i MINDFUL FUT URES: BUDDHIST ANTI WAR RHETORIC AND THE PURSUIT OF PEACE by AMIRA A. ALETEBI B.A ., University of Colorado Denver, 2012 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Communication Program 2014
ii This thesis for the Master of Communication degree by Amira A. Aletebi h as been approved for the Co mmunication Program by Stephen J. Hartnett Chair Brian L. Ott Date: April 24, 2014
iii Aletebi, Amira A. (M.A., Communication) Mindful Futures: Buddhist Anti War Rhetoric and the Pursuit of Peace Thesis directed by Professor and Chair Stephen J. Hartnett ABSTRACT For many, the War on Terror symbolizes an age of violence and international conflict. This seemingly unending state of war prompted my exploration of other less aggressive methods that could have been employed in response to th e terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. T his thesis examines the religious structu re s of Buddhist anti war rhetoric and its complex war histories to discover how enlightened di scourses and practices of compassion and mindfulness could be deployed to cre ate more productive futures in war prevention and conflict Primarily u sing Burgoon and Langer s (2002) notions of mindfulness, I assess how mindfulness as a practice has the potential to generate new ways of language, thought, and action that foster peaceful futures. The form and content of this abstract are approve d. I recommend its publication. Approved: Stephen J. Hartnett
iv ACKNOWLEDG MENTS I would like to start by thanking the members of my thesis committee, Stephen J. Hartnett, Brian L. Ott, and Sonja K. Foss In addition I would like to recognize several professors who have had a significant impact on my academic career. To Stephen Hartnett, thank you for always encouraging my intellectual creativity; your level of dedication to success in and out of the classroom has re inspired my love of learning and solidified my commitment to social justice work y our mentorship and dedication to my success h as meant more than you could know To Brian Ott, thank you for your unyielding enthusiasm in every class Your level of energy, knowledge, and personal engagement is inspiring ; professors like you make students excited to learn. And to Hamilton Bean your enthusiasm for both learning and teaching is positively moving Thank you for your mentorship on my pursuit of peac eful methods; chapter 4 would not have been possible without your support. I wo uld also like to thank the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission for eight years of undergraduate and graduate funding. Because of this scholarship I have had the freedom to focus solely on my education; this has been a true privilege. In addition, I would like to than k the Puksta Foundation for the opportunity to work as a fellow in such a meaningful organization dedicated to socia l justice work locally and abroad. And last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my family, partner, friends, and M.A. cohort for their endless support. To my mother, thank you for your love and encouragement when life seemed too o verwhelming; to my sister Danya, thank you for your creative inspiration and love of art as story; to my A unt Marcelle, thank you for my first laptop which allowed me to write from home (a true gift); to my boyfriend Justin,
v thank you for always listening to my drafts and supporting my love of school at every turn. For all of you, I am grateful.
vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. MINDFULNESS AS A STARTING PLACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9/11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 A Brief History: The Afghanistan and Iraq Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 A fghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 I raq . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Research Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Data Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Significance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Outline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 II. PRO AND ANTI WAR FRAMEWORKS IN CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY BUDDHISM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 The Dharma and Principles of Peace and Non Violence that Structure War as Morally Wrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 A Rhetorical Structuring of the Buddhist Frameworks that Foster Mindfulness and Habitual Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Buddhist Frameworks that Structure War as Necessary . . . . . . . . . 37 The Use of Just War Theory War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 The Spiritual Cleansing of Practitioners and Laity, the Restoration of Purity, and the Establishment of Spiritual Superiority as a Pro War Framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 The Maintena nce of Social Order as a Pro War Framework . . . . . 44 The Promise of Spiritual Salvation in the Face of Armageddon as a Pro War Framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
vii Buddhist Pr o War Frameworks as Disc ourses that Foster Habitual Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 III. BUDDHIST REPSONSES TO 9/11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Pacifism as a Response to 9/11 and an Alternative to War . . . . . . . . 51 Compassion as a Response to 9/11 and an Alternative to War . . . . . . . 54 Blame as a Response to 9/11 and an Alternative to War . . . . . . . . . 58 Altruism as a Response to 9/11 and an Alternative to War . . . . . . . . 61 Summarizing Buddhist Post 9/11 Responses to War . . . . . . . . . . 63 IV. CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Summary of Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Interpretation and Implication of Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 7 Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Suggestions for Future Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 2 APPENDIX A. THE MINDFUL AND HABITUAL PRESERVATION OF H OME: A NON . 82
1 CHAPTER I MINDFULNESS AS A STARTING PLACE While I was ou t this summer for a stroll in my hometown of Durango, Colorado I got to thinking about my own internal wars and the loss of my relationship with my ex fianc. Thinking of my new relationship and the desire to create a loving space of growth, compassion, honesty and care, I decided that perusing the relationship/self help section at the local bookstore would not be a bad idea. In thumbing through several books on broken marriages and the loss of loved ones How to be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to M indful Loving focuses on lov e and the maintenance of healthy relationships, the author introduces the Buddhist concept of mindfulness a conc ept that I believe is the key not only to healthy intra and interpersonal relationships but als o to the well being of international diplomatic affairs. Additionally I realized that mindfulness has the potential to generate new ways of thinking about conflict resolutio n and war prevention Richo (2002) implores readers to see mindfulness as a close watching of the self in all internal and e xternal states and situations, focusing individuals on the present by liberating them from their mental habits of engaging with ego based fears, des ires, expectations, attachments, bia ses, and defenses Mindfulnes s, then is a calming of the mind and its many mental distractions so that an indivi dual may begin to focus on his or her sense of wisdom and compassion. According to Richo, t o be mindful is to be a witness rather than an actor requiring thoughtful awareness before action is taken In this sense, individuals can relate to what is happening in the outside world rather than being consumed by it. (p.15). Prominent Vietnamese Buddhist mon k Thich Nhat Hanh (1991) writes,
2 Entering t his space of quiet self reflection, Hanh argues, is h ow ind ividuals begin to know themselves fully. The word mindfulness is a misnomer as the act of being mindful requires an emptying of the mind not a filling of it (Richo, 2002) Because mindfulness requires exploring self awareness, meditation acts as its vehicle. M editation then, is not escapism but instead a se ttling of the mind so that a person may examine and let go of the layers of ego that hold individuals captive. Zen master Shunryu Suzuki (1970) explains pen enough to understand things as they are not as we want to them to be (p. 115). According to Richo (2002) and Suzuki (1970), this open state of knowing the self and the world allows for a healthy s tate of awareness and inner w isdom Richo (2002) sugge sts that a commitment to a life ex perience focused in mindfulness will not only allow individuals to be truthful with themselves but also with others While Richo and Suzuki encourage readers be present and aware in their daily lives, I should note that re alities are not based in any one singularity but in a multiplicity of knowing, understanding, and realizing as each individual has their own unique life experiences. In sitting with these spiritually rooted reflections on human interaction and purposefulne ss, I wondered h ow practices of mindfulness are created and per petuated in societies. B urgoon and Langer (1995) offer some answers in their article Language, Fallacie s, and Mindlessness Mindfulness in Social Interaction The authors posit that the majority of communication research involves concepts of mindfulness and mindlessness in v arious contexts T hrough language Burgoon and Langer believe examples of
3 mindlessness are taught, learned and reenacted thus perpetuating a cycle of mind less language, t hought processes and behaviors. The authors Mindlessness refers to both chronic and state conditions in which individuals consider available information and alternatives incompletely, rigidly, reflexively, and thoughtles ) This in turn produces mindless behavior, ultimately contributing to maladaptive physical, psychological, and behavioral states This routine use of mindless language can prompt fallacious reasoning as a result of information that is inco mplete, generali zed and unclear (Burgoon & Langer, 1995 ) Ultimately, Bur go o n and Langer argue that the conditions that create mindlessness are cyclical, perpetual, and can have negative consequences in society. To illustrate how mindless language is created and perpetuated, Burgoon and Langer (1995 ) offer four communicative tendencies that lead to their notion of mindlessness These tendencies include the pursuit of certainty, d ichotomization, over learning and habitual responding, and pre mature cognitive commitments. The first tenet, the pursuit of certainty su beliefs and behaviors diminish the need for a person to evaluate alternative ideas or consider new information. Facts are taken to be truths or lies, requiring little ne ed for deliberation. Because individuals begin to think in terms of bipolar opposites, a state of dichotomization sets in, providing them with clear choices of action. The use of bipolar phrases such as good and bad and right an d wrong make the decision process easier for individuals because these phrases already suggest some necessary course of action (Burgoon & Langer 1995 ). The third tendency of mindless communication, overlearning and habitual responding, draws connections b etween overlearning from repeated exposure to the same
4 given situations and habitual responses to similar circumstances requiring little deliberation on the respondent part. Similarly limited exposure to new information results in habitual processes when there is an un critical acceptance of the information provided. Information endorsed by figures of authority reduces motivation to question the inf ormation thus leading individuals to form premature cognitive commitments in their current state as wel l as in the future (Burgoon & Langer, 1995 ). The pursuit of certainty, dichotomization of words and concepts, overlearning and habitual responding, and the forming of premature cognitive commitments all contribute to what Burgoon and Langer (1995) call mi ndlessness a term that I find to be patriarchal, After analyzing the author claims of mindlessness as a process of black and white thinking (or dichotomization) I found the word m indlessness to bear with it superior and dominating over t ones indicating that those who deem words, actions, or thoughts as mindless are an example of righteous authority, ignoring the fact that all people have different ways of un derstanding the world th at are neither correct nor incorrect While an individual may not necessarily agree with particular actions or words on behalf of anot her, the disputed or questi oned actions and words of another do not mean they are mindless However, I do believe that the idea s of acritcal thinking and habitual responding associated with mindlessness are important to my argument. As scholars and people searching for better ways of living, communicating, and interacting, I believe tak ing a step back to assess the internal and external conditi ons that are unfolding in the world daily are important Therefore, I have chosen to use the phrase habitual processes instead of mindlessness as I believe this term offers communicative
5 possibi lities in situations of bla ck and white that could use a little more grey, or critical assessment and compassionate insight For the remainder of this paper, I will use the phrase habitual processes in place of s mindlessness For many, transitioning language, th oughts, and actions from a state of habitual processes to one of mindfulness can be difficult; thus, Burgoon and Langer (1995 ) recommend seven modes of restructuring language so that individuals may begin to speak, think, and act more mindfully. The author first argument suggests replacing dichotomized words and phrase use of static words, thoughts, and actions and instead employing communicative practices that are fluid, providing endless possibilitie s to the rhetor For example instead of perceiving situation s as being either A or B or C, the hope is that individuals begin to see A, B and C as part of a continuum This use of a fluid communicative practice can be enacted in language by using terms that are composite descriptors like A second alternative for mindful language modification is the use of conditionality in given contexts by using expression s one xpressions signal the listener to consider alternative understandings of the information provided. The t hird recommendation exemplifies the importance of context in everyda y communication. This allows individuals instead of truths Similarly the fourth remedy acknowledges context dependency and its value in descriptive assessment of particular situatio ns because different frames of reference may be more relevant to a part icular circumstance than others The fifth key to mindful ness in language recognizes the importance of specificity as it relates to similarities and
6 differences of individual subjects. As an example, Burgoon and Langer (1995 ) wri te, particularities of the flower. It suggests that previous knowledge about flowers is not specifi city allows for fewer generalizations to be made and moves individuals to consider alternative perspectives. In taking this thought one step further, the authors suggest reducing the use of anaphoric expressio ing detailed descriptors of the thoughts to which they refer. The final recommendat ion the authors make is that of intentionally switching modes of analysis from abstraction to a broader means of analysis and vice versa. This direction and redirection of the critical mind helps contextualize remarks made in conversation by suggesting alternative contexts. The authors use metaphor as an example, (Burgoo n & Langer, 1995 p. 125). Ultimately Burgoon and La nger advocate for more mindful practices in language. Using their s even remedies, the authors believe that what may have been unqualified truths can now be seen as sets of data open to analysis and critical t hinking. Moreover, when these steps are employed then a rguments based in fallacious reasoning ar e open to assessment so that individuals may find their own sense of rationality instead of relying upon habituated thought processes Assessing (2002) concept of mindfu lness as a practice that frees people from their mental confines, thus allowing an embrace of the self and others and Burgo on (1995) understanding of mindfulness as a means of breaking free from language that misinforms and misguides individu als I contemplated how these pra ctice s
7 could be applied to larger conflicts and sociopolitical situations In reflecting on the events of September 11 th I recall witnessing a sense of urgency and fear in response to the terrorist attacks Society began c onflating terms like terrorist with Muslim and Arab Former President Bush regularly made references to the War on Terror as a war of good vs. evil implying a clear mode of recourse for those blinded by anger or fear (1995) account of dichotomization as a means of language appealing to particular intended outcomes On September 12, 2001, headlines across the nation read Vows to Strike B seum, 2014 ). I believe that t he use of such language and violent imagery reported in the media slowly began to infiltrate American psyche, creating visions of terror meant to s erve as propaganda for a larger national agenda war. This acritical digestion of such propaganda fueled habituated thought processes in some Americans. I had many friends who believed the narratives of fear and hatred they were being fed, causing in them angst and need for reprisal. This need for punish ment of the other that had i nflicted such h arm to their American home highlighted for me the lack of compassion and critical thi nking missing from political discourse Where was that awareness we so desperately needed? In sitting with these thoughts, I could not hel p but wonder, th en, what the response to the September 11 th attacks would have been if American citizens and U.S. government leaders had paused, sat in silence, and practiced mindfulness to its fullest before responding? Furthermore, I questi oned if the post 9/11 War on T error was a war of true defense or a war of aggression? These questions le d me to ponder the application of mindful, Buddhist rhetoric as alternative response s to war. I wanted to k now what anti
8 war messages were being sent to the public and U.S. and inter national policy m akers from Buddhists advocating for responsive measures of compassion and peace. In hoping to understand the reactive and aggressive measures that have now left the U.S. and several Middle East ern nations in a state of heart ache, loss, eco nomic turmoil, and general environmental chao s, I examine the structures of Buddhist an ti war discourses and their complex war histories to discover how these enlightened discourses of compassion and peace could be deployed to create more productive future s in war prevention While I began this journey as a critic, the mor e I read on Buddhism and its fundamental teachings, the more I believed in the productive and enlightened attributes of Buddhist thought and the less I wanted to criticize its discourse or the discourse of its spiritual leaders. As such, the following chapters oscillate between my critiques as a communication scholar and those assessments made as a spiritual believer in support of peaceful and compassionate Buddhist doctrine 9/11 On the morning of September 11, 2001, I sat at my desk in my 8 th grade history class not understanding the televised devastation that w as unfolding before me. As a 12 year old girl, the implications of the 9/11 terrorist atta cks were unclear I did not know what was happening, nor did I really care. I was several states away, in Colorado, where this trage dy physically did not touch me or affect any of the people I knew or loved. It was not until the next day when my little sister came home from school in tears tha t I began to feel the backlash of what had happened. Just days after the attack, one of my th grade classmates told her that he was going to bring a shotgun to school and kill her for being Arab. Up until this point, my peers, friend s, teachers, and even strangers
9 appreciated and welcomed my d iverse heritage as a young Arab American female. But on this day, I knew that people would begin to see me and my family differently. While my sister and I were two of several thousand Arab Americans feeling the repercussions of the September 1 1th events, others throughout the U.S. were experiencing traumas of their own. O ver 3,000 civilians and 400 police officers and f irefighters were killed that day nother several thousand were left without mothers, fathers, brothers, siste rs, friends, and partners The Indianapolis Star called September 11 th the As a young 12 year old girl, I did not understand the implications of the attacks; only now in my older years am I able to understand the horror that would forever be part of global history. To American policy makers the attacks of September 11 th were not only an attack o n Western ideals and the U.S. government but also an attack on the American family, the soldier, the home, and working men and women of the nation ; thus, swift action was necessary O n September 20, 2001, in his State of the Union address, President Bush announced the commencement of t he War on Terror. The former president implored U.S. citizens to take a stand against terrorism and to seek vengeance for the perpetrators responsible for the heartrending e vents of 9/11. Foreshadowing the long and arduous road ahea d, the p O ur response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen ( Bush, 2001, p. 2 ). In deed this battle was and continues to be u nlike any other war As a result of President e War on Terror, sever al military operations have been launched under the guise of terror prevention
