A Look at Modern Social Issues (Buddhism and Our Changing Society)
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A Look at Modern Social Issues (Buddhism and Our Changing Society)

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Item Code: NAN960
Author: Tom Graham
Publisher: Buddha Light Art and Living Pvt Ltd
Language: English
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 9788192302065
Pages: 252
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 290 gm
About the Book

This volume gives a partial record of an extraordinary series of lectures given by Venerable Master Hsing Yun in different places around the world. These symposia have been a way for him to give a full explanation of his insights regarding many of the social issues of our time.

The topics that are covered in these teachings range from the ethical concerns in biological sciences such as euthanasia to personal challenges associated with suicide and depression. Family management in contemporary life has been addressed, especially in regard to dealing with problems of aging and hospice care. We have entered into a new era of cloning, virtual reality, internet commerce, and global life. In A Look at Modern Social Issues, Master calmly addresses these potentially troubling issues.

As with all his teaching, Master Hsing Yun holds to his principle that Buddhism seeks to the human condition. This means for him that Buddhist values inform believers about all aspects of their lives. Even the mundane tasks or the decisions that have to be made in day-to-day relationships are dealt with through interpretation and understanding of the Buddhist tradition. Personal development and ability to handle emotional states are equally involved in Humanistic Buddhism.

Preface

This volume gives a partial record of an extraordinary series of lectures given by Venerable Master Hsing Yun parallel to those delivered on the campus of the University of the West in 2004 and 2005. His classes have been a way for him to give a full explanation of his insights regarding many of the social issues of our time. The classes attracted hundreds of students on both the Rosemead campus as well as in more than 20 centers around the world participating through live internet. The lecture series, part of the regular course work of the university, took place each semester for five days. Not only did the audiences get to hear the Master's class remarks, time was provided for questions from all of the sites. An indication of the intense interest on the part of the listeners was the numbers of questions that people wanted to ask. From the internet groups, there were dozens of questioners standing in a "virtual" line waiting for an opportunity to have contact with the Master. These have been inspiring events as we see how many people are willing to take the time to think deeply about the problems and issues of our world.

Master Hsing Yun took on this task with his usual dedication. He addressed difficult and controversial subjects and opened up to the worldwide audience for questions on any of the topics. It was a brave step on his part to share thoughts on matters that often stir intense emotions. The fact that questions could be directed to the Master was an innovation. Speaking to large audiences, he is seldom able to make himself available for face to face dialogue. Now, we have this volume taken from the recordings of his lectures for those who could not take part in the live event and for those who wish to review and relive the experience.

The topics that are covered in these teachings range from the ethical concerns in biological sciences such as euthanasia to personal challenges associated with suicide and depression. Family management in contemporary life has been addressed, especially in regard to dealing with problems of aging and hospice care. We have entered into a new era of cloning, virtual reality, internet commerce, and global life. As you will see in the following pages, Master calmly addresses these potentially troubling issues. He continually urged the audiences not to turn their back on the new age of technology but to deal with it in a reasoned and insightful manner. As I listened to his lectures and answers, I was reminded of passages in the Prajnaparamita sutras that state: the "perfections" give the Bodhisattva the ability to keep concentration and focus even in the face of extreme distractions. It seemed that the Master was reminding the group to be fully present in body and mind at every moment and not allow problems and confusions to overwhelm judgment and tranquility.

One of the important messages coming from the Master was the need for individual decision making. His stories reminded people that we cannot always follow the dictates of others when charting the course we take in relationship to life's activities. Similarly, he urged the group to be careful of intruding into the space of another person when such an action is inappropriate.

A number of people raised their own personal situations during the question periods asking for support and help in confronting problems in their lives. The answers from Master, were sometimes confronting. He asked individuals to give up reliance on solutions that do not involve them in moving toward a more enlightened state. One evening, he presented a masterful account of the meaning of "emptiness." The gist of his remarks were a warning about clinging to beliefs and practices that are external rather than inner growth.

As with all his teaching, Master Hsing Yun holds to his principle that Buddhism speaks to the human condition. This means for him that Buddhist values inform believers about all aspects of their lives. Even the mundane tasks or the decisions that have to be made in day to day relationships are dealt with through interpretation and understanding of the Buddhist tradition. Personal development and ability to handle emotional states are equally involved in Humanistic Buddhism.

The students who were fortunate enough to join in this class know that they have been challenged to rethink the ways in which they react to the stresses of living. This volume now makes this information available for the reading audience.

Contents

  Preface i
  Acknowledgments iv
I. Life Education 1
II. Physical and Mental Illness 61
III. Suicide 107
IV. Euthanasia 157
V. Hospice Care 177
  Glossary 230


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