‘In the end, I think that the most important role for Buddhists in the world is to know about conflict more than anyone. Nobody in the world knows how to deal with conflict. We’ve made almost no progress. In the Middle East we see people fighting over land and God. It’s the same as it was in classical Greek times. You look at the solutions people come up with – revenge, more violence – it’s the same as it was in 1000 BC. Maybe one of the reasons why Buddhadharma has suddenly sprouted, almost from nothing, in the West is because it’s so necessary – because we need some tradition of wisdom that can help us understand a deeper way to deal with human conflict.
A training place like this one is a place in which conflict is rather artificially removed from the situation. Here we all bow to each other a lot. When you bow to somebody, it’s very hard to kill them in the next instant. I think that part of this notion of being kicked out, or going out and being in the world, is you get to test how well the incubation has taken. You begin to realize that part of your responsibility includes modeling what you know against the reality of conflict; interpersonal conflict, institutional conflict, nation state conflict, the conflict that is everywhere.’ (from a 2003 Wind Bell)