The imposition of the death penalty and state-authorised execution should be stopped in this century. It is too barbaric and too repulsive amongst civilised countries such as USA, Canada, Australia and European countries, … We are not living in the Middle Ages and we don’t want to go back in time!
Taking the life of a human being is a crime or a kind of retaliation. It breaches the international covenants that were signed by the Singapore government. It would also be a breach of Singapore’s international obligations to Australia, said by Sir William Deane, former governor-general and former High Court judge.
Punishment is necessary to maintain the order of any society. But this is not the only way to make this world better. Education seems to play a major role to prevent crimes and offences in schools and to rehabilitate prisoners in prisons. Have we done enough?
I believe tolerance is a good way to transform criminals into good citizens. We need more psychologists, more educators, more religion experts, more pastoral care, more classes, more correspondence education in the prisons. Instead of calling them prisons, we could change them into different names, such as rehabilitation houses or rehabilitation hospitals. We need to invest human resources in a long term if we wish to change our society to move in a better direction.
We can tame some animals: dogs, horses, bears, tigers, lions, birds, … Why not human beings? If we fail to change people from a wild state into a cultivated condition, that is our mistake, our government’s problem. We need more experts. We need more budget for youth. Our plan or investment for youth should be for 10 or 20 years in order to create a better life in a better society for future generations. We should not kill a criminal because of our failure to transform him or her. If we fail to tame our horse, or if our horse does not want to follow our instructions, then we need more time, more advices from experts, we must not kill him or her.
Transformation, in my belief, is very important and critical for our society nowadays. Mr Nguyen is like many of us. He has made a mistake, a serious mistake. But this is the first offence in his life and he is young enough to deserve a chance to correct his mistake. I believe every one of us has the ability to transform ourselves and to become better people if we have a chance. Rubbish can be transformed into beautiful flowers if you use a compost bin wisely. The hatred, the anger, the evil, the despair, the jealousy, … all is in your heart. If you know how to transform them, then it will give you energy to help you become a better person.
Killing people, killing even criminals, for any reasons, even in the name of national laws is an abuse of the powerless. Singapore hanged a Filipina domestic worker ten years ago and since 2002, five Indonesian domestic workers were charged with murder and now face the death penalty. What is wrong with your country? The more you kill, the more problems you face! You blow more anger, more hatred, more violence into the heart of your children! What kind of persons will they become in 20 years? The death penalty devalues human life and thereby diminishes your sovereignty.
Peace in yourself gives peace in the world. Your act of killing contributes to the violence in the world. We have too much violence already: bomb suicide, war, terrorists, daily killing, … How can you verify your act of killing to your children, to your students, to your citizens?
As human beings, all of us, we need a open heart for loving kindness. That is our spiritual dimension. We need to call our name correctly. We need to live appropriately as our correct name. As a father, we need to be a good father. As a daughter, we need to be a good daughter. As a human being, we need to act like a civilised human being, no more no less. Our world becomes an interbeing world. There is no individual happiness, but collective happiness, interbeing happiness. If there is somebody in any corner of the world suffering, that is our suffering. If there is a forest fire somewhere in Africa, that is our damage. With the climate change due to global warming, Katrina is the disaster of not only the United States, that is our disaster.
In order to have loving kindness, we need to listen deeply and to look deeply at each event, each person, each circumstance. Understanding and Love will come to you. That kind of energy will help you! You become a human being with its right meaning. Now you have no discrimination. No discrimination between countries. No discrimination between people. No discrimination between good and bad. No discrimination between angel and evil. Because they are all in you, in your heart. Man is not our enemy.
Vinh Nguyen teacher of Footscray City College, 02/12/2005
The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism
By Sutra Translation Committee of USA/Canada
This is a revised and expanded edition of The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism. The text is a compendium of excerpts and quotations from some 350 works by monks, nuns, professors, scholars and other laypersons from nine different countries, in their own words or in translation. The editors have merely organized the material, adding a few connecting thoughts of their own for ease in reading.
