22 Buddhist theories on the roots of conflict In Buddhist theories and

22 buddhist theories on the roots of conflict in

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2.2 Buddhist theories on the roots of conflict In Buddhist theories and practices, the parallel of the posture of not knowing can be drawn from the concept of skillful understanding ( yoniso-mansikara ) which is rooted in right mindfulness ( sammasati ), the seventh link in the Eightfold Noble Path In the context of conflict resolution, by practising right mindfulness and skillful understanding, the cessation of conflict and affliction can be achieved by eliminating the three poisons: the elements of greed ( lobha ), hate ( dosa ) and delusion ( moha ), which are the unwholesome roots of action ( akusala-mula ) found in all conflicts (McConnell, 1995, p. 183-184): a. Greed often involves self-centered desire for change or resisting change by protecting ones own interest over issues such as money, possession, sex, power, respect and so on. b. Hate or anger comes from resentment or hostility between the disputants most often caused by the way they treat each other since the beginning of their conflict. Their interactions have caused more suffering to each other than the original conflict. c. Delusion is caused by the disputants’ image of the ‘self’ versus the ‘enemy’. “Conflict analysis needs to identify the views, perceptions, attachments, and emotions of all the parties in dispute (p.184).” 2.3 The Five Aggregates Reframing Model Mathieu Boisvert in his book The Five Aggregates – Understanding Theravada Psychology and Soteriology (1995) demonstrated that one of the most important contribution of Buddhism to mankind is the Buddha’s teaching about suffering and liberation from suffering. Although the five aggregates are seen as responsible for the arising of suffering, no academic research has established how the function of each of these aggregates chains beings to the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. I am convinced that without a thorough understanding of the five aggregates, we cannot grasp the liberation process at work within the individual, who is, after all, nothing but an amalgam of the five aggregates
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5 (p.11). Other than the first aggregate of form ( rupa ) which represents all material forms and the fifth aggregate of consciousness ( vinnana ) through which all the other aggregates are experienced, the aggregates that are most important for the change process are the functions of second aggregate of sensation ( vedana) , third aggregate of recognition ( sanna ) and fourth aggregate of karmic acitivities ( sankhara ): Sensation – being either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral – can occur only in a body which is conscious. Similarly, recognition occurs solely when consciousness is aware of sensations. The karmic activities, sometimes restricted to volition ( cetana ), were gradually elaborated to include about fifty principles, from “contact” ( phassa , the combination of a sense organ, its object and consciousness), energy and greed to understanding, benevolence, compassion and attention. (Foreword, p.ix) In mediation, the importance of reframing is to detoxify, to highlight the interests and needs, and to create doubt about the mind set of the disputants about their positions.
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