[Buddha-l] Re: Can an Air Force cadet have Buddha nature?

Richard P. Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Wed May 18 17:29:51 MDT 2005

On Wed, 2005-05-18 at 19:00 -0400, Dan Lusthaus wrote:

> Vigilance in the ferreting out of wrong views and wrong speech.

I think you need to reread the Simile of the snake, the sutta in the
Majjhima-nikaaya in which the Buddha warns that taking the dhamma in the
wrong way is like picking up a snake by the wrong end. What is the wrong
way to pick up a snake? The Buddha explains that when we pick up the
dhamma in order to win debates, score points, point out the weaknesses
of others and so forth, then we are taking up the dhamma in a way that
only does us harm. Vigilance is ferreting out one's own wrong views and
wrong speech is good practice. Imagining maliciousness in others is not
a particularly good practice. In this matter, I would invite you to
reflect on whether your practice has been exemplary. From where I sit,
it appears to stink. But only you can decide that for yourself.

Richard Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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