In India in the 6th century BC, Sakyamuni, "a wise man of the Sakya tribe", had been meditating under a tree when, suddenly, he was struck with the comprehension of all things. He became Buddha, meaning the « Illuminated ». His message, based on a pragmatic philosophy, taught how to free oneself from all needs in order to achieve illumination. After the death of the Enlightened One, his disciples – a few monks – began to spread his teachings all over India, from Ceylon to the Himalayan. Fearing man’s penc
In 2011, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche began a series of one-month teaching retreats, all to be presented at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion near Bendigo. The series of these teachings include Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara - A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life as well as preparation for the transmission of the rare Rinjung Gyatsa initiations. The three host centres – Atisha Centre, Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery and the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion – are pleased to welcome Lama Zopa back to Australia in 2014 to continue these teachings, instructions and transmissions.
The three host centres, operating together as Lama Zopa Australia Inc., are also pleased to be hosting the Council for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (CPMT) meeting during the fortnight prior to the 2014 retreat. Please click here for more information about the CPMT meeting.
These are two unique Australian events with Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. If you are looking for a great opportunity
We are delighted to announce the forthcoming visits of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Wandrak Rinpoche to Australia in October to December 2014.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo was one of the first Westerners ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She spent 12 years in seclusion practicing meditation and founded Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in India. In 2008 Tenzin Palmo was given the title of Jetsunma, which means Venerable Master.
Wangdrak Rinpoche is the Abbot of Gebchak Gonpa in Tibet, home to 350 nuns and a unique female yogic lineage.
Teachings will be offered at a number of Dharma centres and we would be grateful if you can circulate these details within your centre.
Please find flyers for the events attached for noticeboards and links for the websites for emails. www.gebchakrigpaharsey.org and www.tenzinpalmo.com
Thank you for supporting the Dongyu Gatsal Ling and Gebchak nuns and these great yogini traditions.
With kindest regards,
The Gebchak Rigpa Har-Sey team
Dan Stevenson is neither a Buddhist nor a follower of any organized religion.
The 11th Avenue resident in Oakland's Eastlake neighborhood was simply feeling hopeful in 2009 when he went to an Ace hardware store, purchased a 2-foot-high stone Buddha and installed it on a median strip in a residential area at 11th Avenue and 19th Street.
He hoped that just maybe his small gesture would bring tranquillity to a neighborhood marred by crime: dumping, graffiti, drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, aggravated assault and burglaries.
Ven. Thich Tue Sy is a Buddhist monk and has been a lecturer in philosophy at the Buddhist University of Van Hanh. At this moment he is the Secretary General of United Buddhist Association in Vietnam. He was condemned to death by the People's Tribunal in Ho Chi Minh City, charged with "anti-governmental activities".
Ideally, education is the principal tool of human growth, essential for transforming the unlettered child into a mature and responsible adult. Yet everywhere today, both in the developed world and the developing world, we can see that formal education is in serious trouble. Classroom instruction has become so routinized and pat that children often consider school an exercise in patience rather than an adventure in learning.
Yae-Hong Hsu, better known by his Buddhist name Chin Kung Shi, was born in February of 1927 in Lujiang County, Anhui Province of China. He attended the National Third Guizhou Junior High School and Nanjing First Municipal High School. In 1949, he went to Taiwan and worked in the Shijian Institution.
This book studies the role of exports in Vietnam’s rapid growth since the country implemented a comprehensive reform (Doimoi) in 1986 to transform itself from a centrally command system to a ‘socialist-oriented market economy’. One central finding is that Vietnam’s growth since Doi-Moi has indeed been export-led as the second-tier NICs of Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, but that many of the characteristics of Vietnam’s exports are different to those of these NICs. Another key finding is that Vietnam’s growth since 2000 has been extensive rather than intensive with high GDP growth driven by rapid growth in factor supplies, especially labour, with low growth in non-agricultural productivity. Such a development path will not support the rate of long-term growth that Vietnam requires to achieve its development objectives, and major policy changes are necessary.
This book provides useful insights in Vietnam’s economy and is a good reference for economic researchers, postgraduate
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường, nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.
May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland, Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below, may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma, the Land of Ultimate Bliss.