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Pay attention not only to the cultivation of knowledge but to the cultivation of qualities of the heart, so that at the end of education, not only will you be knowledgeable, but also you will be a warm-hearted and compassionate person.


~ HH the 14th Dalai Lama

9/24/2007

Metta to Myanmar

Thynn Thynn, the woman I consider my first formal teacher in Buddhism, is from Burma (technically, Myanmar, but she refers to herself as Burmese). I've since shifted my focus to Mahayana practices (and some studies in Vajrayana), but I continually return to Thynn Thynn's teachings on mindfulness when I feel a need to sit, to settle into my roots. So I've been following with some concern the recent protests led by monks in Myanmar. So far the government has kept its response relatively peaceful--thanks, ironically, to pressure from China--but tensions are building.

I write this mostly as a means of supporting, however meekly, the monks in their actions. I know too little of the politics in Myanmar to comment on the reasons for protesting, but I admire the monks' quiet but insistent resistance, and, like a good friend of mine (who phrased this better), I am amazed at their willingness to leave their internal contemplation to march on behalf of largely secular concerns, just to help better the lives of the laity. May the protections of my newly-hung lunga prayer flags speed on the wind to help the monks and the Burmese people.

UPDATE: Tensions are reaching the breaking point. I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm rooting for China to hold back the Burmese government from acting against the monks.

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