10 most notably, the Iraq and Afghani stan wars In its idealized and packaged form, the War on Terror was sold as a U.S. led initiative to eliminate al Qae da and all other terrorist regimes in the hopes of maintaining democratic ideals of security, freedom, justi ce, and peace. Ultimately, President Bu sh was promising to defend Americ an fortitude What was perhaps unf oreseen was over a decade of international unrest into what Mark Danner calls the forever war (Danner, 2005) A Brief History : The Afghanistan and Iraq Wars Afghanistan On October 7, 2001, the Bush administration commenced Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan a U.S. led initiative to remove al Qaeda and the Taliban from power At the time, the Talib an had control of the majority of Afghani land. Joining fo rces with Osama b i n Lad ( al Qaeda ) the two parties sought to eliminate Western practice s in Afghanistan, including music, t elevision, sports, and dance Furthermore, Afghani women were banned from appearin g in public or holding a job outside of the home ( Revolutionary Associati on of the Women of Afghanistan [ RAWA ], n.d.) Not only were these oppressive practices upsetting to the democratic val ues of the U.S. but the Bu sh administration believed the re to be an undeniable tie among Osama bi n Laden, the Taliban and the September 11 t h terrorist attacks ( Wintour et al. 2001) In acting upon this belief, President Bush gave an international address just days after September 11 th giving the Taliban several ult imatums t o which they were to comply para. 5). These demands included the delivery of all al Qaeda leaders to the U.S., the
11 release of impris oned foreign nationals the closure of every terrorist training camp, and U.S. access to all terrorist training camps for inspection ( ultimatum Wintour et al. 2001). Rejecting these demands on the basis on the ep tember 11 th attacks, Abdul Salam Zaeef f there is no evidence and proof, we're not prepared to giv ( Kempster & Marshall, 2001, para. 3) While the ruse of international negotiations was at play, the U.S. was simultaneously preparing for war. In October, 2001, troops moved into the city of Kabul, beginning the While the Bush administration manage d to temporarily squash Taliban activity in Afghanistan, terrorist organizations still ra n rampant incursion abroad Following Afghanistan, the nation has s een numerous surg es of U.S. soldier s deployed onto Afghani soil. Following in the footsteps of President Bush, in 2009, President Barack Obama called for yet another increase in troops. Initially requesting an additional 30,00 0 troops to the 33,000 already standing only a fraction was approved by Congress ( Start of Afghanistan 2009 2010 ). However, i n June 2011, President Obama announced that several thousand troops would be withdraw n so that the U.S. focus on nation Today, the Obama administration uses the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Unit ed States as a means to enforce American governm ent ideals abroad The document establishes among other principles, the importance of the protection and promotion of democratic values, the advancement of
12 long term security, and the push for social and economic development ( U.S. Department of State n. d .). While this agreement presupposes the betterment of Afghanistan, it has proven to be a catastrophe as 2014 headline s still reflect the damages of the War on Terror. An example of these damages can be seen in The Hindu March 8, 2014 headliner, Blast in Afghanistan Kills District G overnor the Afghani nation is unending. As a result of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan, both the U.S. and Afghanistan have seen grave losses economically, socially, and politically. According to very hour, taxpayers in the United S tates are paying $10.45 million for the cost of w ar in Afghanistan Additionally, C ost s of Wa r (2011a ) estimates that between 16,725 and 19,013 Afghani civilians have been killed since the beginning of Operation Enduring F reedom Afghanistan In 2004, just a couple of years into the war, the life expectancy of an Afghani civilian was 42 years of age; furthermore, only 25% of children were expected to live past the a ge of five. Due to the extreme environmental and social damage as a result of the war, poverty, malnutrition, and diminished access to clean water and health care have been exacerbated. This state of national degradation is what the humanitarian relief com (Costs of War 2011 a, para. 5 ). th anniversary reporters account ed for the deaths of m ore than 2,700 U.S. troops and their W estern partners (CNN Wire Staff, 2011). Of those deaths 1,780 we re American, 382 were British and 157 were Canadian. beginning the number of casualties has risen exp onentially with a significant jump in deaths between 2008 and 2009. Approximately 29 6 coalition troops died in 2008; this number rose in 2009 when an
13 additional 517 coalition troops were kill ed. That year, President Obama authorized a su rge of 33,000 U.S. soldiers to diffuse the violence (CNN Wire Staff, 2011) These decisions ultimately le d to more deaths for both Afghanistan and the U.S. In 2001, a t the beginning of the U.S led military campai gn polls conducted by Gallup USA Today and CNN reported that 88% of Americans thought that the U.S. should take military action in retaliation for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pe ntagon ( AEI Studies in Public Opinion 2008). However, as the war drew on, citizens began to question U.S. motives and rationale. Between the s tart of the war in 2001 and 2011, thousands of American and international citizens have protested the Afghanistan War U n fortu nately, regardless of the voices of the people, Operation Enduring Freedom was only the beginning of other international invasions to come because as Buddhist history will show, violence only begets violence. Iraq Claiming that Sa ddam Hussein could launch nuclear warfare on America o n March 20, 2003, the U.S. commenced armed conflict in Iraq Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq War, 2013) The Bush administration argued that this war was founded on the basis Prior to this launch, however, the Bush Administration requested the work of the Office of Special Plans (OSP) headed by Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, to find evidence that fulfilled s pro war needs (Alexandrova, 2005; Hersh, 2003) In a New Yorker special on the pre war invasion of Iraq, j ournalist Seymour Hersh suggests that the OSP was created in order to find evidence that support ed the accusation of Se cretary of Defense Donald Rumsfled
14 regarding that supported Saddam Hussein with Al Qaeda and Iraq arsenal of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons (WMDs) (Hersh, 2003) U.N. inspections then took place, searching for evidence that would validate these claims ( Iraq War, 2013) However, before the U.N. i nspections committee could complete its investigation, the Bush administration lau nched the Iraq War According to U.S. A rmy General Tommy Franks, t he objectives of the invasion were to: First, end the regime of Saddam Hussein. Second, to identify, isolate and e destruction. Third, to search for, to capture and to driv e out terrorists from that country. Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can related to terrorist networks. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction. Sixth, to end sanctions an d to immediately deliver humanitarian support to the displaced and to oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people. And last, to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative self government (Sale & Kahn, 2003, para. 3) The belief that the U.S. is the savior of this nation, restoring order and bringing justice to the land, is one of an excepti onalist attitude. These objectives clearly outline who the mission is for, with America being first on the list of objectives and Iraq last This ordering also foreshadow s an interest of capital gain in that is to secure the oil fields, with Iraqi soil holding the second largest oil reserves in the world (Global Policy Forum 2014). s is still being implored to assure both troops and citizens of the n ecessity of U.S. forces in Iraq. Ultimately, t his mission is one of gain not of aid. hat little remained of the Hussein regime fell on April 13, 2003 ( Iraq War, 2013) On May 1, 2003, President
15 Bush gave a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln located off the San United States and our allies have prevai (Cline, 2013). In essence, the p resident was announcing victory as a result of the swift defeat of initial Iraqi forces in the first few months of the war. However, a s a result of Iraqi leaders fled into hiding ( Iraq War, 2013). O n December 13, 200 3, Sadda m Hussein was captured by U.S. forces and was later convicted of crimes against humanity This sentence resulted in his execution on December 30, 2006 ( Iraq War, 2013) egime and Saddam himself, the Iraqi nation was left in a very unstable state Waves of looting, severe violence and criminal activity bro ke out as acts of reprisal against the former ruling party ( Iraq War, 2013). This violence was mainly directed at go vernment offices, public institutions, and occupying troops. As a result full scale guerrilla warfare ensued causing civil war in Iraq The next several years were met wit h exp onentially rising death tolls as the U.S. desperately sought to introduce a democratic government by way of violence, resulting in further civil unrest ( Iraq War, 2013). In January 2007, in response to the growing chaos, President Bush announced a plan to temporarily increase the numbe r of U.S. troops in Iraq by more than 20,000 As a result of this new insurgency, 2007 was the deadliest year for U.S. forces. As the year progressed, however, a drop in violence left U.S. p olicy makers hopeful and led to the withdrawal of a number of the additional troops ( Iraq War, 2013, p. 5) I n November 2008 the U.S. and Iraq approved the U.S. Iraq Status of Force Agreement that redefined the legal framework for U.S. military activi ty in Iraq an d set a timetable for with drawal
16 of U.S. forces. Under this agreement, U.S. tro ops were scheduled to leave Iraqi cities by mid 2009, with a complete withdrawal of troops by December 31, 2011 ( Iraq War, 2013) This projected timetable would b e expedited with the election of President Barack Obama. Indeed, i n February 2009 President Obama announced that combatant U.S. forc es would be withdrawn by August 31, 2010, with the remaining troops due to pull out by the end of 2011 (Baker, 2009) On A ugust 18, 2010, the last co mbat brigade withdrew from Iraq while 50,000 U.S. soldiers remained in Iraq to act as a transitional force ( Engel Gubash & Johnson 2010) As part of this ending, transitional act, Operation Iraqi Freedom was renamed Operation New Dawn a U.S. governmental initiative wherein the remaining 50,000 U.S. service members conduct ed stability operations, transitioning from what on ce was a U.S. military presence to one that is predominantly civilian ( Operation New Dawn, n.d.) This op eration ended on December 15, 2011, formally concluding the Iraq War (Ryan & Markey, 2011). The c onsequences of the Iraq War were vast and devastating. Like the Afghanistan War, the cost o f war in Iraq ( The National Priorities Project 2014 ). Additionally, Cost s of War estimates the death of between 123,000 and 134,000 Iraq i civilians (2011b) A s of February 2013 an estimated 6,650 American civilians have died as a result of both the Afg hanistan and Iraq wars combined (Costs of War 2011 c ) Moreover, the Central Statistics Organization (2011) estimates that between 800,000 and a million Iraqi children have lost one or both parents In a 2008 report by the International Organization for Migration, the agency reported the internal displacement of roughly 2.8 million Iraqi citizens and over two million Iraqi refugees, resulting in a tot al of five million internally
17 and externally displaced citizens Consequences of this d isplacement include the lack of potable water, health car e, education, electricity, access to food, and other basic services. Furthermore, c holer a had become a regular epidemic (Glanz & Grady, 2007). Hartnett and Stengrim (2006) report that the overwhelming destruction of Ir infrastructure will result in U.S. corporations gaining hundreds of millions of dollars in profit for the next several dec made chaos. In the U.S., post 9/11 war veterans face d problems of their own. An estimated 2 03,000 veterans were unemployed in February 2013; in 2012 that number totaled 154,000 (Briggs, 2013) From these data sets of both Iraqi and U.S. war time consequences, I have concluded that the War on Terror never had a winner but instead inflicted gra ve losses on all It is this realization that has inspired me to turn to Buddhist practice s of mindfulness not only for a new lens through which societies can adopt compassionate modes of living in times of conflict but also as a means of preventing future wa r and all of its associated losses Research Design Data I have examined a combination of 5 0 classic and contemporary resources in order to discover the religious structures that undergird Buddhist discourses that both advocate for and protest against war Many of these texts illustrate how these religious frameworks and Buddhist war tenets relate to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Beca use I use rhetorical history as my methodological approach I have examined a combination of book and book chapters, post 9/11 articles from the Buddhist magazine Tricycle academic and lay articles, and news reports and newspaper articles in order to show the
18 development of Buddhist war discourse in classic and contemporary times. In Chapter 2, my sources of data mainly consist of scholarly books, book chapters, and academic articles which I have consulted in order to develop a rhetorical history of the main tenets of Buddhist thought as they relate to war. These data illustrate the discour ses t hat have traditionally reinforced pro and anti war thought through the use of discursive devices like the Buddhist Dharma and other canonic texts, the teachings of the Buddha and other prominent Buddhist figures, and Buddhist folklore which is still used as a contemporary method of instilling norms of moral conduct into practitioners. In addition, t hese data range in length and date as contemporary teachings of the Buddhist Dharma are similar to those prescribed when Buddhism became a religion nearly 2,500 years ago. My goal in Chapter 2, then, is to provide a broad overview of classic Buddhist religious frameworks to illustrate religious Buddhist thought that is still prevalent in contemplating war, violence, and peace Where as Chapter 2 offers a sweeping map of Buddhist religious discourses regarding war and peace, i n Chapter 3, my sources of data are mainly comprised of lay magazine articles, news reports and news articles that were written by prominent Buddhists following the attacks of September 11 th to illustrate the use of foundational Buddhist discourses in contemporary war time situations. One key source of data in this chapter is a special series excerpted from the Buddhist magazine Tricycle entitled th : Practice and Perspectives wherein eight influential Buddhist leaders express their outlooks on 9/11 and suggest various paths of response to the War on Terror. My goal in Chapter 3 is to outline the main Buddhist responses to the War on Terror as they are indicative of the foundational tenets discovered in Chapter 2,
19 illustrating a perpetuation of classic Buddhist discourses relating to war, violence, and peace. Data Analysis As my research is interested in both the classic and contemporary d i scourses that construct Buddhist pro and anti war rhetoric, I will be using rhetorical history as my methodology to explain Buddhist phenomena relating to violence, war, and norms of morality and spirituality. R hetorical history is the study of the historical effects o f Analyzing the distinction between rhetorical discourse /criticism and rhetorical history, Turner (1998) suggests that if seeks to understand the context through the messages that reflect and construct that rhetorical history is interes ted in assessing the rhetorical foundations of particular communicative events so as to provide an understanding of and an appreciation for rhetoric as a process rather than a product of discourse (Turner, 1998). Turner further explains ory is a social construction not only in the sense that rhetorical processes constitute historical processes but also in the sense that (p. 8). Developing rhetorical history to map Buddhist pro and anti war rhetoric, I assess how Buddhist discourse s have r einforced norms of violence, war and/or peace. Moreover, my analysis points to the power of this discourse to transform the self via practices of mindfulness, compassion, altruism, and pacifism To understand how these discourses are created and perpetuated within a rhetorical history framework Zarefsky (1998) suggests four kinds of inquiry. These four
20 hetoric, the rhetoric of history, historical studies of rhetorical practice, and rhetorical studies of historical events. F or the purposes of my study, sense s one and four are the most significan t, thus are the senses that I will focus upon The first sen se (the history of rhetoric), entails studying the principles of discourse which, according to Zarefsky (1998) includes the study of principles that have been developed in societies and eras from classic to contemporary times thus helping individuals and societies understand their states of knowledge (p. 26) This sense is exemplified in Chapter 2 where I illustrate historic Buddhist discourses primarily outlined in re ligious texts and narratives that date back to the beginning of Buddhism as a religio n nearly 2,500 years ago (1998) fourth sense (the study of historical events from a rhetorical perspective), is elusive in that the study of a historical sub ject can be interpreted in a multiplicity of w ays depending on the historian and his or her purpose for conducting the research. As an intellectual interested in the evolution of communication and communicative practices Zarefsky (1998) argues that for sc holars like me, history is as a series of rhetorical problems [and] situations that call for public persuasion This fourth sense is critical for my research as my interest in Chapter 3 is to disco ver the Buddhist rhetorical frameworks that undergird Buddhist responses following the attacks of September 11 th to show h ow concepts like mindfulness and compassion have and can be used in conflict resolution
21 Significance My study is significan t for several reasons. I believe that this research has the potential to restructure the way language is used so that individuals may be more inclined to engage in more mindful practice s and less in habituated processes My hope is that this use of mindfulness w ill encourage compassionate modes of speaking, thinking, and behaving that can be applied in nationa l conflict s to prevent future war s While governments choose to engage in war for a number of reasons, some of which include fear, future war prevention re taliation, defense t he attainment of land and valuable resources, and the cultural colonization of groups for the of others, I believe that the majority o f wars coul d be prevented if both parties the initiator and the retaliator pause d to thi nk of not only th e consequences of their actions but also the basis for war and its consequences This self reflexive time among government leaders and citizens would create room for mindful ways of speaking, thinking and behaving in potential war situations Ultimately my hope is that Buddhist practices of mindfulness and compassion will allow f or fewer wars to be fought, fewer lives to be lost, and more utopian and humanitarian ways of co existing to be developed Outline This study unfold s in f our chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the study, which includes 9/11 and the War on Terror; defining mindfulness from both a spiritual and scholarly perspective; contextual foregrounding of concepts pertinent to my study; my research question; a research desi gn section which describes my data and methodologies used for data analysis ; the significance of my study ; and an outline of the chapters Chapter 2 develops a rhetorical framework of Buddhist tenets of war and peace based on
22 examining how traditional Buddhist discourses and practices act as both a device that supports and opposes war. Chapter 3 offers a rhetorical structuring of Buddhist respons es to the attacks of September 11th Chapter 4 is a concluding chapter that summari ze s my findings and discuss es Buddhist prin ciples of compassion and mindfulness and their application as a means of future war prevention This final chapter also include s a limitations section and suggestions for future research. As a supplemental text, m y appendix includes a chapter I have written on mindful practices and the preservation of a Zen Center that many live in practiti oners called home While I did not feel like my autoethnographic account of mindfulness at the Zen Center quite fit with this t hesis as it makes no reference to war and/or peaceful discourses, I have included this chapter as an appendix to show readers how mindfulness can be enacted in daily practice.
