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Lions Roar : September 2018
In late March, I participated in a small interfaith delegation to the sprawling, dusty Rohingya refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. The Rohingyas are a Muslim ethnic minor- ity, who have lived in western Rakhine State of Myanmar/Burma for many generations. Over the last year, nearly a million Rohingya have been driven from their homes by the Myanmar armed forces and their Buddhist nationalist supporters. Their villages have been razed. Survivors have endured rape and violence. Many THE MEDITATION PRACTICE of zazen is sometimes called “being upright.” Being upright includes every posture, every activity, and every person. It means close encounters with the per- vasive realities of human suffering. This is my understanding of the Bud- dhist principle of right view. Whether near or far, right view reflects the Bud- dha’s understanding of suffering and the end of suffering. Sometimes I face the wall in front of me; sometimes I go a great distance to witness the lives of “oth- ers” who are really no other than myself. FROM WHERE I SIT The Tragedy and Shame of Buddhist Terror The worst genocide in the world today is being committed by Buddhists. Zen teacher and activist HOZAN ALAN SENAUKE hears the stories of Rohingya victims and challenges us to help them. have seen loved ones and children mur- dered before their eyes. These are the peo- ple we sat with and listened to. Many are frightened and psychologically scarred, bereft of families, land, and livelihood. The roots of this violence go back to Burma’s colonial period and, after WWII, sixty years of relentless military dictator- ship and brutal ethnic conflict. Since the birth of independent Burma in 1948, there have been three cycles of repression against the Rohingyas. In 1995, 250,000 were driven over the border to Bangladesh. Another round CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE ALANSENAUKE Since the ethnic cleansing began in August, 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya out of a total population of 1.1 million have fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2018 11