Overcoming Stigma With Brahamavihara

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Presenter: Sayardaw U Tay Zadipati, Shwe Chin Thae (Golden Lion) CBO, Sagaing Division, Myanmar, ICAAP attendance supported by UNAIDS

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Overcoming Stigma With Brahamavihara

  1. 1. Overcoming Stigma With Brahamavihara Presenter: Sayardaw U Tay Zadipati Shwe Chin Thae (Golden Lion) CBO Sagaing Division Myanmar ICAAP attendance supported by UNAIDS
  2. 2. A Brief History <ul><li>After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha founded the order of monks (Sangha) </li></ul><ul><li>These monks travelled around sharing the Gospel of Liberation From Suffering ( Vinaya Pitaka, Maha Vaggapali ) </li></ul><ul><li>To survive, the monks begged for alms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This was for two reasons. To reduce their pride and to increase the links between monks and the community </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. History <ul><li>This vital force – of monks and the community supporting and helping each other – continues today </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community members feed the monks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monks undertake social work </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Buddhism & Discrimination <ul><li>Judging, excluding and stigmatising people is NOT Buddhist behaviour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This comes from social and cultural factors that existed before the Buddha </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Buddha clearly said NO to standing in judgement of others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buddha’s original teachings and practice can be used to reduce exclusion and stigma </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Relevant Teachings <ul><li>Many of Buddha’s texts, practices & teachings can be used to guide non-stigmatising HIV prevention, treatment, and care and support efforts </li></ul><ul><li>“ [Practice] no discrimination; strive to understand root cause and effect and treat everyone with the same respect and dignity, no matter what one's class, sexual orientation and past” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Buddha’s Own Example <ul><li>Some extremely common sermons in Myanmar, regularly preached in public, tell of Buddha’s own practice of not discriminating against anyone </li></ul><ul><li>Angulimala, a notorious and hateful killer feared by all, was welcomed and accepted as a monk in the Buddhist Order </li></ul><ul><li>From the Angulimala Sutta, in Majjhimapannasapali </li></ul>
  7. 7. Buddha’s Own Example <ul><li>Ambapa-li , a sex worker during the time of Buddha, was welcomed as a Bikkhuni, Buddhist nun, in the female Sanhga (deserving of the same respect as the male Sangha for spiritual goodness) </li></ul><ul><li>From the Ambapa-li Therigatha in Therigatha Pali </li></ul><ul><li>Ambapa-li’s goodness was acknowledged and recorded in the Sanana chronicle </li></ul>
  8. 8. Buddha’s Own Example <ul><li>Sirima, a sex worker, was well recognised and respectfully received as one of Buddha’s devotees without any discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>When she passed away, the Buddha asked King Bimbisara to invite the whole city to the funeral, then delivered the sermon himself </li></ul><ul><li>In the Dhammapada Atthakatha (Detailed Explanation of the Original Dhamma) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Buddha’s Own Example <ul><li>Pandaka, a man who had sex with other men, became a monk in the Noble Order of Sangha </li></ul><ul><li>The Story of Pandaka, in Mahavaggapali, Vinaya Pitaka </li></ul><ul><li>The Buddha himself bathed and took care of a monk who was suffering from severe diarrhea </li></ul><ul><li>“ Taking care of the sick is the same as taking care of me” </li></ul><ul><li>The Story of a Patient Monk in Maha Vaggapali, Vinaya Pitaka </li></ul>
  10. 10. Buddha’s Own Example <ul><li>In such a way the Buddha himself showed real-life applications of the principles and values of his teachings: </li></ul><ul><li>Do good for the betterment of humankind without discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Such principles and values are known as Brahmavihara </li></ul>
  11. 11. Conclusion <ul><li>For thousands of years, Buddhists in Myanmar have turned to the Sangha in times of joy or sorrow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even without such special occasions they make offerings to show their respect to Buddha and to gain merit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buddhist monks should engage in social work </li></ul><ul><li>To truly follow Buddha, this social work should be carried out for the welfare of all humanity without discrimination </li></ul>
  12. 12. Thank You To contact Shwe Chin Thae, please contact: Email: [email_address]

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