23 CHAPTER II PRO AND ANTI WAR FRAMEWORKS IN CLASSIC AND CONTEMPROARY BUDDHISM A t its fundamental level Buddhism opposes violence and war ; h owever, various Buddhist sects justify war as a means of preservation, salvation, and maintenance of the Buddhist Dharma To make sense of this apparent contradiction at t he heart of Buddhism, in this chapter I examine the religious tenets that have traditionally condemned acts of violence as well as fostered the m. T his chapter is broken up into two sections. T he first addresses the tenet s structuring Buddhist discourses th at deem war inh erently wrong and the second section outlines the tenets of just war theory in Buddhism followed by an explanation of the larger religious frameworks that deem war necessary and productive to society Each section includes religious and sc holarly examples that act in support of either claim followed by my critical analysis of the mindfulness or habitual processes of those p ractices as they relate to peaceful discourses My objective is to highlight those religious frameworks that promote mindful speech, thought, and behavior thus propose how such actions could be productive in war prevention The Dharma and Principles of Peace and Non Violence that Structure War as Morally Wrong He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me. Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred. Dhammapada, v. 3 All tremble at violence, all fear death. Comparing one self with o thers, one should neither kill nor cause to kill. Dhammapada, v. 129 He who has renounced violence tow ards all living beings, weak or strong, who neither kills nor causes others to kill, him do I recall a holy man. Dhammapada, v. 405 (Keown, 2005, p. 71)
24 At its most basic level, most mainstream versions of Buddhism condemn war as an evil and attest to it s futility in gaining a meaningful resolution to any conflict ( Brummans & Hwang, 2010 ; Ferguson, 1978 ; Hanh, 1991 ; Jayasuriya, 2009 ; Keown, 2005 ; McTernan, 2003 ; Neumaier, 2004 ; Premasiri, 2003; Queen, 2007 ). While various sects of the Buddhist tradition d iffer in some of the ir religious convictions, most Buddhist traditions contain the same fundamental teachings on violence and war Within the Dharma the teachings of Buddha, the Four Noble Truths, the Five Precepts and the Eightfold Path offer remedies to the co ndition of human suffering and pro pose peaceful ways of existing and coexisting in the world. One of the main concepts in understanding Buddhism is the first of the F our Noble Truth s : that all life is suffe ring. For many Buddhists, suffering is understood not only as a personal experience wherein individuals are plagued by feelings of for more but also a condition that affects societies at l arge (Neumaier, 2004 ; Premasiri, 200 3 ; Queen, 2007 ). Poverty, social injustices, wa r, and the cruelty of humans have caused most contemporary Buddhists to practice nonviolence, generosity, compassion, and selflessness as a collective practice intended to help minimize world suffering and off er spiritual gestures of love and compassion in place of pain (Queen, 2007). According to the Dharma, suffering can be re medied in a few prescribed ways, including : abstaining from harming other sentient beings; practicing lovingkindness, compassion, sympa thy, joy, and equanimity; learning to be selfless and interdependent; devoting the self to a paradigm of e nlightenment and liberation; adhering to the steps of right action, speech, and livelihood, as outlined in the Eightfold Path;
25 allowing a n openness so that individuals may achieve inner peace; and a devotion to the Buddhist Dharma and its moral leaders ( Ferguson, 1978; Queen, 2007 ). In the pledge to right action, one of the steps prescribed in the Eightfold Path, practitioners can find the guiding doctrines that are designed to protect all sentient beings from harm or injury (Queen, 2007). This principle of non harm or injury to others can be found in the first of the five precepts: abstention from taking life. In one of the ea rly special hell, since at the moment of death their minds are intent on killing (Keown, 2005, p. 70). For Buddhists, this idea of intent is central to the law of karma the belief that current life is shaped by the acts of the preceding one s; thus, B uddhist ethics of non harming are grounded in the belief that harmful intentions, which are necessary for acts of violence and war, have neg ative karmic consequences (King, 2000; Neumaier, 2004). According to Keown (2005), killing or harm to others is bad karma even in cases of self defense or the defense of others. In essence, harming another ultimately harms the self as this karma will negat ively affect an individual in his or her spiritual life (Neumaier, 2004). Whether or not the concept of karma is a means of checks and balances that constitutes the continuance of negative or positive life cycles is contested by many. K arma then, is prima rily viewed as either a reality that will constantly affect the self or as an allegory for interdependence. In both cases, f oundational Buddhist philosophies necessitate an adherence to spiritual frameworks that offer a mindful means of response from viol ent acts.
26 Through the adherence to, and devotion of the Dharma and its foundational doctrines of peace rather than violence, practiti oners are not only attempting to alleviate their own personal suffering but also the suffering of others. Queen (2007) wri tes, The ethical implications of these doctrines have been obvious to Buddhists through the ages: realization of the impermanence and interdependence of selves in society and nature entails the deepest respect for all. To tear this [ interconnectedness of individuals] through violence entails dire consequences. (p. 22) Similarly, Peter Harvey, according to Jayasuriya (2009), summarizes the Buddhist attitude toward war and conflict stating that non violence and peace are foundational characteristics of t he Buddhist paradigm. T hese characteristics act as rich resources in times when conflict resolution is needed. Harvey further suggests that B uddhism is a unique religion in that instances of right eous wars are fought with ideas and the message of peace is de livered without as quoted in Jayasuriya, 2009, p. 428). insights of Buddhism ignore the realities of war in countries like Tibet, Burma, and Sri Lanka, Harvey and Queen attempt to capture the essence of traditional Buddhist discourse that love, restraint, and compassion offer solace in an age of suffering For many Buddhists like Thich Nhat Hanh, this age of suffering i s grounded in political, spiritual, and cultural movements that are being directed with violence creating death and fueling hatred and anger. Thich Nhat Hanh, according to McTernan (2003), believes that the fundamental principle of not killing requires th at practiti oners develop a spiritual observance, allowing them the freedom to disband in ner hatred and instead obtain patience and lovingkindness even in the face of adversity. Through conflict, Hanh argues, individuals have the opportunity to learn more a bout themselves and others:
27 skill and patience world conflicts can be resolved non as quoted in McTernan, 2003, p. 49). Like Hanh, t he historic Buddha Siddhartha Guatama made anti violent rhetoric part of his spiritual teachings. The Bu ddha regularly encouraged peace and productive alternatives, demonstrating the futility in waging war (Deegalle, 2009; Premasiri, 2003). In t he Dhammapada 130 (a canonical Buddhist text) the Buddha said, one is afraid of violence; every one likes li fe. If one compares self with others, one (Ferguson, 1978, p. 47). This concept relates no t only to what is understood today as the also bears with it implication s of the responsibility that people have to one another and to themselves collective respect and harmony can never shine unless people first respect themselves and find solace within Many Buddhist scholars argue that societal disharmony and conflict arise when (Deegalle, 2009 ; Keown, 2005; McTernan, 2003; Queen, 2007 ). As an example, i n several classic narratives of war and its causes, Buddhist texts note the ruin of civiliz creating a devastating environment for societies and their people (Deegalle, 2009; Ferguson, 1978; Premasiri, 2003). One such instance of the ineffectiveness of war is repre sented in the Buddhist tale of the River Rohini In this story two kingdoms fought for the rights to use the waters of the River Rohini. During their quarrelling, the Buddha intervened Why on account of some water of little worth would you dest roy the invaluable lives of these soldiers, [and the Buddha goes on to caution that] victory arouses enmity and [only] The
28 tale of the River Rohini illustrates the complications of emotionally motiv ated human states as a result of the biological drive fo r resources in times of scarcity An e xamp le of this strife can be seen in years of civil unrest in Pakistan and India for the rights to fruitful land ( Choudhury 2010) In more current even ts, the War on Terror, particularly in Iraq, has been said to have be en a war waged for the att ainment of oil, as Iraq holds the second largest oil reserves in the world (Global Policy Forum, 2014) making the tale of the River Rohini yet another allegory for the human condition Most classic and contemporary Buddhist literature makes references to the psychological states of greed, hate, and delusion as these states are believed to be the emotional underpinnings of violence and aggre ssion ( Keown, 2005; McTernan, 2003; Queen, 2 007 ). Keown (2005) argues that a consequence of these strong negative, emotional states is a need for self defense causing in a person a new emotional drive rooted in aggression These feeling s are further exace rbated by the false belief that individuals needs to protect themselves from others who are deemed threatening in the wake of agitation. It is i n these states of negative, emotional drive s that people begin to feel internal suffering and/ or project that su ffering onto others. Therefore, the Eightfold Path prescribed in the Dharma acts as an instrumen t of moral grounding so that individual s may gain wisdom, mental strength, and learn restraint in order to reduce the emotional and worldly energies that cause suffering (Neumaier, 2004). Buddhists believe that on c e individual s begin to relinquish their egocentric preoccupations people can begin to appreciate a kinship with other human beings. Queen (2007) suggests that through lovingkindness, generosity, and wi sdom, human beings can conquer the negative
29 emotional states of greed, hate, and delusion, thus alleviating the precursors to anger and violence. One such Buddhist practice designed to cultivate good will towards the self and others is that of metta bhavana o r lovingkindness meditation ( Ferguson, 1978 ; Queen, 2007 ). For many Buddhists scholars this state of mindfulness through meditation is the foundational practice in Buddhist nonviolence (Hanh, 1991; Ferguson, 1978; McTernan, 2003 ). In conjunction (sympathy for those in pain), joy (appreciating the good fortune of others), and help individuals to cultivate attitudes of positivity, relinquishing binding negative tendencies that afflict the self and others (Queen, 2007, 19). However, a focusing in o n the self is needed before a person can positi vely impact others Ferguson (1978) recounts the following metta mantra: May I be free from enmity, May I be free from ill will, May I be free from distress, May I keep myself happy. ( p. 48) This act of meditation serves as a mental and emotional tool assisting individuals in the calming of their mind s thus teaching the importanc e of self soothing and restraint This use of self re straint or inner directed force is designed to help alleviate these p sychological states of greed, hate, and delusion that foster violence In the past, the terms violence and force have been misguidedly conflated. The term f orce in Buddhist discipline is morally neutral as it relates to the restraint of individual s on themselves for the purposes of enlightened living (Keown, 2005). Therefore the use of force in traditional Buddhist practices is directed at the individual
30 not at society or others (Deegalle, 2009; Premasiri, 2003). The Buddha teaches practiti oners to restrain the five senses in order to progress in the path of enlightenment. This particular instruction is important a s it demonstrates the religious expectation that individuals are to demonstrate strong self control in order to be free of persuasions and enticements. This self restraint or force come s in the form of adherence to the Dhar ma and its practices so that peop le may ultimately live a life free from suffering and alleviate the suffering of othe rs. As such, the Dharma serves as a recipe for self realization through self control, a dampening of the senses, and the defusing of internal and external conflicts. Throu negative behaviors can be harnessed and therein lies the pote ntial for inner and outer peace. The concept of peace is central to both historic and contempor ary forms of Buddhist teachings At its basic level, peace must begin with a transformation within an individual As noted in Deegalle (2009), the Dhammapada One may conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men, yet he is the best conqueror who conqu erors When individual s find their own inner peace, letting go of craving, agitation, sufferin g and aggression, then both they and society at large feel contentment (Queen, 2007). Teachi ngs such as the ones noted above have earned the Buddha his title as the king of peace, or santiraja as well as show the contradiction in Buddhist narratives of pride and opposing philosophies that teach a relinquishing of ego. This contradiction is exemplified in the following example: In meeting the Buddha for the first time, a local Brahmin praises the Buddha, exclaiming: You deserve to be a king, an emperor the lord of chariots, whose conquests reach to the limits of the four seas . Warriors and wealthy kings are de voted to you exercise your royal power as a king of kings a chief of men!
31 The Buddha replied: I am a king . supreme King of the Teaching of Truth; [but] I turn the wheel of peaceful means this wheel is irresistible (Queen, 2007, p. 16) In this instance, the Buddha is declaring himself a supreme k ing and the teacher of truth. Classic fables such as this one illuminate the contradiction of Buddhism as a religion that looks past the self, while, in fact, solely focuses on the self Nevertheless, I believe that while contradiction lies at the heart of Buddhi sm (like it does with any religion or philosophy), that Buddhism intends to promote peace within the self so that this peace can be realized in societies. For most Buddhists observance of the steps in the Eightfold Path offers practitioners prescribed to ols as a means of promoting inner and outer peace In the step of right action inner and outer peace stem from the other steps of right living. In his observance of the Eightfold Path, Thich Nhat Hanh according to Queen (2007 ) suggest s that right views establish a framework for meditative and ethical practice, while right aspiration and right effort motivate followers to sustain Buddhist pract ice. In r ight mindfulness practiti oners are encouraged to seek new enlightened attitudes that can later be appli ed to situations relationships and moment to moment living. Thus, in right concentration practiti oners move from simply performing peace to being peace ( Queen, 2007, p. 20). Through the se conscious manifestations of right livi ng outlined in the Eightfol d Path Buddhist followers are provided with instruments to guide them in their personal embodiment of peace, even when obtaining societal peace may not be an easy task. In discus sing compassion as a pillar of world peace, His Holiness the 14 th Dalai Lama of Tibet (n.d. a) advocates for real love and compassion as altruistic characteristics
32 that can ultimately bring peace to societies on a global level Real love, His Holiness argues, is not based in attachments or egocent ric bearings because t hese attachments to people or objects may one day fade, and feelings may change Real love then is based in altruism; the same is true of genuine compassion. These peaceful traits remain responsive to the conditions of human suffering and as such, are i nterested in the well being of communities. The Dalai Lama The kind of love we should advocate [for] is this wider love that you can have even for some one who has d one harm to you: your enemy (para. 19) When individuals are faced with adversity and su bsequently lose control over their minds, though ts, and behaviors, clear judgment is compromised and anything could happen, including war. It is then, His Holiness argues, that the practices of compassion and real love in communities have the opportu similar sentiments founded in love as a recipe for peace. However, these discourses are in itself a habituated process of language, though t, a nd actions. While the repetitious rhetoric of love as a cure all is hopeful and beautiful, these discourses have also proven to be paralytic in nations like China India, and Tibet. Is the case, then, that such messages of love and peace are perpetuate d because human beings live in a system of hopelessness fostered by so many negative human conditions that perpetuate violence? In turning to t he Dhammapada the basic social rules of behavior and good will toward others are noted as follows : Anger must be overcome by the absence of anger; Evil must be overcome by good; Greed must be overcome by liberty; Lies must be over come by truth. (Ferguson, 1978, p. 46)
33 These messages of benevolence suggest a positive alternative to those negative emotional states that ultimately breed violence. Labenek and Hrdina (2012) argue that peace can never be built upon domination and oppression. For this reason, initiating war and violent means of authority almost al ways en d in some form of destruction. Explain ing this concept further, the authors assert, only deepens the cause for further conflict and does not truly resolve the pandemic of violence as violence only b Similarly, the Dalai Lama (n.d.b) argues that building military systems as means to preserve peace serves as a temporary measure. As long as there is a lack of trust and good will towards others, there remains a multiplicity of factors that could upset the balance of power peace of any lasting measure can be secured only in genuine trust (His Holiness, n.d.b). One example of violence breeding more violence can be seen in the historic reign of Mao in China. In discussing s political power the Dalai Lama, as cited in McTerna n (2003), posits gun barrel. The Dalai Lama acknowledges that violence, then, only meets short term objectives but ultimately has long last that as quoted in McTernan, 2003 p. 49 ). Un just government systems and social institutions that compromise people s being only end in a cycle of hate, delusion, and greed, further perpetuating mistrust and violence.
