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The Buddha

The world will be a much more peaceful place once we all awaken.

After the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical Buddha, one of his close attendants is reported to have said, repeatedly, “He who was so kind.”

After his awakening, the Buddha did not become an activist. He became a teacher. After a period of hesitation when he worried that no one else would understand what he had realized, he tracked down his former ascetic fellows and explained to them what he had realized. He spent the rest of his life teaching anyone who would listen. As monks gained enlightenment, the Buddha bade them travel themselves, spreading the teachings of the Buddha wherever they went.

The Buddha taught that awakening began with a commitment to the five precepts of moral conduct, do not kill or do harm, do not steal, do not lie, avoid sexual misconduct, and avoid intoxicants.

Imagine how peaceful all humans would be if they committed just to those five precepts, much less a meditation practice. We’d be so bored, we would be happy to meditate.

Finding a quiet place to meditate undisturbed would be very easy.

Let’s do it.

Plainly, I am presumptuous to take on such a project. The world is brimming with sources of the Buddha’s teachings from many people who, by almost any account, are more obviously qualified to do this than I am. Maybe there is some good reason why none of them has expressly suggested trying to enlighten the entire world. I don’t know. I can think of no reason why any Buddhist teacher would not want see as many people as possible learn about Buddhism. Why else write books and build web sites and give talks?

But I am a presumptuous person and it seems especially now that the world needs more peace, and I think the best way to achieve that is to tell people about Buddhism and meditation.

So, let’s get enlightened.

Help spread the word.

Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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