Sunday, January 10, 2010

is praise exempt?

I posted this on Zen Forum International, but I have hunch it won't find an audience and the idea strikes me as serious, however badly presented ... blame is shunned by the wary but praise in spiritual life is given a free ride as if it were unquestionably of unquestionable value and unassailable status. Why ... and should it be?

I wonder why we do not exercise the same caution when praising what we consider wise that we do when blaming what is foolish.

For example, Buddhists burned up the internet recently after 'newscaster' Brit Hume suggested that pro golfer Tiger Woods would be well advised to turn away from an alleged interest in Buddhism and seek forgiveness and redemption in Christianity. The comment was made after Tiger Woods' inability to keep his pecker in his pants surfaced. On the internet, Buddhists were pissed off between the lines but mostly restrained in their comments.

But mention Gautama or Buddhism or any of the great teachers or teachings, and suddenly the same Buddhist restraint is frequently nowhere in sight.

Is praise to be prized or excused in ways that blame is not?

Does 'right speech' refer only to the times when any of us might like to read someone the riot act?

Naturally it feels good to praise what we like or admire, but is Buddhism nothing more than a feel-good occupation?

Just noodling as usual.


No comments:

Post a Comment