34 A Rhetorical Structuring of the Buddhist Frameworks that Foster Mindfulness and Habituated Processes The previous section examined the dominant r eligious tenets that oppose violence and war. While the sections on peace and violence are key the bases for these religious frameworks are founded in the Buddhist Dharma which are founded in the doctrines of the Four Noble Truths, the Five Precepts, and the Eightfold Pat h. Keeping in mind the work of Richo (2002) and Burgoon a nd Langer (1995) on mindfulness and habitual processes this concluding section both critiques the religiou s tenets outlined previously as well as highlights the surface messages of benevolence that foster mindfulness in thought, speech, and action. The numerous examples of compassion, lovingk indness joy and equanimity found in Buddhist doctrine all suggest a larger religious structuring of peace. Moreover the teachings illustrated in the Dharma of l earning to free the self from the mental, spiritual, and physical restraints of suffering suppose an individual strength or force needed to relinquish these nega tive energies that at ti mes, can consume a person and communities While these frameworks demonstrate a longing for peace, what is not so clear are the difficulties associated with bringing these peaceful pursuits to life and the contradiction in these re ligious frameworks that seemingly supports a passiveness b ut suggests more dominant attributes As an enlightened concept, m indfulness supposes a personal conscious ness and deliberativeness while engaging in speech, thought, and action. The steps prescribed in the Eightfold Path suggest that individuals are being conscious in their deci si on making as Buddhist practiti oners. This concept is contradictory however because as Burgo o n and
35 Langer (1995) argue, mindfulness requires thoughtful i nquiry and not habitual responses to situations. Because the Dharma and other Buddhist practices are so precisely structured and require a discipline of the self, individuals challenges of the system, and the freedom to think and choose what is r ight or w rong for themselves is not a realistic option In fact, within the Buddhist doctrine examined herein, the structures of what is right and wrong, true and false, good and bad, already exists indicating a dichotomization in language and thought process es Th is necessarily dictates a presupposed action if something is bad, then X is inevitable. Right action as the Eightfold Path advises is just that, a right action deemed right by th e moral authority figures that have deemed it so. In this regard, Buddhism at times, acts as a dominating and limiting ideology wherein freedom is lacking. As such practiti oners fall prey to habitual processes due to audiences acritical submission to such limiting religious frameworks In sum, Buddhism short circuits critical thinking. On the other hand the religious tenets o f Buddhist discourse also incorporate mindfulness i n several areas. T hese areas includes the very discourses/practices that create self realization including self con trol and a dampening of the senses Wh i le the Buddhist self control and dampening of the senses has the potential to kill the individual, creating a person bred in habituated processes, free from pleasure, anger, and all other emotional states that make up human beings, self control helps indi viduals to be more mindful of their actions through a reduction of negative impulses that can harm the self and others For example, it is my experience that in times of conflict, it easier to be angry and respond out of emotion al frustration than it is to be centered, calm and rational Buddhism teaches practitioners to control these negative, emotionally cultivated states so
36 that a higher self can rule and furthermore fos ter inner and external peace. A specific example of Buddhist mindfulness through s elf control can be seen in the act of meditation in times of personal conflict or external hostility This act of meditations help s clear the mind, making way for lovingkindness. The mantra associated with this meditation (as noted in Ferguson, 1978) sugge sts an internal calming before response. Asking the self to be free from enmity, ill will, and distress only to seek happiness warrants a sort of calm presence as opposed to a hostile one There are times, however, in that animosity, s tr ess, and anger will afflict them this is part of the human experience, but the point here is not so say that pe ople will n ever be a fflicted by negative emotional states but how these feelings can be diminished when they do arise s o tha t people may be the higher version of themselves In my analy sis of these anti war religious frameworks, I foun d Buddhist doctrine to be both invitatio nal and prescriptive as it carries characteristics of a feminist and dictatorial discourse The rhetorics that demon strated more of a feminist discourse are those I deem to be mindful, bearing with them compassionate and peaceful undert ones serving as a productive alternative means to war prevention. While these discourses may seem unrealistic to some, I argue that no tions of peace whether, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, or Is lamic, are necessary if societies are to live in harmony If we are to coexist, there must be a measure of goodwill toward others so that suffering and the negativ e emotions that cultivate violence can be lessened. That is not to say that violence and war will not exist. This too, is unfortunately the nature of humans. In this next section I examine the religious frameworks built on Buddhist pro war discourses, analyzing the tenets that have histor ically and currently supported such violent ends.
37 Buddhist Framewo rks that Structure W a r as Necessary The uplifted sword has no will of its own, it is all of emptiness. It is like a flash of lightening. The man who is about to be struck down is also of emptiness, as is the one who wields the sword . Do not regret your mind stopped with the sword you ra ise, forget about what you are doing, and strike the enemy. Zen Master Takuan Soho Zenji (Keown, 2005, p. 71) For many, Buddhism is a religion that represents peace. However, in light of Buddhist history I found there to be a clear contradiction between the peaceful teachings of the Dharma and the history of war in Buddhist nations. What has been overlooked in territoriality, and violen ce (Queen, 2007). Such tendencies have been the root cause of Buddhist warfare. Throughout Asian history, countries such as Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, T hailand, Burma, China and Tibet have been privy to mass violence and war. For centuries, meditative and mo nastic disciplines have been training armies to defend national interests and preserve Buddhist doctrine (Keown, 2005; Queen, 2007). Some scholars argue that the difference in canonic texts and understandings of the Dharma is one cause for multiple interpr etations of scripture either advocating for or against violence. For example, in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, the Pali canon implies two assessments of violence as either context independent and non negotiable or context dependent and negotiable. In e xplaining a classic narrative on violence, Keown (2005) seek advice on his plan to attack the Vajji . The Buddha simply commented on seven positive features of Vajji acceptable.
38 Similarly, the Mahayana tradition retells a story of the Buddha (in one of his former lives) ass assinating some Brahmin heretics (McTernan, 2003). As described in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra a Mahayana canon, Buddha killed the Brahmin in order to protect the teachings of the Four Noble Truths. Some Buddhists argue that when the Dharma or Buddhist comm unity is at risk, the Five Precepts that govern Buddhist conduct may be disregarded. In this regard, Mahayana tradition maintains an understanding that peace paradoxically requires violence (McTernan, 2003). Another example of a common misconception of Bu ddhism is the idea that monks are inherent pacifists who do not engage in harmful acts. In several classic narratives of war, Buddhist monks offered their blessings to battling soldiers in their violent endeavors. One Buddhist monk according to Juergensme yer (2000), claimed that in the age of dukka (suffering) th ere is no way to avoid violence: ally begets Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka and King Dutthagamani Buddhist monks offer their blessings in times of war and slaughter (Keown, 2005; Queen, 2007). After a long and bloody battle with the Hindu Tamils, the Sinhalese king felt great remorse. In retelling the narrative, Queen (2007) writes: [Later] the Sinhalese King was comforted by eight Buddhist monks who assured him that, in spite of the thousands slain in battle, only one and half humans had perished one who had pledged allegiance to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha (the three refuges of Buddhism), and another who had vowed to follow the Buddhist precepts. life subhuman and deserving of death. (p. 25) Today, Buddhist monks who support Sinhalese nationalism believe that peace can only be gained from a military defeat of the Tamils (Keown, 2005). In 16 th century China Shaolin monks were called out to fight Japanese pirates who had been raiding the Chinese shores for decades (Szczepanski, 2014). In a second
39 battle in July of 1553, 120 monks met an equal number of pirates on the Huangpu River. The mon ks were victorious in their fight, killing every Japanese enemy. This battle later became known as the Battle of Wengjiagang (Szczepanski, 2014). In both nations where wars were waged, ties between spirituality and warrior hood were made. Juergensmeyer (2 eaceful Buddhists pursing war and violent action, the cause behind such acts has been a source of interest for many Buddhist scholars. One main point of interest is whether or not there can be a just war in a religion that preaches compassion, peace, and r estraint. The U se of Just War Theory and its A V alidation of W ar While the notion of just and unjust wars derives from the great Christian thinkers of the 5 th century and, as such, is traditionally viewed as a Christian concept related to the moral ethics of war, Buddh ism too predicates some of its pro war arguments using similar just war statutes (Jayasuriya, 2009; Keown, 2005) Most religions condemn acts of violence and aggression; thus, the just war theory serves as a means t o identify a prima facia or a wrong doing that requires justification (Jayasuriya, 2009). This concept seeks to answer two questions: when is it right to fight, and how is it right to fight (Popovski, 2009)? The decision to wage war ( jus ad bellum ) and the conduct carried out in war ( jus in bello ) are moral wartime guidelines. The criteria for jus ad bellum authority, just cause, proportionality, right intention, action of last resort, and reasonable p. 425). Jus in bello claims two criteria for war
40 conduct: (1) the violence must be proportional to the injury suffered; and (2) the weapons used must discriminate between combatants and non combatants wn, 2005, p. 80). In discussing war ethics, Aho (1981) notes that a complete military ethic consists of a vocabulary of acceptable motives for engaging in war and a series of statutes that regulate the goals toward which violence is to be directed; the pre ferred attitude or response to war; and approved ways of fighting. In light of this description, the criterion for discerning which wars are just and which are unjust is a fine line While some Buddhists argue for war using some of the criteria as outline d in jus ad bellum other more passive Buddhists argue that regardless of historic narratives where jus ad bellum was claimed, there has been no firm evidence supporting such a defensive war in any canonic text (McTernan, 2003) These beliefs are partly fo unded in the teachings of Buddha that all people are psychologically incapable of forming (Premasiri, 2003). Individuals may have strong convictions but when these beliefs are objectively analyzed, these convictions can be seen as the rationalizations of preconceived desires, cravings, and likes and dislikes (Premasiri, 2003). Regardless of canonic support or outlined pro war teachings in the Dharma, armed defense still continue s to be justified on the grounds that violence in response to hostile situations is not a battle of intended violence, making the karmic repercussions null and void. For some Buddhists sects war is deemed just on the following five bases: The first is wh en the Dharma is in need of defense when the Doctrine is in danger, the Five Percepts may be ignored. The second instance of justification allows for killing if the
41 death of one saves two. The third is illusory in nature individuals may pretend to kill ano (F erguson, 1978, p. 56). The fourth justification claims that it is better to kill another than allow him or her to kill The fifth and final justification is for the sake of compassion or for charity so that inner peace is not disturbed (Ferguson, 1978). Equally, individuals may be absolved from the accusation of killing if the following criteria are t have known that it was alive; the killer must have intended to kill it; an actual act of killing must have taken p. 113). These religious tenets of war as just can b e seen under three larger religious frameworks: (1) the spiritual cleansing of practiti oners and laity in order to restore social purity and establish spiritual superiority ; (2) the maintenance of social order in communities; and (3) the promise of spiritu al salvation in the face of Armageddon The following pages will outline the basis for those religious frameworks as well as offer examples of when such claims have been made in Buddhist war history. T he S piritual C leansing of P ractiti oners and L aity the Restoration of Purity, and the Establishment of Spiritual Superiority as a Pro War Framework Several Buddhist scholars note the importance of a link among violence, killing, and war and that of spiritual purity or authority (Aho, 1981; Juergensmeye r, 2000; Keown, 2005; Premasiri, 2003; Reader, 2009). Instances of such violent acts serve as a means of purging the unclean from the clean, creating a more holy and sacred space for those self proclaimed Buddhists exalting themselves on a higher spiritual plane. Commenting on a history of violence in Zen Buddhism, Reader (2009) explains that
42 violence may be interpreted as morally beneficial to the greater spiritual good. Reader further clarifies that violence to the body, including death, illustrates an im portance on physical being. This concept can also be understood in terms of a spiritual warfare, as those few persons with privileged knowledge relating to a so called higher plane of consciousness, assume an arrogant understanding of a social and spiritual cleansing from greater subjective evils (Aho, 1981). These discourses assume a spiritual authority or superiority of some over others, permitting those with a higher spiritual and social standing a sense of spiritual rightness encouraging followers to submit to practices that are perceived as more spiritually enlightened. I n Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism, scholars have recounted instances of physical violence as a means of discipline meant t o assist practiti oners in realizing this higher level of spiritual enlightenment. I means to enlightenment. In his travels to several Zen monasteries in Japan, Reader analyzes his experience of spiritual violence. Multiple times a day, practiti oners sitting in meditation would be hit with a kyosaku ment ally lazy practiti oners Reader reflects on his memory of these violent disciplines and the confusion he felt as his understanding of Buddhism as a non violent religion felt d valorized as a worthy act intended to facilitate the attainment of spiritual goals . [and] attain a spiritual awakening . . Violence, in other words, can be a noble act that is 41). Therefore, Read er argues, instilling
43 Citing Victoria on 20 th century military systems in Japan, Reader (2009) examines the bond between the military and Zen. For many Imperial Army figures, military system in the 1 connections between Samurai warrior culture and Zen Buddhism were partly liable for the infusion of Zen in Japanese militarism in this era. The samurai began as feudal Japanese warriors bef in which the samurai served as authority figures, providing power to the emperor. As a result, the sa murai governed Japanese society and government until 1868, when the Meiji Restoration led to the eradication of the feudal system. While the samurai were deprived of many of their traditional freedoms, many acquired elite positions within the government an d industry systems in modern Japan, allowing for an infusion of the traditional samurai code of honor. Discipline and moral behavior known as bushido or of Japanese Like contemporary ideals of violence in Japanese history, spiritual discipline was introduced into meditative practice. Aho (1981) recounts an ancient Japanese legend of a Buddhist monk bringing the art of kung fu to the monastery. In his travels, the monk noticed the inability of Chinese practiti oners to meditate for long periods of time. In
44 response, the monk introduced a combination of combat like calisthenics in conjunction with some breathing exercises to aid pra ctiti oners in attaining a higher state of bliss during mediation. Similarly, horsemanship, fencing and archery were disciplined practices taught at a means of military defense (Aho, 1981). These forms of physical discipline cultivated ways of combining spi ritual practice and violence at many levels. In this regard, violence and physical discipline were a means of restoring social order. The Maintenance of Social O rder as a Pro War Framework For scholars like Aho (1981), t he concept of s ocial order supposes a psychological order ing minds and bodies are structured so that communities are protected from harm In classic and contemporary societies, p eople are prodded to f it particular molds that societal powers support in maintenance of this social order. A classic example of Buddhist social order can be seen in the Agganna Suttanta narratives (Queen, 2007). These stories recount the necessity of preparedness of warring ki ngs to exert force and discipline when a state of social chaos exists. This is the ideal of the (1981) attests, violence has been used as means to restore order. The destruction of civi lizations and life has always had the potential to devastate a culture. Aho asserts: When killing and death are d one well, when d one courageously in the name of facticity and soli dity of social order. In the sacrifice of the warrior, the reality of society is symbolically cleansed of any taint of chaos and its members are persuaded of its mortality. (p. 10) Citing Buddhist scholar Victoria (1998) on the history of war in Zen Buddhism, Keown (2005) recounts the violent philosophy of infamous Zen master Harada Daiun Sogaku:
45 one should kill, killing as many as possible. One should, fighting hard, kill every one in the enemy army. The reason for this is that in order to carry compassion and 75). Turning to more current events, a fter the terrorist attacks of Septemb er 11 th political, those spiritual practices that do are vilified as evil ideologies that are in need of punishment (Reader, 2009). This example illustrates the futi lity in both religious structures of discipline and social order. For many practiti oners and laity alike, a person clinging to his or her identity in a society that is encouraging social order through homogeneity can cause significant internal and extern al turmoil. Queen (2007) explains that clinging to an identity leads to disappointment and frustration. This suggests a necessity to conform to other larger social structures. If every one is conditi oned to share in like minded value systems and codes of co nduct, disturbance would be minimal in communities. People would work altruistically as their goals would be similar if not the same, and civil unrest would be a thing of the past. But this, however, is not the case. Individuals need a sense of identity an d for all those who do not conform to Buddhist doctrine, identity is pertinent in understanding the inner self and their place in the world. This creation of identity is what constitutes difference among individuals, groups, governments, families, nations, and the like. The spiritual, political, cultural, etc. convictions are so strong th at all other alternatives are not
46 questi oned or deliberated critically, a state of habitual processes sets in, creating that dichotomization of what is right and wrong, good and bad. The Promise of Spiritual S alvation in the F ace of Armageddon as a Pro Wa r Framework A classic example of spiritual salvation comes from the incidents surrounding the 1995 bombing of the Tokyo subway. On March 20, 1995, several members of the eccentric Aum Shinrikyo, an offshoot of Japanese Buddh ism, released several vials of sarin g as on the Tokyo subway, killing a number of commuters and injuring roughly 5,500 others (Juergensmeyer, 2000) The perpetrators were well educated young men trained in physics, engineering, and medicine. Under the orde r of Master Shoko Asahara, these young men, blinded by faith, committed one worst tragedies of the 20 th century (Juergensmeyer, 2000). For many followers, Aum Shinrikyo offered a socially transformative discourse as a means of restoring justic e, fairness, and freedom in the Japanese social system (Juergensmeyer, 2000). Furthermore, many practiti oners took solace in the charismatic teachings of Asahara. In months prior, Asahara predicted that Armageddon was in the works. Asahara explained that, in cases of cosmic war, ordinary rules of conduct do not to a dead stop . the ground will tremble violently, and immense walls of water will wash away everything on ear th . in addition to natural disasters, there will be the horror Tokyo, Asaha and omniscient ab ilities (Juergensmeyer, 2000 ).
