Episode 175 :: Gary Gach :: Pro-Active Sila

| June 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Gary Gach

Gary Gach speaks with us today about sila, the pro-social behaviors of Buddhism — Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood.

Recent events around radical, violent activities from Buddhist monastics in Myanmar have stirred some controversy about the validity of Buddhist practice. It seems that Buddhism isn’t really what it’s all cracked up to be if monks are encouraging violence, let alone enacting it themselves. But are they behaving according to the precepts of the tradition? This is a slippery slope as we run the risk of falling into the No True Scotsman fallacy — no real Buddhist would do these things! To really understand what is, and is not, acceptable action for someone identifying as Buddhist, it might help to learn a bit about sila, the ethical conduct portion of the Eightfold Path.

Gary Gach is an American author, translator, editor, teacher and poet living on Russian Hill, San Francisco. His work has been translated into several languages, and has appeared in several anthologies and numerous periodicals. He serves on the International Advisory Panel of the Buddhist Channel, a Malaysian Buddhist news website. A member of the Order of Interbeing, he teaches mindfulness in the tradition of Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, at the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples. He currently hosts Haiku Corner for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Surly Furious.

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Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “Night Temple” from his CD, Traditional and Modern Pieces: Shakuhachi.

Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

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