One of the many benefits of foreign travel is discovering what hotel nightstands offer as their equivalent to the Gideon Bible. In 1996, while spending the night at a hotel near Narita airport awaiting a morning flight to Beijing, I opened the drawer to find The Teachings of the Buddha.
Can the sufferings of arms controllers be alleviated by applying the Buddha’s strategy and tactics? Arms controllers lament missed opportunities, bone-headed decisions, and unhelpful, repetitive behaviors. Why not, then, extend the Buddha’s teachings beyond our personal lives to the practice of arms control?
Herewith some advice from the Teachings of the Buddha:
Faith teaches courtesy and respect for others. It frees one from the bondage of circumstances. It gives one courage to meet hardship.
The mind of a wise man is not disturbed by either honor or abuse.
To worry in anticipation or to cherish regret for the past is like reeds that are cut and wither away.
Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Do not waste your mind in idleness and quarrelling.
For the sake of attaining enlightenment, try to accomplish the impossible.