47 Collective violence like the case of Aum Shinrikyo uses apocalyptic discourses in order to instill fear and a sense of necessary transformation in its practiti oners Aho (1981) claims that chaos is a disruption of soc ial an d cosmological order. Consequently holy war is seen as a mechanism of reunification, bringing together human beings and the divine. This kind of other worldly logic allows followers to see themselves as spiritual guardians destined to save the world. Thro ugh his vision of an apocalyptic end, Asahara aimed to convince lost souls of the path to salvation by joining Aum Shinrikyo (McTernan, 2003; Reader, 2009). are intended to offer believers and non believer (Juergensmeyer, 2000). As Asahara explained prior to the Tokyo subway attacks, those with good karmic debt would survive Armageddon in order to build a new transcendent world. While discourses of spiritual salvation offer w hat may seem to some a valid means of pursuing violent action, these religious frameworks exemplify the danger in dom out new information and assess war time situations critically. Buddhist Pro War Frameworks as Discourses that Foster Habitual P rocesses Using my earlier assessment of religious frameworks and their links to habitual processes and mindfulness, the religious tenets of spiritual purity and superiority maintenance of social order, and s alvation illustrate a dominant and limiting ideology. Buddhist practiti oner s who are subjected to and chose to participate in such framewor ks are submitting to discourses that limit the progress of peace. Individuals engaged in discourses of sp iritual superiority are unable to see the inherent value in every individual,
48 the long term effects of such calculated violence, and remain fixed in their dominant belief systems. Examples of these effects are exemplified in the ongoing battles between the Sinhalese and the Ta mils. As referenced earlier, the narrative outlined in the Great acritical submission to figures of authority with higher spiritual stature. In this tale several Buddhist monks comforted the Sinhalese king who was feeling remorse for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Tamils. Reasoning this loss, the monks insisted that only had been killed as those individuals who had had been mur dered in battle represented all persons who had pledged allegiance to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha (Queen, 2007) illustrating the futility in acritcal thought via habituated processes that only perpetuate systems of the sort. Furthermore, long t erm insight is distorted when such immediate acts of violence are at play. In all of the examples reviewed in this section, what is evident is that peace cannot be obtained from violence. Contemporary examples of this include Buddhist nations lost to civ il war like Burma, which had the longest standing civil war since 1948 (DVB Debate, 2014); and Sri Lanka whose government, between 1983 and 2009, has been locked in a state of civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Marlow, 2014). Moreover, pr otestors in China, Tibet, and India are self immolating in response to The belief that peace can be an end result of war and violence seems inherently contradictory. In armed conflict, both parties are engaged in a battle of violent force until individuals admittedly submits or loses. War is then a dominant crushing of one party until the other is compliant. This is not peace; this is violent undertaking in the name of peace. As was noted in the earlier paragraph, civil
49 war between the Sinhalese and Tamils still exists. War did not achieve peace several centuries ago in ancient Sri Lanka, and war has not gained peace today. In light of these assessments, I maintain my earlier claim made at the end of the first s ection that religious frameworks embedded in the traditional teaching of the Dharma act as mindful discourses that foster peace. What had been demonstrated in this last section are examples of those religious structures that benefit particular individuals or groups through the use of dominating discourses and ideologies. Through religious frameworks of love, compassion, joy and equanimity, individuals can begin to speak, think and act more compassionately. I propose th at if these benevolent frameworks are p roperly utilize d that peace will eventually spread, infiltrating the minds and hearts of others, reminding people of their interconnected core thus diminishing the negative states that drive violence and war
50 CHAPTER III BUDDHIST RESPONSES TO 9/11 The r hetorical frameworks and Buddhist messages found in the following section argue for a way of perceiving society that empowers audiences to unde rstand the chaos of September 11 th as something other than a complete state of disarray. Instead, Buddhists implore audiences to see the world from a place of compassion and enlightened thinking, viewing this tragedy as an opportunity for spiritual growth and a rewriting of the violent and retaliative cultural norm. In addition, t hes e messages of peace act as an exchange of information, explaining to the lay person Buddhist ways of righteous living, thus offering space s for spiritual, moral, and ethical agency. Audience members in this sense are encouraged to be mindful of their own a ctions, offer compassion to others who are suffering post 9/11 trauma, be an example of lovingkindness and patience within their community, be kind and compassionate with themselves, and share messages of mindful Buddhist practices with others. Ultimately, these moral discourses serve as spaces of power at the individual level While C hapter 2 outlined broad Buddhist religious frameworks, this cha pter addresses specific examples of mindfulness and habitual processes as they relate t o the War on Terror As such, t he following artifacts are all texts written by Buddhists or Buddhist scholars in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. This cha pter will be broken up into four sections focusing on post 9/11 Buddhist responses of pa cifism, compassion, blame, and altruism, followed by a concluding section summarizing my findings.
51 Pacifism as a Response to 9/11 and an Alternative to War After the attacks of September 11 th many Buddhists encouraged messages of self restra int, patien ce, prayer, and non violence to the wider world Tibetan Lama Rimpo c he Nawang Gehlek (2001a) offers guidance on the process of transforming angered thi nking to patience writing that mind tha t holds back from harming or hurting. Anger is most difficult to deal with; patience is most difficult to develop patience may come more easily to some than to others, Gehlek warns readers not to feel disappointed if they cannot accomplis h patience at first because this type of transformation takes time. Gehlek suggests that the first step to overcoming negative and angry ways of thinking is to take time and space to judge whether or not anger is valid. W hen violent thoughts emerge, divert attention to a space of neutrality is key Gehlek argues This diffuses those negative thoughts, ultimately causing intense anger to subside, releasing the urge for reactive actions to rule (Gehlek 2001a) While assessing whether or not anger is reasonable in particular contexts I suggest that the a rgument of whether or not anger is valid minimizes the emotions of an to another. With regards to t he attacks of September 11 th many Americans believed their anger to be an appropriate response Their home had been attack ed, lives had been lost, and the nation was preparing for war. I think a more mindful assessment then, in not based in s valid or invalid but instead in examining the consequences that anger produces and the practices that could be employed to diffuse such anger
52 As previously stated in Chapter 2, Buddhism recogn izes the ability for individuals to cultivate productive emotional states like happiness and mindfulness, as well as those unproductive states like anger and greed, thus implying the impermanence of psychological states and situations and the vulnerable na ture of human beings. In recognizing these states of vulnerability and impermanence, Hanh (2001) warns audiences not to lose sight of both the internal and external factors that create mental, emotional, and physical states as this lack of awareness is a r ecipe for absent minded thinking that can lead to violence. despair, of anger, but we also have [within us] the seeds of compassion, awakening, Buddha nature, and mindfulness . . If we live in forgetf ulness . we are creating 2). condition as one of impermanence and contradiction reminds audiences of the complexity of emotion, thought, language and action. As such, the previ ous passage implies that a mentality rooted in remembering (as opposed to forgetting), awareness, and thoughtful/non violent action, serves as a tool of empowerment at the individual level. Similarly, Conley (2010) suggests that The cycle of fear and forgetting is what helps ordinary citizens to support, with clear consciousness and full hearts, wildly Both Hanh (2001) an d Conley (2010) argue that the act of forgetting and the rhetorics that support serve as an escalatin g instrument in times of war. To offer a counter example, i n the following paragraph I outline several instan ces of Buddhists engaged in acts of community prayer and ceremony that compel citizens to remember the pain and suffering surrounding 9/11
53 so that a cycle of forgetting and unawareness is not perpetuated Furthermore, w hile many people worl d wide joined i n similar commemorating events, the specific act s of Buddhist pacifism in response to war offer example s of the fundamental B uddhist belief that violence should not be met with more violence but with lovingkindness compassion, an d awareness On Septembe r 23, 2001, nearly 2,000 Buddhist monks chanted in prayer for the victims of the September 11 th attacks in front of the U.S. embassy in Thailand (Wire Reports, 2001). That same day in Singapore, a crowd of 15,000 Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs and Zoroastrians sang ing America and its 9/11 victims (Wire Reports, 2001). On September 22, 2001, members of the Lao Buddhist Temple in Elgin, Illinois held a memorial service honoring 9/11 victims and their families, bearing wit h them small candles, bouquets and wreaths as offerings In the summer of 2002 T. K. N akagi, a Japanese monk and abbo t of the New York Buddhist Church held a 9/11 commemoration ceremony where 108 paper lanterns with the nam es of the dead were lighted and released on the Hudson River (Paumgarten, 2011 ; Weiner & Breyer, 2010 ). In April, 2005, several Tibetan monks created mandalas in New York and Washington D.C. as a symbol of healing and growth for the nation (Taylor, 2005). In Septemb er, 2007, over 40 students gathered in front of Bradford College C hapel in Yale, New York to attend a candlelit vigil honoring the lives lost. Buddhist members of Indigo Blue (a center for Buddhis t life) gathered to chant along side the students (Wang, 200 7). In December, 2007 award winning music artist series of peace inspired albums stemming from the attacks of September 11 th infuses the
54 sounds of world wide cultures. The ti tle of the album was named after the classic Buddhist pilgrimage to the 88 temples on Shikoku Island in Japan (December, 2007). In February 2009, the Nippozan Myohoji Buddhist Order organized a 55 day Walk for a New Spring, encouraging a moving forward fr om the fear that resonated in American s hearts after the 9/11 attacks (Fair, 2009). Similarly, in Bridgeport, Connecticut a group of 20 Buddhist monks and p eace advocates set out on a 500 mile peace walk from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. (Burgeson, 2009). In September, 2011 in South Lake Tahoe, California, a Buddhist Tsok ( a ritual typically reserved for honoring certain Buddhist deities) took place, offering food, prayer, meditation, and song in memory of the lives lost and those Americans affected by the events of September 11 th (Silver, 2011). These acts of pacifism as an alternative to violence offer Buddhists and others an opportunity to channel their negative energies into something positive. Wh ile acts of pacifism do not alleviate chaos in tim es of devasta tion pacifism does, however, empower the self by generating a sense of self control at the individual level when c irculating chaos and sorrow feels unmanageable. Pacifism, then, is a tool for coping. Compassion as a Response to 9/11 and an Alternative to War In times of war and times of peace, every day, the committed meditator dwells in love and compassion, radiated outward to all, to those who are alive, or who once were, or who will be; to those who are human or to other living beings; t o those who intend good and to those who intend harm, not agreement but lovingkindness is sent. (Fleischman, 2002, p. 9) Commenting on t tes following 9/11 the Dalai Lama (n.d.c) acknowledges the importan ce of compassion in a time of anger (Baggett, 2001) For the Dalai Lama such acts of tragedy are induced by hatred. In an address on fighting violence with peace, the Dalai Lama cauti one
55 your anger will not solve the problem. More sadness more frustration only brings more suffering for you If people allow their emotions to be controlled by negative emotions such as hatred, the consequences will be devastating. ition in writing: In way of solution, Das (2002) assert s that September 11 th should be a time of prayer and se l f reflection By taking the t ime to reflect and be still, individuals c an Moreover, i f people make use of sound reasoning, the Dalai Lama argues (n.d.c) violence is unnecessary. While I agree that sadness, ange r, and violence only perpetuate those types of emotions and furthermore breed actions based in those emotions, I believe that not all human conflicts can be re solved with compassion. When a person has broken into your home, or a stranger is threatening y our life or that of your family, a person does not always have the luxury of being able to talk things out and be compassionate. Defense of your life, your home, and your family are necessary. While humans have the ability to transcend primitive means of c ommunica ting during conflict survival and a sense of territoriality are encoded into our DNA as biolog ical extensions of the animal kingdom (Queen, 2007) In fact, as shown in Chapter 2, violence i n order to survive is, at times, necessary. However, my co ncern and the concern of Buddhists like Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dal a i Lama is with the negative emotional states like anger, hate, delusion, and greed that drive violence. Explain ing the cultivation of such negative emotional states after the terrorist attacks of September 11 th Gehlek (2001b) suggests that a nger breeds hatred, an d when
56 individuals focus on hatred, people are not reac ting to the person or situation bu t to hatred itself. Gehlek argues that the perpetrators of 9/11 were so blinded by their hatred for America that they beca me slaves of their own disdain. The peace activist writes, Their hatred hurts the whole world: physically, financi ally, emotionally, and mentally. . The real enemy is their anger, our anger, their hatred, our hatred, t heir violence, our violence. Gehlek, 2001b, para. 5 6). s assessment of anger, compassion is found when an individual first examine s his or her own hatred and anger. Furthermore, this examination empowerment in that once hatred and anger are recognized, people have the power to either embrace those negative emotional states or turn to more productive ends like compassion and mindfulness. In r esponse to the 9/11 attacks Batchelor (2001) quotes the Buddha on hatred: cease by hatred, but by love alone T his message however, is di fficult space is being burned to the ground. As such Batchelor (2001) ponders the tension in Buddhist pursuits of peace and non [t he Dharma ] may reinfo rce faith that human beings can relinquish hatred and inspire one of how to respond to an act of violence that threatens way of life here and ara. 4). In response to this inquiry, m any Buddhists believe that understanding the conditions that caused the September 11 th attacks is necessa ry in reducing suffering both for the terrorists and their victims For the Dalai Lama, the necessary course of actio n i s
57 one of non violence but as illustrated in Chapter 2, violence is heavily engrained in Buddhist history regardless of the religious tenets founded in peace and love. Reinforcing the habituated Buddhist discourses of love and compassion, i n a proposal for peace and security following the attacks of September 11 th Thich Nhat H anh (2002) argues that compassion starts with understand ing those in suffering. Being believer s in karma, both Lief (2001) and Das (2002) trust that there are no accidents; the task then is for people to open t heir minds and hearts so that people may begin to understand the roots of the attack. Hanh (2002) suggests that attempting to understand an suffering may lessen the suffering of those in pain According to Hanh, u sing loving speech, individuals can begin to correct wrong perceptions, and correcting wrong perceptions will lead to a reduction in anger, hatred and fear, minimizing the need for punish ment or retribution Hanh writ es, We have never asked Mr. Osama bin Laden about his suffe ring. We have never asked Mr. Saddam Husse in about his suffering and frustration. We cannot say that we have understood completely these people. They must have suffered a lot. They must have a lot of wrong perceptions on themselves and on us, on America. Imagine President Bush and others speaking like this: Dear people out there, we know that you must have suffered a great deal in order to have done such a thing to us in New York. You may have thou ght that we want to destroy you as a people, as a nation, as a culture, a t have that intention. We may have done something or said something that has given you that impression, that has created so much hatred and fear and vi olence in you so you could have d one such a thing to us. We want to listen to you. Please tell us what is in your heart. (para. 24 28) While some may perceive as unrealistic and illogical for political discourse I believe that what Hanh is trying to illustrate here is a necessary examination of cause and consequence. People do not commit murder or plan suicidal terrorist missions for no apparent reason; there is at the heart of every action reason, whether logical or not. In this regard, I too believe that attempting to understand why such
58 violent acts were taken is of great value in not only alle viating the suffering of others, but also as a means of preventing future suffering, mi sunderstanding, and conflict. In this regard, individuals need not only be mindful in language, thought, and action, but also be This kn owledge rooted in history can provide individuals with insight to the social, political, cu ltural, economic, and communicative patterns and oc currences that have both positively and neg atively transformed communities Therefore, a basis of knowledge in historic affairs can serve as a platform for understanding current socio political states. Blame as a Response to 9/1 1 and an Alternative to War After 9/11 several Buddhists have suggest ed that previous actions of wrong doing on behalf of the U.S made Americ a complicit in the events that led to September 11 th As such, many Buddhists encoura ged an examination of the conditions that caused the events of that day. While some sought tools of underst anding and deep listening as a means of comprehension and forgiveness ot her Buddhists questioned the complicity of the U.S. in the events that promp ted the attacks Assessing the innocence of the United States, David Loy according to Baggett (2001) surveys U.S. motives in the Middle East, asking wh e ther or not the War on Terror was a war of defense, protecting institutions of freedom and democracy or if it was a war based in securing a need/greed veste d in oil, resulting in a Middle Eastern resentment for the West. has been securing oil supplies, does it mean that our petroleum based economy is one of the causes of the September attack? If the most fundamental and pervasive delusion is our
59 Like Loy, Das (2002) questions the role America played in the fruition of September 11 th contemplating how particular U.S. actions in the last several decades contributed to many of the global problems that are seen today. Das (2002) writes : Over the course of this year I've become i ncreasingly uncomfortable with the knowledge that some of our aggressive, alternately imperialist and isolationist karma has come home to roost. What responsibility do we have in shaping our s policies and how do we go about creating change? I thin k we need to learn a little about why some people hate us so much in order to learn how to heal the deep divisions and widening separations occurring across the globe. (para. 4) illustrate a necessar lack of accountability for past actions abroad. In this regard, the authors request some reflection on behalf of audience members so that the causes and conditions that have and will continue to perpetuate such international conflicts c an be brought to li ght allowing space for positive social and political growth. Further r eferencing some of the potential conditions that le d to the attacks the Dalai Lama (n.d.c) suggests that the events of September 11 th were bred from generations of suffering abroad. The root of this suffering may b e a combination of recent events or linked to grievances that are centuries old the Dalai Lama argues Colonialism, exploitatio n of land, resources, people and discriminatio n are all examples of the suffering that some nations have endured. The Dalai Lama suggests that the years of neglect and indifference perpetuated by Western ideals may b in terrorism ; moreover, that the events of September 11 t h were a result of these many factors. Similarly st world privilege as it relates to the largely unde rprivileged world. Lief proposes that Americans have taken for granted a certain level of prosperity and security with whi ch most other nations are unfamiliar American s fixation on material desires distracts people from the realities of ethnic
60 violence, genocide, incurable illnesses, starvation and malnutrition, lack of clean water, and other sources of suffering. Lief asse rt s, time we joined the real world ( Lief, 2001, para. 1) ? In this remark, insinuation that American s are existing in a material state of unawareness and se lfishness assumes that the U.S. in some wa y dese rved the pain and fear of September 11 th as if this tragedy served as some sort of wak e up call, encouraging American s to bear in mind the s uffering of others. This bold statement la cks compassion for the American s who lost loved ones as a result of that day. Furthermore, I argue that states of realities vary from person to p erson, from culture to culture; people one person that it is to another. On a similar note, former Chief Mon k of Malay sia and Singapore K Sri Dhammananda (2007) condemns the perpetrators of September 11 th calling them mindless individuals of this cruel caliber have no sense of compassion, no virtues and use rel igion as a means to carry out their murderous ac demonstrate a lack of empathy which is not consistent with the fundamental tenets of Buddhism as a religion of compassion and peace The unwillingness to contemplat e the amount of suffering some of these people may have endured is compassionless thus completely abandons a Buddhist stance that acknowledges that all life is suffering What Dhammananda does is remind laity and Buddhists alike of the human conditions of anger, hatred, blame, and misunderstanding. In addition, these Buddhist claims of complicity and blame lack clarity in detail as to the specific events or histories that supposedly resulted in the terrorist attacks of September 11 th Consequently I beli eve
61 that the voices of Buddhists who have ad vocated for peace in the political sphere have greatly been unheard as a result of these elusive implications as to the conditions that caused 9/11 as well as the suggested courses of action that are, too, lackin g in a defined method of resolution. In this regard, blame and discourses implicating the U.S. as a complicit agent in the events that led to September 11 th provide some Buddhists and laity with a means of making se nse of the fear and anger that individuals were experiencing as a result of the terrorist attacks. Altru ism as a Response to 9/11 and an Alternative to War While the events of September 11 th cau sed a great divide among some people (like Christians and Muslims for example), these atta cks also seemingly reinforced a sense of unity and care among Americans and other religious pra ctitioners. Speaking on interconnectedness, long time Buddhist nun the Venerable Yifa comments of the attacks of September 11 th as a tragedy that not only affec ted the Musli m and Christian populous but also others around incident was that America would need healing . and when I saw the towers collapse, I Esparza, 2006, para. 10 11). In understanding this sense of deep human connection Hanh you suffer deeply there is no way we over here can be truly happy. That is the language of truth, the language of ins ight, the language of inter For Labenek and Hrdina (2012) the act of terrorism completely contradicts the Buddhist discourses of altruistic behavior and minimizes the understanding of human beings as interconnected creatures. The author s believe that opportunity to understand the self and thus the int erconnection human beings share can be found daily in various situations and contexts.
