Category Archives: General

Truthfulness

We’ve come to the end of our consideration of Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book, The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony, and when I contemplate it all together, it strikes me that truthfulness is the foundation of social harmony. Without truthfulness, … Continue reading

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Instructions to a leader

In DN 5, translated below by Bhikkhu Bodhi, the Buddha tells a story from ancient times that involves a rich King, Mahavijita, wondering how best to use his accumulated wealth and the advice he got from his chaplain. Here’s what … Continue reading

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Who’s the chief?

When cattle are crossing a ford, if the chief bull goes crookedly, all the others go crookedly because their leader has gone crookedly. So, too, among human beings, when the one considered the chief behaves unrighteously, other people do so … Continue reading

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Social heirarchy

The Buddha talks about social status in several suttas. At the beginning of MN 96, a Brahmin outlines who is allowed to serve whom, according to the caste system in place at the time. The Buddha replies (in part): I … Continue reading

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Employers and employees

Having covered the four cardinal directions (N, S, E, and W), we come now to the nadir, or lower direction. In this case the Buddha describes a wholesome relationship between people who are not equally powerful in a particular situation. … Continue reading

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Friends and companions

The fourth direction on the compass in DN31 (here translated by Bhikku Bodhi) is the north and is described as relationships with friends and companions. These can be the most consequential relationships we have, and if we’re lucky the category … Continue reading

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Life partners

We come now to the third of the six directions to be protected: our spouses and partners. There are five ways in which a husband should minister to his wife as the western direction: by honoring her, by not disparaging … Continue reading

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