Staying away from activism?

Discuss the application of the Dharma to situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.
Music
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Staying away from activism?

Postby Music » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:52 am

Must Buddhists stay away from activism lest we develop attachment to the world? I am not saying we must be cold and uncaring, but must we practice holy indifference with respect to the world? I will give an example. There are the poor and sick. Many NGOs and charities are already doing what they can, plus there are rich philanthropists who also do their bit. In this context, our so-called activism is practically redundant, useless. Others, who are more powerful and richer, are doing a better job already and our contributions won't be missed.

So my point is: must people like us, who are living normal lives and not from privileged backgrounds, ignore the world completely and focus only on our salvation (not because one is uncaring and selfish but because there are other privileged folks who are in a position to care).

Josef
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Josef » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:58 am

There is nothing more active or engaged than directly confronting the source of suffering.

Music
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Music » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:00 am


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dharmagoat
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:45 am

Music, what you describe is a way to rationalise an unwillingness to help.

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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Music » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:03 am


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catmoon
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby catmoon » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:13 am

An honest opinion? I think the goat knows what he is bleating about. There is always someone who can do more. That's no reason to do nothing.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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futerko
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby futerko » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:52 am

For example http://www.shenpennepal.org/ set up by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche .

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:30 am

. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:36 am

. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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oushi
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby oushi » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:48 am

Say what you think about me

uan
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby uan » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:08 pm

Buddhism is not about guilt trips.

Being actively involved and engaged in activism or charity work or etc doesn't make someone a good buddhist. Not being involved doesn't make you a bad buddhist. The reverse is also true--being engaged doesn't make you a bad buddhist, not being engaged doesn't make you a good buddhist.

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Indrajala
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:17 pm

The lack of social engagement in past times and the subsequent irrelevance of Buddhism in Chinese society prompted Chinese Buddhists to develop something called "Humanistic Buddhism" where the bodhisattva path was reinterpreted as being a full-time agent working for the betterment of society under the banner of Buddhism. Such work became thought of as practice equally important to meditation, if not more so in most cases.

How Buddhism is practised from country to country differs.

I'm personally of the mind that all I can offer is palliative care until I am liberated myself, at which time I'm in a definite position to help others permanently remedy suffering.

However, not everyone conceives of their lives and aspirations like that. A lot of Buddhists are emotionally and materially invested in the institutions which transmit Buddhism from generation to generation (which is of course necessary), so their devotion and practice revolves around such activities as that rather than engaging heavily in wisdom studies and meditation.

Most Buddhists don't meditate or engage in wisdom studies, so doing social work and activism is probably more suitable for them than trying to get them to meditate or read heavy material. Activism and social work are ultimately palliative care for walking corpses (you cannot fix samsara), but still it is worthwhile and cultivates both merit and roots.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

Josef
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Josef » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:49 pm


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Konchog1
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:57 pm

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

Bambo Leaf
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Bambo Leaf » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:41 am

When it comes to the lay Buddhist practice, Activism is considered doing good deeds. Good deed is recommended by the Buddha. Lay Buddhist should engage in activism. For example, working together to help end world hunger, to help the homeless, the sick, the depressed, etc....

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Virgo
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Virgo » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:59 am


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Konchog1
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:16 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

Bambo Leaf
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby Bambo Leaf » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:17 am


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lobster
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby lobster » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:58 am


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kirtu
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Re: Staying away from activism?

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:06 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche


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