62 Making this transformation from single minded and independent thought to that of a collective conscious ness is what Buddhists call h uman revolution a process by which the heart, mind and attitude of individual s are shifted from a framework of suffering into one of joy (Labenek & Hrdina, 2012) This potential for positive change offers human beings a chance to learn from their mistakes and appreciate the value in everyday experiences for themselves as well as others Acknowledging the value in altruism, Hanh (2001) and Palden (2001) argue for an examination of the self in order to awaken the inner colle ctive conscious that recognizes human interconnectivity understand yourself. What happened in New York caused great suffering, but if we can learn from it, the suffering can become a bell of mindfulness in waking up the whole para. 3). Similarly, Palden (2001) asserts lovingkindness is to be able to feel our own pain, and the pain of others. If we are able to open in this way, our hearts can melt, and the healing salve of co mpassi on can anoint all para. 1). are poetic and truly lovely, these particular excerpts indicate another level of contradiction in Buddhist thought and action. While these passages embody overton es of altruism and collective thought the root of these claims are grounded in focusing on the individual as the first order of concern Altruism and human revolution, then, are actionable alternatives that shift the focus from the suffering of the other, a suffering that an individual cannot control, back to the self, the self that seeks joy, as an inner refuge free from external and uncontrollable suffering and pain
63 Summarizing Buddhist Post 9/11 Responses to War While the Buddhist responses presented here specifically relate to the attacks of September 11 th these religiously grounded alternatives to war are founded in larger Buddhist narratives of morality meant for the individual in times of conflict These Buddhist discourses provide individuals wi th a sense of powe r as these alternative frameworks constitute knowledge, ways of understanding s ocial practices, and relationships between subjects, institutions, place and space (Foucault, 1978). In examining the religious structures that undergird Buddh ist discourse, I have come to find three separate spheres of discursive power exist these include: (1) the political sphere, which encompasses those discourses pertaining to the president and his power over the army; (2) the religious sphere, which encomp asses those discourses pertaining to spiritual figures of authority and their power over individuals; (3) and the individual sphere, which encompasses those discourses pertaining to the power that an individual has over the self. In examining these Buddhis t alternatives to the War on Terror, I have found that these three levels of discourse have a difficult time transcending one another. As such, these Buddhist alternatives to war are designed to offer the individual some sense of power and authority in his or her own life as the individual does not have power in these two other spheres Therefore, w ithin these Buddhist messages of peace are endless possibilities for Buddhist figures of authority to impose power th rough discourse and for the audience member s themselves to be figures of power in their own lives Causality, consensus, mutuality, and usage are all central to understanding the rhetorical frameworks of moral ity in Buddhist communicative spheres ( Dissanayake, 2008). In this way, rhetorical model s of pacifism, compassion, blame, and altruism can be
64 a comforting stronghold in the face of adversity. However, the more mindful frameworks like those of compassion and altruism provides people with a sense of hope via self control and morally productive alternatives. In the previous four sections, messages of peace and mo ral fortitude encourage a centering of the self with the hopes that this centering and moral grounding will one day affect the communities and the world at large The moral and ethical t eachings of mindful discourses, then serve as a sp ace of agency for every individual can find the power to be compassion ate, loving, and peaceful within themselves.
65 CHAPTER IV CONCLUSION Summary of Findings The purpose of this study was to examine classic and contemporary Buddhist religious frameworks of war in an attempt to discover messages of mind fulness tha t could be applied to prevent war Using Burgoon and Langer (2002) assessments of mindfulness in language, thought, and action, I categorized and analyzed Buddhist anti and pro war dis courses in order to illustrate how these discourses are mindful while also sometimes succumb to habituated processes While foundat ional Buddhist practice s are grounded in p rinciples of non violence and peace as prescribed in the Dharma justification s for Buddhist violence on the basis of just war theory have and continue to be made. While just war theory is a Christian concept, just war philosophy is applicable to Buddhist wars as my review of both classic and contemporary literature revealed. In Chapter 2, I concluded that three religious frameworks undergird pro war and just war arguments in both classic and contemporary Buddhist history. These frameworks included : (1) the spiritual cleansing of practitioners and laity in order to restore social purity and establish spiritual superiority; (2) the maintenance of social order in communities; and (3) the promise of spiritual salvation in the face of Armageddon. Combined, these discourses provided Buddhist practiti one rs with both a validated means of participating in violence and war and discourses that offered a spiritual refuge when internal and external environments wer e in conflict Of ten the habituated processes found in Buddhist pro war frameworks have subjected entire communities to environmental, social, and cultural catast rophe ; thus
66 submission to such habituated processes is a recip e for acritical thought, language, and action. On the other hand several Buddhist frameworks also illustrated the potential for mindfulness in the discourses that encouraged self realization though acts of self control and a dampening of the senses. Whi le self control and a dampening of the senses has the potential to create a person bred in habituated processes through suppressing the natural human states of pleasure, anger, frustration, fear, and more, this use of self control can help individuals to b e more mindful of their actions via a reduction of the negative impulses that can harm the self and others. As an example, I suggested that the act of meditation in times of personal conflict or external hostility could help an individual to clear his or h er min d, making way for productive emotional states like rationality and tranquility In short, this chapter outlined the histories and complexities of Buddhist anti and pro war discourses. Chapter 3 analyzed the discourses of many prominent Buddhists and Buddhist scholars and their responses to the terroris t attacks of September 11, 2001. In my analysis, I found five main Buddhist responses to war which are rooted in notions of pacifism, compassion, blame, and altruism. Collectively, the se Buddhist respon ses showed that many practitioners held to non violent and compassionate solutions in response to the attacks of September 11 th This evidence is yet another example of the contradiction of peacefulness in words as opposed to violent action found in Buddhi st history Chapter 2 clearly illustrated that Buddhism, while perceived by many as a religion of peace, has and continues to be privy to violence and war. Thus, f or all of the Buddhist discourses outlined in Chapter 3 I have concluded that while peace ma y be the
67 ultimate goal, the means to achieving this peace may not be in line with the mindful and compassionate teachings prescribed in foundational Buddhist doctrine. Furthermore, I have found that discourses of love and compassion perpetuated by prominen t Buddhists like Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama also illustrate a habituated process wherein the realities of war are ignored and loving and compassionate solutions are the only alternatives provided. This assessment demonstrates the discursive disconn ect in individual, spiritual, and political arenas as each holds its own rhetorical frameworks and habituated processes that necessitate a way of understanding the world and existing in it Interpretation and Implication of Findings For many, Buddhism is a religion that signifies peace. I too thought this to be the predominantly Buddhist countries like Tibet, Burma, and Sri Lanka. I found, that like any other religion Buddhism has seen centuries of carnage as a result of religious frameworks that offer a limiting lens to understanding the world. These limiting and acritical perceptions of social and spiritual order, continues to cause violence throughout the world affecting not only tho se directly associated with the violence but als o people world wide Globalization, free markets the health of economies, and health of societies (both physically and mentally) depends so much upo n what is happening from country to country, from community to community Therefo re, the limiting scope of Buddhist pro war frameworks abandon foundational Buddhist tenets that deem all life as interconnected illustrating an oversight of care for the self and for others The question, then, of whether or not m indfulness can serve as plausible and productive alternative to war appears grim. While m any Buddhists advocate for pacifism,
68 compassion and altruism (as seen in Chapter 3), these discourses imploring practitioners and laity to embody peace does not match its histories in action. Wh at appears to be happening is that the concept of mindfulness is digested and practiced only to a certain extent among particular practitioners. T his limited digestion is exemplified in Chapter 3 as many Buddhist encourage audiences to be mindful and to not participate in the inevitable War on Terror. Yet, at this very moment, Buddhists in Tibet, China, and Sri Lanka are, and h ave been, in a state of civil war, indicating a complete dissolution of foundational Buddhist tenet s predicated on the embodiment of peace, the reduction of human suffering, and the abstention from taking life From this assessment I can conclude that while mindfulness may be an effective tool at empowering the self on an individual level, the ability o f mindfulness to be an instrument of power at the collective and political level is an unrealistic hope in an era of war. However, as a person who deeply believes that human beings have the ability to transcend violence and habituated processes I still ad vocate for mindfulness as this way of speaking, thinking, and acting critically and compassionately is important to the betterme nt of the self and communities. A s the data shows in Chapters 2 and 3 comp assion, lovingkindness, care and self control all e mbody this greater structure of mindfulness that ultimately serve s as t he basis for anti war discourses These particular practices are what I argue will offer if not more pro ductive alternative s to w ar prevention then to the discourses that encourage in dividuals to be the higher version s of themselves mind of love brings peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others. Mindful observation is the element which nourishes the tree of understanding, and compassion and l ove are the most beautiful flowers . I f love is in our heart, every thought, word
69 (p. 84 85). For me, exemplify an understanding of the comp one nts that foster mindfulness within the self and the effects this practice has on the wider world. As it relates to political discourse and the War on Terror, messages of understanding and empathy are hard to embody when home has been attacked and lives have been lost. However, as noted time and time again, mindfulness is called a practice for that very reason; rational and morally grounded thought, speech, and action do not come easily when pain and anger are at the forefront being practice then, cultivates these mindful a bilities. In this regard, I advocate for a transformative shift at the individual level encouraging individuals to move from a state of habituated processes to one of mindful practice, especially in times of adversity. While c ompassion, understanding, patience, and lo vingkindness may not always be collectively achieved I argue that once the individual masters this compassionate practice that strides toward collective mindfulness can be made Limitations While the discourses I analyzed from great Buddhist philosopher s and peaceful practiti one rs like the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh were insightful and certainly allowed for a mindful and compassionate lens, the scope of my study was limited. There are hundreds if not thousands of prominent eastern philosophers and Bu ddhist leaders who preach similar ways of living, so while I employed several whose work functi one d to my advantage, I did not include as many voices as I would have liked. Another limitation of this study is my seemingly glass half full approach with rega rds to the nature of war and conflict. For centuries, politicians, diplomats, activists, and the like have been imploring citizens to see the value of peaceful and humane ways to address
70 conflict. Unfortunately, most of the time, their pleas for benevolent and kind citizenry go unnoticed. Some people may see my research as simplistic and unrealistic, but there is a real practical need for this kind of loving and compassionate mentality. We live in a world where there is much violence, fear, and hate. To sha re in a goal that, in the end, benefits all, is critical for the continuation of community and globally vested interests. Although my work may not be taken seriously because many before me have tried to encourage compassion and peace, I believe that each p development of mindful approaches and brings us one step closer to new options fo r preventing war and lessening conflict. Suggestions for Future Research The results of this study have two implications for future research. The first need for future research is founded in a more psychological approach to understanding the human condition as one that is complex and contradictory. As my research showed, many Buddhist discourses implore practitioners and laity to part icipate in rhetorics of peace, compassion, and lovingkindness and yet war is pervasive in many Buddhist nations. This example of a want for peace and contrary violent action in the name of peace, can be seen in other religions and philosophical teachings a s well. Therefore, I argue that a psychoanalytic investigation of human need, human emotion, and human drive is crucial to understanding this incongruous state of human affairs as it relates to language, thought, and action. The second need for future re search is founded in my assessment of simil ar discourses of peace during the Civil Rights era in the southern half of the U.S. Discourses of spiritual purity and authority, salvation, discipline, and salvation are apparent in many
7 1 speeches and letters by a ctivists like Martin Luther King, Jr., Diane Nash Bevel, Daisy Bates and others. These discourses rhetorically structure arguments on the basis of right and wrong, just and unjust, prescribing a way of living similar to those outlined in the Buddhist Dharm a. At this time, Buddhism was a religion largely unk nown to Westerners, and in the S outh, Baptist ideologies monopolized religious practice. I believe future research examining the overlap of such messages is needed in order to demonstrate the transcendenc e of benevolence and p eace in time, spac e, and place.
