not release suffering in the long run? What are other solutions?
  3. Why is suicide not a solution to release oneself from suffering?
  4. Why is eating meat not encouraged in Buddhism? What alternatives are there to deal with possible health related challenges when refraining from eating meat?
  5. Why does sexual ethics depend so much on the time and culture? Make some examples. Why do you think that the discussion of sexual ethics is such a hot button for people?
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.