Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If You Meet the Buddha on the Road and He Is a Lawyer, Kill Him



I may someday write a book on this topic of trying to be both a Buddhist and lawyer. For now, you get just a short take on the conundrum. Think of it as a koan.

As I try to be mindful and kind and gentle, I am also faced with the reality of being a trial lawyer. Sometimes, in depositions and at trial, I have to try and inflict pain--deliberately--on witnesses to try and get to the truth.

Believe me, the first arrow out of my quiver isn't to act like an asshole. I've found that you often get more with politeness than jerkiness.

But sometimes you just have to shove some verbal bamboo under the fingernails to get a lying sack of crap to tell the truth--or at least make a helpful admission.

Which, of course, isn't very Buddha-like.

Frankly, I consider this contradiction in my life more problematic than being a meat lover. I like Buddhism. I also like being a zealous advocate.

Navigating the two--finding the Middle Path--isn't always very easy.

If you meet Buddha on the road and he is a lawyer, should you kill him?

Any thoughts?

1 comment:

level8 said...

Hilarious post by the way. I especially liked the title.

The Buddha spoke on debate once in the Kathavattu Sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.067.than.html

...and when and how to have such a debate. Hope it helps. :)