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82 APPENDIX A THE MIND FUL AND HABITUAL PRESERVATION OF HOME : A NON Running from the main house, to the north side of the Zen Center feel a sense of child like giddiness traditional Japanese style tea with the abbot how cool is this?! A flood of thoughts and questions rush through my head as I carefully mind the jagged rocks of the unpaved path beneath my hurried feet, I wonder, will the abbot be fully robed in traditional Japanese Buddhist attire? How low do I bow when I enter the hut? Do I call him by his English name or his given Japanese title? Oh man, I totally feel like Tom Cruise Katsumoto this is awesome! At the front porch now I carefully step backwards structure, clear a few unruly, windblown hairs from face, and reach for the tea metal knob, the door opens. . Home and Mindfulness The concepts of home and mindfulness are two key concepts in understanding how thoughtful practice demonstrates a connection individuals create with places and spaces called home For most, home community, peace, stewardship, growing, intimacy, creating and giving birth, hospitality, re these various cultural foundatio ns are associations with values making this place not only a physical or geographic location but also a place of meaning and rela tionships (Dobel, 2010). T he development of home bears with it norms of preservation, socialization, citizenry, and security, nec essitating a certain level of protection and care in its maintenance. In this regard specific and individualized practices of mindfulness illustrate how these sacred spaces called home may be preserved
83 In reflecting on the various sociocultural and geo political implications of the practice of mindfulness as it relates to the spaces and places deemed home, I set out on a spiritual journey to a nearby Buddhist Zen Center in the hopes of both experiencing and witnessing Buddhist mindfulness and its applica tion in a communal living space. The following essay is an autoethnograph ic account of my two days at the Zen Center as well as an analysis of how these mindful Zen practices contribute to the preservation of home. This ch apter unfolds in six sections. The first section is an explanation of autoethnography as a methodological practice and how this form of analysis is pertinent to my exploration of my self and mindfulness during my two day stay at the Zen Center. The following four sections discuss my experie nces and perceptions of mindfulness in day to day activities per formed at the Zen Center. In a d dition these sections also make ties to the world of academe, contributing to new ways of understanding discipline, awareness, participation, safety and securit y, and mindful behaviors. The final section is my critical analysis of the development and preservation of home a nd its relationship to citizenship and the normalized world of suffering. Autoethnography as Methodology As a person who is moved by the experiences of others in literature I chose to utilize autoethnography as my methodological approach in order to help audiences better understand, and possibly identify with, my experiences through this 1 st person narrative as well as to better understan d the practice of mindfulness and how it is performed, or can be performed, by myself and others Norman Denzin, a prominent communication scholar whose main methodologies consist of performative and autoethnographic approaches, invites audiences to unders tand ethnography as a lens for touching matters of
84 om the heart, we learn how to love, to forgive, to heal and to move emotion through evoca Furthermore, referencing Denzin (1997) on autoethnography, Engstrom (2008) notes that this methodological approach aims to infuse life into the everyday telling of stories, experiences, and emotions. Autoethnography removes a level of scholarly authority while representing the self and instead encourages authors to allow a level of vulnerability while exploring their journey in a new setting. It is a process of orientation that promotes open ness and self reflexivity in both oral and written forms of storytelling and however, autoethnography permits individuals to utilize personal experiences, narratives, t heir bodies, and memories as sources of legitimate knowledge. This approach invites researchers to reflect on their own lived encounters, using their pasts as historic temporal spaces (Engstrom, 2008). Similarly, Welker and Goodall (1997) recognize the a ct of interpretive research as options during social interactions. The accrual of thes e new experiences, insights, symbols, and interactions, makes for a transformative understanding of the self and others (Welker & Goodall, 1997). Ultimately, these lived experiences and interactive ways of
85 communicating and understanding position writers a nd readers engaged in autoethnographic research to co research is to mean something to our readers to be acts of meaning our writing needs to attract, awaken, and arouse them, inviting readers into conversa tion with the incidents, feelings, contingencies, contradictions, memories, and desires that our research stories critique and explore my thought processes around mindfu lness and other Buddhist concepts. Furthermore, this form of inquiry will be deeply personal as I will be calling upon memories and feelings as I engage with people, tastes, smells, emotions, practices, speech, sounds, silence, and visuals that were all pa rt of my incredibly affective experience at the Zen Center. Oryoki Communication is the material manifestation of consciousness the outward performance of a cultural and spiritual nexus. ( C orman et al., 2008 p. 7) On my first day at the Zen Center I arrived slightly before noon, just in time to experience my first O ryoki style meal. Prior to eating, I asked the guest services liaison if it would be possible for me to take notes during lunch. Quite assuredly, she answered ested that I participate and then take notes during th e community scheduled break Concerned that the lack of my trusty notebook would leave me without an accurate account of events to come, in preemptive preparedness, I then asked how mindfulness could be seen in this ritualistic lunch. Faintly smiling, she replied that everything that is d one at the Zen Center is mindful; it is all a disciplined practice. Somewhat surprised by this response, I felt a sudden sense of urgency to acutely study everything tha t was taking place around me. For the next several minutes before lunch, I
86 quietly observed as other center members prepared our oryoki meal and the community table where we were to eat. The tradition of oryoki (with the exception of chanting) is a medit ative meal practice. Developed during the time of Buddha, oryoki is a ritual designed to remind its practiti oner of the fruits of appreciation, sacrifice, awareness, and the inseparable connection between the body and the mind (Kain, 2003). In recounting t he words of one Buddhist abbot, John Kain (2003), a Tricycle writer and poet, elaborates, Oryoki about chanting and bowing and bells. is life, it is of utmost importance that we receive it with deepest gratitu de. When we eat we consume life. (p. 1, para. 7) Thus, I witnessed a careful and deliberative awareness during the preparation of meal s, the receiving of food, and the general ritualistic practice associated with eating times. Both lunch and breakfast began with every one being called into the main dining hall via the ringing of a Japanese style bell. The leader of that particular meal ( or Zen practiti oner designated to initiate the sutras and meditative chants) would gently strike the bell in a series of select ive sequences indicating that meal time had begun. When ente ring the hall, each person remove d their shoes and took their person alized oryoki bowl set s and stoo d in front of their seat s at the table. Holding up their neatly wrapped oryoki packages or zuhatsu a set containing three smaller bowls, a cloth pouch baring a wooden spoon, pair of chopsticks, and setsu a small spatula typ e utensil used for the ritual of the cleaning of the bowls at the end of the meal; an outer cloth, a napkin, and cleaning cloth the collective group would wait until the person giving the Buddha offering (a smaller version of the meal) had returned to his or her seat (Kain, 2003). Once we were all standing, in uni son, we bow ed and took our seats at the community
87 table. The table itself was long, wooden, somewhat narrow, and no higher than 1 feet off the floor. The cushions were circular and sturdy, givin g each person just enough height to keep their knees comfortable as we sat for the next half hour or so As we waited for every one to comfortably position their bodies on the floor, we all sat for a brief moment in silence. I remember being struck by the quiet. Not a so und was made unti l the leader would signal with what I call clackers (two small, rectangular wooden blocks used as a signifying tool between chants and ritualistic gestures) that the first sutra would begin. Abruptly breaking the silence, t he group, in a dull and monot one pitch, began chanting: Buddha was born at Lumbini Enlightened at Boghgaya Taught at Varnasi Entered Nirvana at Kusinagara That all be free from self clinging . As the last three words of the sutra were sung, the volume and t one of every voice sort of drowned out, as if people we re too exhausted to give the last three words the energy they deserved. This made me w ant to laugh I thought to myself, wow, these people ar e serious about this whole Buddhist bit. Do they chant like this at every meal? The monot one pitch of their voices felt unauthentic at first, like robots in an automated choir my inner giggles subsided quickly, though, as the passing of the food began and more group chanting ensued. Paying close attention now to the precise and thoughtful hand gestures during the p assing of dishes and condiments and the mild yet tempered expressions on the faces of those surrounding me, I realized this was not just a daily customary meal to these people; it was a way of life. This was the first time during my stay at the Zen Center that I felt a sense of what it meant to be truly dis ciplined every
88 this was a form of disciplined art. The rest of the meal continued in a structured way. People were offered seconds via a shortened version of the first ritualistic serving of the food. As others finished their meals, I curiously looked up from my intend ed, respectful downward gaze to observe. No scraps were left, not even the juices from our fresh carrot and orange juice salad; the remnants were politely drunk. But even with as much care to consume every morsel of eatable fibers that were left lingering, one could no t feasibly consume every bit of food without external assistance. Thus the cleaning of the bowls began. A hot pot of water attempted to mimic the gesture s of those that had g one before and so held up my bowl to receive the hot water. I was politely told no with a slight shaking of the head and directed stare from the meal leader seated adjacent to me. So I watched as they used their setsus and hot water to scrub away any food that was left. This ritual was d one for all three bowls until it was time to re wrap their oryoki set into a lotus like package. As they delicately refolded their napkins, I too wanted to participate. So I attempted to neatly wrap my used utensils in my dirtied Brawny paper cloth but was thoughtfully disciplined when it was not d one just so. My napkin was refolded for me and placed back on top of my bowl set by a member who had gently guided me through the meal. Occasionally she had w hispered to me what I should and should not do as our mindful meal practice progressed. After fixing my careless newbie mistake, the helpful practiti oner smiled, and in return, I nodded my head and averted my eyes to the floor as to say thanks
89 The pract ice of Oryoki gave me my first insights into the practice of mindfulness and habitual processes as it related to maintenance in this sacred space called home. Every gesture, sound, and movement all served some larger purpose. These mostly non verbal practi ces communicated not only a discipline of the mind and body, but also demonstrated systems of patience and forbearance. In making these connections, I began to see the contradiction of both mindfulness and habitual processes as a practice in the Center. Fo r example, practiti oners were mindful in the sense that they had learned what it was to eat sparingly, acknowledging that food is meant to nourish the body. Eating then was not a gluttonous act or even an act of enjoyment but a means to fuel the body and p ractice an awareness of others living in less fortunate circumstances. Habitual processes, on the other hand, were exemplified in this same act of sparse eating. While the recognition of food as fuel rather than food as pleasure is important in light of ou r over populated world, I also argue that the automated and habitual practices formed completely dismant le the individual. A system of habituated think ing had le d individuals to abandon their identities and instead partake in discourses and practices of a repetitious nature oned but incorrect speech, thoughts, and actions were politely disciplined. The mindfulness of these habitual processes constituted one characteristic of this place these practiti one rs called home Work Periods and Functional Talking The childhood experience of repetit a complicated form of protection while facing a loss of ethos, a shelter for protection against the blows of an uncertain world. (Braitc h, 2006, p. 505 ) Between the hours of 9 :00 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. all Zen Center live in members and guests were expected to participate in daily work
90 periods. Prior to starting our working se ssions, we attend ed a 15 minute meeting in the atrium. The atrium was a small and cozy living room like space, located in the m ain house, equipped with a wood burning furnace, an assortment of teas and tea mugs, a couch, several director style chairs lining the inside wall, a coffee tabl e, and a modest shrine dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion. I remem ber the room smelling like camp fire and Nag Champa incense bringing back comforting memories of my teenage, hippie summers spent under the stars in the woodsy backyard of my Colo ra do home. The walls were white and the carpet a deer colored tan. Everything about this space was tranquil. All the mild smell s, colors, and objects were instruments designed to offer sensations of peace and to minimize opportunities for distraction. Onc e we had all gathered and the chatting subsided, a simple ceremony honoring the bodhisattva took place. The perso n in charge of leading the work period meetings stood directly in front of the bodhisattva while another Zen Center member stood to his right and aided him in the process. One stick of incense was lighted and held by the practiti oner until the work period leader was ready to receive the incense, at which point it was t. All the people in t he room then bow ed three times in the direction of the bodhisattva, then turn ed and bow ed once to each other and the room, honoring not only the bodhisattva but also each other. A fter these ritualistic tributes were paid to ourselves and each other, the me eting bega n. The work period leader was one of the resident monks; a really funny and down to earth man. He and his wife had lived at the center on and off for years, both earning their right to have authoritative positions. The leader began the meeting by asking if any one had any announcements typically there were n one but the question was still
91 asked twice daily. This simple question al one was but another measure of consistency I witnessed during my stay. Using a clipboard containing an excel spreadsh eet with assigned new tasks to those who had completed their chores. Every one was a contributing member to the life at the Ce nter My assigned actual ity, it was a lot of gardening fertilizing t he entire front lawn This made me smile. As it turned out, all the compost used was from the non edib le organic waste leftover from meals, making this act of sustaining life at the Zen Center cyclical. Food could be grown without chemicals or too much help from the outside world. Furthermore, the labor was one more way that practitioners could feel the im portance of their role in the co creation of this home. I was excited to be a part of something larger than myself, to also contribute to the home these people had built. So fertilize I did. The leader helped situate me, providing me with a bucket, shove l, gardening The sun was making its way down the western side of the sky when I began my work. Everything was beautiful: the garden, the view, the people. While I worke d for the next couple of hours, all I could think of was how lucky I felt to have this opportunity. Being a master being a girlfrien d, daughter, sister, and friend all can make me feel pulled at times. But being here in t his place, carefully tending to the lawn and the pieces of earth that would give it new life in the spring, transported me to a meditative state. I was no longer a separate being with multiple roles and obligations, I was one with the work, with the people of the center, and with the earth I was nourishing.
