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September 2015 Talk - Make Room for the Misfits!: When SweepingZen asked for a talk on International Blasphemy Rights Day (September 30th), I joked that I do that with most of my posts! A nice thing about Buddhists is that we rarely kill, burn at the stake or imprison our critics, dissenters, heretic...

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When SweepingZen asked for a talk on International Blasphemy Rights Day (September 30th), I joked that I do that with most of my posts!

A nice thing about Buddhists is that we rarely kill, burn at the stake
or imprison our critics, dissenters, heretics and the doctrinally
different (although we have our scattered extremists too, the same as
any religion). We are pretty non-violent, but even we aren’t totally
immune from forbidding and punishing blasphemy and unwelcome voices.

Keep room in Zen Buddhism for the misfits, square pegs, tradition
breakers and “original non-thinkers” on the edges. Learn to distinguish
the con artists, shysters, abusers and predators from those who have
simply walked their own path, attended the “monastery of hard knocks”,
are doing something good even if not how you would do it. Having “set standards” and “required training paths”
is useful and generally necessary for helping to assure substance,
experience, dedication and ethics in our teachers. Someone can do a lot
of harm when falling down in those things, like an untrained doctor or a
drunken lawyer. However, keep room for exceptions and “special cases”
too. Look at who the priest has become, not so much only how she or he
got there.

Further reading and discussion for this talk are available on the Treeleaf forum:INTERNATIONAL BLASPHEMY DAY: Make Room for the Misfits! »

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