Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Second Mindfulness Training

Reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Five Mindfulness Trainings, and despite him being a Buddhist and all, the Spirit whispered to me that he's probably taken out his endowment at some point (think "time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you or with which he may bless you" as you read this!):

"Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I will practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth." The World We Have, pp. 11-12 (alternate version here)

OK, so it's not totally LDS but the Spirit's still telling me a lot of Mormons could really get behind this. It's like, you know, one of those those fragmented bits of truth out there in all religions that fits so neatly into the whole entire Truth found within the doctrine of the Church, right? Make sense to me (kind of). Except for the fact that here it feels like Buddhism has something to add to Mormonism, rather than Mormonism adding to Buddhism.

Where in Mormon doctrine do you find explicit prohibitions of exploitation of people, animals, plants and minerals? When was the last time you heard a prophet or apostle tell you to oppose anything causing "the suffering of other species"? The best we have is an awkward statement in the Doctrine & Covenants about how the U.S. Constitution "should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh" and how slavery (in the U.S.) is bad. Even if we want to believe the Second Mindfulness Training and the verses in D&C say the same thing, the truth is Thich Nhat Hanh says it way better.

So I'd like to bear my testimony that Thich Nhat Hanh is a partial prophet who should change his ways and be baptized by true authority and be saved, and that Buddhism can sort of be right sometimes but never as right as the Church I was born into. Nham oh Jheses Christh, ahmen!

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