I asked an internet friend to promote Zandtaomed and she said her more conservative friends would find the politics difficult. I left it there, but now I wish to address this question “Is Zandtaomed for the conservative?”
And the short answer is yes.
When we follow the path we go beyond views of politics and society, in Buddhist terms the path is concerned with Dhamma – the 4 Dhamma comrades arise out of Buddhadasa’s MwB the basic meditation technique of Zandtaomed. No specific view is part of the path, the Dhamma, however those following the path recognise compassion at their core. If you consider yourself driven by compassion whether conservative or liberal or socialist then Zandtaomed could be for you, if you consider yourself driven by your views then Zandtaomed is not.
A core Buddhist teaching of Zandtaomed is dhammajati:-
The path comes from nature, is part of nature, on the path we have natural duties to perform; and by following the path and performing the duties we learn about through Zandtaomed, then we gain fruits and benefits known as phala. This is Natural Law - dhammajati, and it is my understanding that Natural Law is accepted by some conservative thinkers.
Whilst compassion comes from the path so does freedom - the freedom to be authentic to be who we truly are. For some conservative thinking compassion and freedom are not in harmony, following the path they are. If compassion infringes on the authentic then there will be ego involved – adhering to rules, adhering to dogma, adhering to ditthi (views). If the individual infringes compassion by causing suffering then there will be ego involved, individual ego that creates barriers that cause this suffering. Authenticity and compassion live harmoniously under dhammjati.
Sila, moral integrity, virtue or decency, is a requirement of a student of MwB. Together with compassion sila provides the basis for a person to become truly authentic.
Essential to any Zandtaomed work is the removing of defilements focussing on greed, aversion and delusion. It is conditioning and the defilements that create the egos that prevent people from being moral, being authentic, from following their paths. There is no reason why a compassionate conservative would not want to remove defilements, and follow their path.
When my internet friend questioned whether her conservative friends would be interested in Zandtaomed, this was because she knew something of my personal history. This personal history discussed in the Treatise that started with an upheaval or firstgrace when I was 23 has included socialist views to varying degrees until recently. The pathtivist manual starts from the basis of looking at the way the path could improve left-wing activism, and then moved into an inner journey that ended with complete disenchantment with the political process and a focus on following the path only. The Companion is a companion to MwB, and looks at how I interpret certain aspects of meditation and MwB. Through the learning that led to writing this trilogy, Zandtaomed recognises that during the personal history he has held socialist views. But now conditioned views are not important, what is important is following the path.
The key to the positive answer for the compassionate conservative to the question “Is Zandtaomed for the conservative?” is that Zandtaomed is beyond views, does not cling to views, lets views go. Clinging to views will be questioned – ditthupadana, but no view will be asked to be changed; clinging needs to be let go, changes are part of your path and your decisions - changes are part of any path. Looking at views is only a small part of Zandtaomed but not clinging to views is key as to why Zandtaomed could be for the conservative. Zandtaomed is an individual approach, stresses this individual approach, and the personal relationship between the meditation elder, Zandtaomed, and the meditation student is the essence of Zandtaomed. For any student Zandtaomed using MwB will help a student follow their path:-
Compassionate conservatives can read more about the meditation here, or read about the elder here.