Thursday 7thMay

Deaths.  The official toll announced today as 30,315.  Also announced that a huge shipments of PPE was unusable as being substandard and other out of date and sub standard equipment had been surreptitiously re-labelled.  Trust in the Government’s handling of the pandemic is clearly dropping – certainly it is for me.  Now much is being made of the  ethnically black and asian sufferers being twice or is it four times as likely to die than whites (Old South African terminology being used) Why?  No one is saying anything about the fact that whatever the ethnicity, twice as many men die as women.

Watched more Harari on UTube and then Alister McGraw vs Christopher Hitchens in which McGraw simply states that the resurrection of Jesus is an historical event which Christian Theology and the NT seeks to explain as its starting point.  He ignored or twisted Hitchin, though he had a good answer to Hitchin’s rather crass understanding and rejection of “Love you enemies and forgive those who persecute you.”

Watched Ajahn Amaro do a Zoom talk to 173 for the UN celebration of Wesak launched from Geneva.  He spoke very well and clearly how he saw the practice of mindfulness being the great gift the Buddha Way can give to those who need to make key decisions regarding war and peace and gave an excellent illustration of how to do this.  This very much echoed what Harari said in a UTube talk on his use of mindfulness practice to clear his mind to write, study, think and not take himself too seriously as so many are now treating him as a “prophet” or “Guru”.  “I am an historian,” he says..

Ajahn Amaro also explained how the renunciate Sangha must not be seen to adopt any political position, left or right, or even vote, but is there to promote individual training in the Way. At the same time it is the role of the Sangha to draw attention to the Five Precepts – where the first is “Refrain from taking Life.” It is a position which makes sense though I need to think more about it.  Also taking part was a well qualified psychologist who is Buddhist chaplain to the UK armed services who said there are around 10,000 of our services who describe themselves as Buddhist.  His position and the numbers claimed surprised me.  He too saw mindfulness training as very helpful in dealing with really tough situations and drew a distinction between what he called “force” and “violence.”


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