Discovering the killing of Osama Bin Laden this morning gave rise to a mix of emotions. Because from an « awakened » perspective of the oneness of all life, it is certainly a more complex event than the expressions of nationalistic euphoria in America would have it seem.
Sure, he was what generally would qualify as a « bad guy, » one who promotes killing and violence as a means to his totalitarian end. So killing a killer can be seen as the « lesser of two evils, » as they say.
Yet no killing is without consequence. What those consequences are, we cannot know. No act is isolated, nor is any « bad guy. » What are the interdependent causes that have given rise to this guy? We’re all in this together. Is he fundamentally different than you and I?
What we try to do with our sitting practice and the Buddhist guidelines (the precepts) is live in awareness. We aim to act not from a deluded place of exclusion and separation (like Bin Laden) but from an awakened place of oneness and diversity, of inclusion.
I guess today that might mean including the killing of a killer. Or it might not.