92 It made me wonder if t he others who had come to stay also felt this sense of inner connectedness. At around 5:00 p.m. the work period leader relieved me of my duties and graciously suggested that I fi nish up the following day during the first work period. As it turned o or the main house, leaving my fertilizing duties to a later date. The next morning I scrubbed the latrines in the main house and va cuumed the floors of the main eating hall and at rium. I remember being pleased by the level of cleanliness and organization in this communal space. Being a athroom, vacuuming, and tidying up gave me some sense of satisfac tion a strange powerful release. When I feel that I am not in control of anything in my life, cleaning is the one thing I feel like I can control and do well. Once I had finished vacuuming, Windexing, and Cloroxing the main living areas, kitchen, everything was qui et with the exception of bubbling coming from the white bean and tomato soup thickening on the sto ve. The quiet trigge red a flashback to my first day at the C enter, when I had asked the guest services liaison about how mindfulness could be witnessed in daily practices. In addition to explaining that everything was a disciplined practice, she also expressed the importance of focus and care given to the tasks at hand. Thus, practit ioners spoke only functionally during work periods, meaning there were no informal conversations on meaningless topics (as is frequently d one in normative social settings), only meaningful exchange s related to the work at hand. T he kitchen practiti oner and I only spoke functionally for the first 10 minutes of our interaction until I selfishly felt I needed more. I wanted to know her story, why she was there, never mind the fact
93 stand the quiet nor idle conversation, there was something more to this young woman who was only a couple of years my junior. So I dove right in, asking her about her family and the life journey that brought her to the center. She shared with me what she could in the time we had while still tending to the delicious pot of soup that was brewing on the iron top stove. She was kind and collected. She added to the tranquility that I felt during my stay. As we talked I heard the voice of one of the new live in members down the hall. While I had only spoken briefly with this person, something rubbed me the wrong way about him. This made me wonder if this young, female practiti oner ever felt unsafe in her home where so many new people came and went throughout the year. Asking her this question, she explained that the only time she felt unsafe is when she traveled back to the university where she had matriculated. For her, b eing away from the Zen Center was like leaving her home. Even though she had been indoctr inated into the normative behaviors of college life and its overwhelmingly non Buddhist ways of living, something about the life that had been created at the Zen Center was safety to her. This spiritual space that differed so drastically from the day to da y life that she had experienced for the majority of her life, felt like home. The Zen Center was her safe haven. Zazen Prudence teaches that contingencies are unavoidable, which turns the dream of total security into a most unwise desire to avoid the una voidable. Thus, the animal defense. His mortality saves his life. ( Hamilton, 2013 p. 28) While unwinding during our schedul ed break in my cozy, down feath er bed, my senses were piqu ed by what sounded like the gentle drumming on a hollowed out
94 wooden bell. I sat up to check the time on the alarm clock 7:20 p.m. I had 10 minutes unti l I was to meet one of the head mo nks for my zazen training. So I stood up, gathering myself from my calm and relaxed state, walked to the front of main dormitory exit, and headed for the zendo. The zendo was a beautiful wooden building located in the middle of the C entering the meditation hall, the familiar and welcoming scent of Nag Champa met my nostrils with delightful eas e. The lighting was dim and few obj ects were present. At the south side entrance, practit ioners were greeted by a lar ge shrine comprised of a candle lit table with several bodhisattva statues; some simple bamboo plants; a photo of a man who I do not recognize but who m I assume is a Buddhist Roshi, or teacher, for one or more members of the congregation; and a few other symbolic and ritualistic t rinkets. The tan or raised seated sections of the zendo, wrapped snuggly around the in side walls of the hall, created a unified room for meditative practice. Joining me a few minutes late, my instructor for zazen 101 had arrived. The monk greeted me in a pleasantly yet rushed state as he knew the evening service was to begin in the next few minutes, so my tutorial was brief. He walked me through the entrance, explaining that I was to bow whenever entering the zendo. I then followed him to the l eft side of the entrance and I was taught to take two steps to the left, bow to the bodhisattva of compassion, take another two steps to my left and walk to my seat in the zendo. I removed my inside sandals, placed them under the tan, and pulled my zafu and zabuton (round meditation cushion and mat) toward me so that I would have an easier time reaching them once I had hoisted myself up onto the flat meditative ledge. The monk then instructe d me on the proper way to reac h my seat. This act was not so graceful as I
95 c lumsily got my legs tangled in my arms and touched the ledge with the bottom of my feet a zendo taboo as practiti oners eat their meals on this ledge during various annual retreats. But the monk was kind and suggested that I try again. The second go around was easier. I managed to find my legs without too much of a fuss. After situating my body in a comfortable yet disciplined po sition the monk enlightened me on the physical and mental focuses of zazen meditation. My hands were to rest in my lap, with my right hand lightly cupping my left h and and thumb tips softly touching. This created an egg like shape in my hands. My shoulders were to b e relaxed with my back straight and my gaze downward at a 45 degree angle. But my main focus was on my breath. I count ed to 10 using my exhales as markers, thinking of nothing other than the sensation of air entering my nostrils, filling my lungs, passing through my body, and the de oxygenated air making its way out through my mouth. If my thoughts were interrupted by oth er outside factors, I was to start over. Th e monk then left me to practice while the others wer e being summoned by the slow dong of the hollowed out wooden bell. I listened as people entered the building, their coats rustling as their arms positi oned the ir bodies on their seats. There were deep breaths and thoughtful sighs. But after 10 minutes or so the room was silent and again I attempted to focus on my breath. This may have been one of the most difficult mental exercises of my life. My oxygenated th oughts were constantly interrupted by day dreams of the upcoming holiday and worries around my thesis and term papers. And if I were not distracted enough by my 90 mile an hour thoughts, I was focused on the chill in the night air that was now caressing th e tops of my thighs. All I wanted was a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate. A TV playing the
96 latest episode of Pretty Little Liars frustrated me as I knew that this experience was meaningful on so many level s and that I needed to be present, so I started again one . .two. .three. .four. . then dong dong . a large symbol, possibly a gong, was struck twice, indicating to all that our first 30 minute session of zazen was complete and the next portion of our evening service would begin. Once every one had rise n and their feet were firmly planted o n the waxed floor the lead monk, who had also instructed me on the art of zazen led us in a meditative walk called kinhin Lined up single file, our steps progressed slowly with our bodies no more one another. The focus of this exercise was to feel the energy passing through our bodies up one leg and down the other. I watched as the he floor, arching, until a small step was taken. The same process would repeat for the right foot until several steps in, our pace quickened and we were moving full speed ahead. We exited the zendo and walked around the hall, circling three times. Upon entering the zendo after our final loop, we proceeded to make another several laps around the inside of the zendo and like our starting place, our steps slowed until we had been circulated back to ou r seats. We sat zazen for another half hour. My thoughts were still a non centered mess. I was so bad at this mediation thing. I sat there wondering how long it took some of my fellow zazen mates to mast er the art of quieting the mind or if they ever reall y had. Surprising me again, the gong was struck twice, ending our ev ening service and our second 30 minute zazen session. Nearly 9:00 p.m. now, we all gracefully dismounted the tan and acknowledged our counterparts op posite the room with two bows. Heading to
97 my dormitory, I collected my outside shoes and swapped them for my inside sandals. After I reached my room, I m ade myself a cup of tea and lay in bed I was beat and I rest would be in my favor as morning zazen began at 4:30 a. m. and lasted significantly longer. So I closed my eyes and let the night take me. Summoning my astuteness, a loud set of jingling bells moved me from nighttime slumber. The red on the alarm clock glared 4:27 a.m. right on time. I rolled out of bed, made a fresh cup Chamomile tea and brushed my teeth. As I moved down the hall heading from my dormitory to the zendo I could see people gathering in the dimly lit temple. The stars were still out and I watched as steam formed around my lips as the cold air met the heat of my breath. Anticipating the chill I had felt last night in my meditative state, I came prepared with four coats, a snug beanie, and wool socks. Morning zazen began the same b ut lasted much longer. Each two period meditative se ssion drudge d on for 50 minutes, something for which I was not prepared I was so anxious. I did not want to sit there. Matching my ornery mind, my body grew restless so I kept readj usting, disturbing the silence with t he rustling of my synthetically made jacket sh el l. I was going out of my mind until finally I was saved by the sweet sound of that humming gong; salvation at last. I watched as a couple people stepped out before moving on to kinhin I thought to myself, would it be rude of me to leave? But these thought s lasted momentarily. I end ured and sat another 50 minutes; after all, I was there to experience mindfulness in its fullest, even if I went insane in the process. Maybe that was the point t o be uncomfortable and overcome, to step away from the distractions of everyday American material and habitual inundation and to experience the beauty in self awareness and simplicity. Rejuvenation was in order but all I felt was
98 angst. So I allowed myself to sit with the discomfort, giving myself permission to let my th oughts wander where they may. I felt as though I were cleansing my soul from all of the meaningless distractions that had so regularly consumed my being. As I did this, my It is in our moments of discomfort that we have the opportunity to grow and learn who we are moment of silence as an epistemic gateway, welcoming my self discovery, returning to me. In these moments of silence I felt my mindfulness returning. Once I released the an xiety intensified by the stillness of my body and the quiet in the room, I was able to focus on who I was. Letting my mind be open to wh atever thoughts came in and out was the first sense of freedom I had felt since my arrival at the Center. However, this practice too was a contradiction in itself. Sitting zazen was a requirement as a guest of the Center; moreover, your thoughts were to be focused on your breath, emptying your mind from all of the material desires and manifestations that cloud the mind da ily. This was not an easy task for me or one that I was particularly interested in following. In my own mind, I was a rebel, letting my thoughts take me where they may. Tea with the Abbot There is a paradoxical relation between death and knowledge. On the one hand, death is the ultimate defeat of reason, on the other hand, it is the source of desire for knowledge. Knowledge thrives on a desire to know the unknown. This desire is constituted b y the void of the undetermined, that is death; it is brought into being because of and through the void, which can never be reached. This is what keeps the production of knowledge going. (Huysmans, 1998, p. 237) Running from the main house to the north side of the Zen Center a sense of child li ke giddiness traditional how cool is this?! A flood of thoughts and questions rushed through my head as I
99 carefully minded the jagged rocks of the unpaved path beneath my hurried feet, I wondered, will the abbot b e fully robed in traditional Japanese Buddhist attire? How low do I bow when I enter the hut? Do I call him by his English name or his given Japanese title? Oh man, I t otally feel like Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai waiting to receive life altering wis dom from the great Katsumoto this is awesome! At the front porch now, I wood and stucco structure, cleared a few unruly, windblown hairs from face, and reached for the te knob, the door opened. . It was as if the abbot had sensed my presence. With a kind and welcoming bow to one another, the abbot invited me into his tea hut. The room wa s small but inviting Again, only a few objects of spiritual and functional significance remained. There were two sets of meditative cushions placed opposite one another, a few miniature bodhisattva replicas on top of a lean dresser, a lotus flower candle holder with a lighted tea mentor, a cute but out of place paper replica of Yoda (which I was later told was given to the abbot as a gift), and several instruments a nd trinkets for our Japanese tea ceremony. As I loo ked around the room, the abbot invited me to take my seat and join him in a moment of meditative silence. As we sat, that familiar scent of Nag Champa filled my lungs, relaxing my body. I watched as the abbot meticulously made me a cup of tea from a rock f ormation bearing boiling water and a jar containing a fine green powder. Using a ladle made from teak, he poured the steaming w ater from the ladle into a bowl and ever so precisely, minding the sleeves on his Japanese style robe, set the ladle on top of t he water pot. Now mixing the fine green powder, the abbot used a whisk from what looked
100 like all natural fibers, perhaps from branches or durable straw. He whisked the substance in several directive motions until the tea powder and water mixture became fro thy. It was like watching a magician perform a great show the gentle wave of a wand, concentrated stare, and alakazam Magic. But this experience was so much cooler than any magic trick I had seen, for everything I was witnessing was real. As the abbot f inished making my cup of tea, he invited me to eat a sweet tea cake that he carefully handed me. The cake was served on a tiny, round, wooden slab accompanied by a miniature paper napkin. The cake itself was no bigger than the length on my thumb and was a clear green color it looked like a baby bar of soap. The utensil provided was an oversized toothpick with a sharpened edge for cutting. I was surprised by the sweet ness of the cake; it was quite delicious. I remember having tasted something similar to this during a presentation given by one of my Korean students on traditional Korean desserts. Together, the graininess and bitter taste of the tea accompanied by the sweetness of the soy bean cake complimented the various flavors and textures well. What a trea t this experience was (pardon the pun). After the abbot had finished making himself a cup of tea, our meaningful conversation began. Almost instantaneously, our discussion jumped into a historic debate around international affairs. While we chatted about the state of our world and our viewpoints on that subject, the abbot expressed to me his concern around disclosing his opinions on such delicate matters. He feared that if he shared his opinions with me, that I may later publish his thoughts and that the r epercussions of his words could jeopardize his safety and potentially the safety of the Zen Center itself. I gave the abbot my word that our conversation on world politics and his pe rsonal standing on such matters would
101 remain between us. I explained that more than anything, I was interested in understanding mindfulness as a practice and curious as to how it could be seen in daily occurrences at the Zen Center So he shared with me his thoughts on mindfulness and explained some of the various Buddhist prac tices that I had witnessed. Before long, our conversation had turned into an ontological discussion revolving around the lived experience and the epistemic understandings developed from those experiences. I was fascinated. We talked about the transcendenta l worlds that are beyond our physical scope but that can been seen in the darkness of certain states of mind and physical settings. I shared with him some of the heartache that I had experienced in the past few months and he listened with compassionate ea rs. We talked of his childhood dreams of having a tea hut like the one in which we now sat His energy was warm and innocent. He had a light and lightness about him that made my heart smile. I could have talked to him for days but before I knew it, the cl ock read 5:30 p.m. the last 2 hours had flown by. admiring the Japanese style g arden he had regularly tended I could feel the chill of winter in the air. The long grasses s wayed back and forth in the nighttime breeze as the stars began to brighten in the darkening sky. The abbot pointed to dif ferent areas of the shaped land that demonstrated his care in the development of this peaceful space. Again, I bowed and thanked him f or his time. As I placed my outside shoes on and walked toward my dormitory, I understood how some of the Zen Center members were able to leave the lives they had built in what now seemed like a world of chaos, carelessness, and danger. Up here, they were safe. This place offered spiritual rejuvenation and
102 nourishment. It seemed to welcome the suffering of all those who had experienced pain and wrap it up with love and acceptance. I too began to feel at home. The Zen Center as Home Home provides safety but the safety is a means to repose and peace. The peace enables home to become the place of generating life. ( Dobel, 2010 p. 486) The New Normal dange Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, American citizens have been living in a state of mana ged instability and insecurity a way of life that Bratich (2006) deems the New Normal This term is used to describe the post 9/11 world that has been destabilized by terrorism, economic instabilities, and contagion deterrence. According to Matsumi (as cited in Braitch 2006), t his general state of everyday crisis as a result of continual war wit t he pol In essence, what citizens once understood as stability is no longer associated with normalcy; normalcy now coincides with instability Mythen (2011) suggests that l l ways of understanding the world consequently indoctrinating individuals to believe that danger is ever present and security compromised, thus creating a culture of fear. To counteract and redirect these everyday risks that are always looming, various pr eemptive actions designed to ensure safety, security, and stability are taken (Mythen, 2011). While these definitions of risk society and the New Normal refer more to issue s of national security, I argue that on a lesser scale, equally as real and painf ul, dangers can be seen These things include heartache the loss of a lover, friend, family member, pet, or confidant; the danger of losing an
103 home, job, or other things that offer both physical and financial security; the loss or uncertainty of spiri tual/religious convictions; agony due to painful memories in childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age; struggles due to the grip of addiction; the fear of rejection and longing f or acceptance; poor health whether it be an ailment that perpetually plagues a person like cancer, disease, and depression or the lack of physical mobility or natural use of body; dissatisfaction or hate for themselves: the everyday reality that their surrounding physical setting is truly hell on earth; false promises made by others and the disappointment of expectations that are not met; and the list goes on and on. These fearful emotions and states of being are only exacerbated by the inst able post 9/11 environment subsequently causing need to self protect to heighten. In addition to the need for survival, safety, freedom fr om danger, protect ion from worldly factors that cause fearfulness and suffering, individuals also n eed contentment and joy. Buddha taught four noble truths, the first of which states that life is suffering. This includes physical suffering like pain, illness, aging, and death as well as psychological suffering like l oneliness embarrassment, disappointm ent, anger and fear (White, 1 993). The second truth proposes that suffering is caused by craving and hate In essence, this truth sug gests that craving for things people want and do not have depri ves them of peace and co ntentment as they will always be searching for external fixtures to create their joy Ultimately, I believe that these various forms of suffering are part of our daily normalcy that encourages feelings of unsettlement, insecurity, and fearfulness. In this case, then, the p reemptive measure would be to find happiness and end suffering
104 (White, 1993, para. 14). Here, solution lies in the letting go of useless cravings and instead inspires i ndividuals to live presently, not dwelling on the past or future. The fourth truth is that the Eightfold Path (which consists of living morally and focusing the mi nd on actions and thoughts or being mindful) allows people to develop compassion for others, event ually leading to the end of suffering. Here in lies the Zen Center as key to finding happiness in a home. Home many, home is an nest where an escape from suffering and the pains of the outside world can be found. This place can offer protection and solace in times of both internal and external turmoil. Reflecting on my trip to the Zen Center and my int eractions w ith some of the live in practitioners it has become evident to me that the Zen Center is a place of solace for those who are suffering. For those who are not, it is home home in that it offers support and l ove; fosters growth; develops personal integrity; and nurtures wounds, both new and old. Taylor (1997) recounts his personal memories of home and the violence that, at times, consumed his past. He argues that history retraces itself in home s and looks to his home as source for some of the normative behaviors that were learned and passed down. As he grew and spent time in ne w homes, Taylor reflected on past homes and the features of those places. During one of his stays in a new home, Taylor recalls an unpleasant e ncounter that l eft him unsettled. As a result of this encounter, Taylor called his home where both his pa I instinctively sought out my
105 228). In a st ate of powerlessness, Taylor turned to a place that gave him strength and offered safety. In light of these experiences Taylor suggests that new homes can be built and recreated, offering refuge to those who seek asylum from the inundation of daily suffer ome moves with people in their memory and community and Dobel, 2010, p. 485). With this in mind, I believe that the Zen Center represents a new home, a place free from danger, a home that is empowering In addition I believe that the opportunity to be part of a new home causes people to abandon memories and formed habits that suppor ted unfulfilling ways of living and adopt new value systems that foster peace and a joyous means of understanding themselv es and being present in the world of which they are a part Citizenship and Participation in Ritual During my stay, I witnessed several ritualistic practices that contributed to the understanding of the Zen Center as home. T hese practices included the three that I outlined above oryoki work periods and functional talking, and zazen All practiti one rs were expected to participate in t hese practices as, I believe, they not only demonstrated discipl ine, integrity, and mindfulness but also added to the sen se of community, giving people ownership in this place they collectively cultivated. Because of this communal binding between fellow practiti one r and place, value systems were generating, those of which I found to be in the interest of the whole. Wolfer s (1952) observes that, between matters of global interest and the common good there are cting the whole, Wolfers suggests that cries for immediate c hange develop when a fear of
106 exter nal dangers arise. Citizens then turn to institutions that represent power, model behavior, and confidence in the hopes of having an end all be all guardian. Security then is not only seen as necessary for global protection but also as an inherent value th at societies adopt. Through the preservation and continuation of these value systems and ritualistic practices, practiti one rs secure the home from outside factors and paradigms that once plagued the non Zen practiti one r. Aliments that afflicte d the soul, m ind, and body are now be safe from the normalcy of suffering. Through these mindful acts, as a community, suffering is vanquished, and security of the mind, body, soul, and home are maintained. Wolfers (1952) argues, res the absence of threats to acquired values, in a subjective sense, the absence of fear that such values wi p. 485). As such, Zen Center citizens act altruistically to maintain the safety of this sacred place called home making way for s piritual and civic virtuosity. Security is exercised daily in order to preserve home and that of the public good (Dahl, 1992; Tewksbury, 2012). In this case, both civic virtue and understandings of the public good are linked as they require citizens to a ct selflessly serving the interests of the collective whole (D ahl, 1992). B ecause Zen Buddhism dictates mindfulness in all things, citizens are not preparing for a breach of the security they have built but instead are interested in working together as an active body in the preservation of home this is their security. Together, this mindful and collective effort that dictates ways of being in a communal space fosters growth from past insecurities and establishes a home that provides safety. Wha is, these values that are typically attribute d to home can be found in many p laces, both old and new. For home is what grounds individuals,
107 offe ring support and comfort for their interactions in the world outside t hose protective walls.