Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

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Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby Jikan » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:51 pm

I'm interested in what is going on, including but not limited to the projects of such organizations as the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and the Zen Peacemakers. What are engaged Buddhists actually doing? What kinds of projects and interventions are underway? What kinds of policies are put forward? With what results?
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby pueraeternus » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:23 pm

Would efforts in bring mindfulness or other Buddhist meditation to prison inmates count? Besides Theravadin groups, I know Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche's Nalandabodhi do have outreach programs in this area, but I am not sure how far or successful they have been.
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby Jikan » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:39 pm

Good stuff. Thanks!
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:49 am

People always belittle efforts like:

http://www.buddhistpeacefellowship.org/

And the related Fellowship of Reconciliation, but ya know what? THey are always out protesting drone bombings and whatnot, in fact in my town they literally have not stopped protesting since Bush invaded Iraq. Not totally sold on the political usefulness of protesting as Buddhists, but I can't help but admire the dedication shown.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby muni » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:04 pm

What is happening. For me engaged buddhism is dharma in action. So not at all only projects to help by money and so on.
In daily life, through insight, the teaching doesn't contradict action, speech and mind. The dharma can be explained by high teachings about emptiness or as the Mongolian fellows are "teaching" their animals through own mindfulness, patience, loving kindness.
Like here in the movie of 'the story of the weeping camel', they are teaching what elaborations cannot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4tpTq6gjHw Watch from 1.07, if the whole movie is too long.
The mother had many difficulties and suffered by giving birth. She is projecting that on her baby and shows aversion.
The Mongolian fellows remain loving for the mother while she shows aggression for the baby. Finally they bring mother and child together through never ending compassion, music.
Teaching animals without words, useful for all beings.

Maybe wise, like our Masters are doing in some way the same with their students, revealing contentment in no separation. :smile:
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
(Mark Twain)
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:37 pm

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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby lojong1 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:05 pm

In my city, the engaged buddhists are creating an enlightened society by bypassing all that enlightening oneself first silliness. I can't wait to see it when it's finished.
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby kirtu » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:52 pm

It doesn't appear that much aside from the Zen Peacemaker, etc. activities are taking place. There is not a visible attempt to engage poverty from what I have seen and I have called a Glassman group and they were pretty clueless about where to even start engaging poverty.

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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby palchi » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:31 pm

There is also Rokpa :smile: http://www.rokpa.org/world/
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby futerko » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:02 pm

and Shenpen, http://www.shenpennepal.org/
and this one by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, http://www.asia-ngo.org/en/
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby PorkChop » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:40 am

lojong1 wrote:In my city, the engaged buddhists are creating an enlightened society by bypassing all that enlightening oneself first silliness. I can't wait to see it when it's finished.


With the Sangha where I live, it's more small-scale projects that are more about generating merit than trying to create an enlightened society.
The idea of enlightening oneself before trying to help out in society is interesting to me in that I'm not sure where the idea came from.
I'm not sure any of the Engaged Buddhist groups think that society will become enlightened by their efforts, most seem to be about doing the most good they can. Dharma Drum's Sheng-Yen spoke of creating a Pure Land here on earth, but that is a place that is conducive to realizations, not realizations themselves.

The earliest suttas mention doing good, little by little, to become a better person - and it was not limited to only helping out monks.
Even in the earliest of Buddhist schools, the Kassyapiyans, while Sthaviravadans, believed that realizations would come only when one's merit allowed for it. From what I've read, they were very vigorous in helping out, incidentally the Kassyapiayans eventually came to uphold both early Suttas & the Mahayana. This idea also is reflected in the story of Asanga, meditating in a cave, but not having the realization of the future Buddha Maitreya until he came out of the cave & tried to help the maggot ridden dog (by helping both the maggots & the dog).

Ultimately, the best way to earn merit is by spreading the Dharma and the best way to spread any doctrine is by being a good example.
Putting nice curtains on a sh!thole may not change the fact that it's a sh!thole, but any niceties might convince someone that there's something better to strive for than continued existence in a sh!thole.
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:58 pm

Check this out:

http://www.thedharmabums.org/

For over a decade, Jeff Zlotnik has been organizing and running an amazing grass roots sangha focused on food redistribution to the homeless, addiction recovery, meditation training, hospice volunteering,and a number of other activities focused on bringing the Dharma to those interested, and bringing meditation to all interested parties, including children and local college students. His Dharma Bum Temple is a model for how to run an energized,ethical, nonsectarian Bodhisattva sangha. He gave up a career in finance to enter a monastery in Taiwan, and now runs a Buddhist statuary and art shop to help fund the sangha. He traded a life of financial wealth to actually live, day by day, the Dharma life. I met Jeff one year while purchasing a gift for my Mom,who lives in San Diego.

So, in answer to the question of what is happening with Engaged Buddhism, Jeff and his sangha are one bright example of what is possible when a dynamic leader brings the Bodhisattva way to an energized and caring community. PS I am not a member of Dharma Bums....I just find their example to be inspiring, and a template for a "way forward' for community based nonsectarian Dharma practice.
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby kirtu » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:21 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:Check this out:

http://www.thedharmabums.org/

For over a decade, Jeff Zlotnik has been organizing and running an amazing grass roots sangha focused on food redistribution to the homeless, addiction recovery, meditation training, hospice volunteering,and a number of other activities focused on bringing the Dharma to those interested, and bringing meditation to all interested parties, including children and local college students.


I had forgotten about his group, that's for the reminder.

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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby floating_abu » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Thich Nhat Hanh does a lot of work in this area, but really every single person is also doing engaged Buddhism. We share this world and all its impacts/consequences.
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby lojong1 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:20 pm

PorkChop wrote:
lojong1 wrote:In my city, the engaged buddhists are creating an enlightened society by bypassing all that enlightening oneself first silliness.

The idea of enlightening oneself before trying to help out in society is interesting to me in that I'm not sure where the idea came from...

Porkchop, :heart: .
My comment was not anti-merit-first. It was against cutting out and discarding necessary defining elements of the complete buddhist path while retaining the name 'Buddhist.' Engaged is fine, and engaged buddhist is fine, but the teachings of this most recent fully enlightened one will disappear, and it will not be sudden.
I think we're on the same page.
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby kirti » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:52 pm

http://www.inebnetwork.org/attachments/ ... 0-1011.pdf

Support Nagloka Nagpur to train and prepare a compassionate workers in society.
http://www.nagaloka.org/
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby PorkChop » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:07 pm

lojong1 wrote:
PorkChop wrote:
lojong1 wrote:In my city, the engaged buddhists are creating an enlightened society by bypassing all that enlightening oneself first silliness.

The idea of enlightening oneself before trying to help out in society is interesting to me in that I'm not sure where the idea came from...

Porkchop, :heart: .
My comment was not anti-merit-first. It was against cutting out and discarding necessary defining elements of the complete buddhist path while retaining the name 'Buddhist.' Engaged is fine, and engaged buddhist is fine, but the teachings of this most recent fully enlightened one will disappear, and it will not be sudden.
I think we're on the same page.

:thumbsup:
gotcha... thanks for clearing that up! :)
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Re: Engaged Buddhism Now: What is Happening?

Postby muni » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:41 am

The basis of engaging becomes a bit clear for me by these words:

"All states and things are without a core of self.
All phenomena/other beings have no substance reality independent of mind".

All own Mind, not same but not different. :heart:

Then the Vietnamese Master Thich Nhat Hanh: "Engaged Buddhism is just Buddhism. When bombs begin to fall on people, you cannot stay in the meditation hall all of the time. Meditation is about the awareness of what is going on-not only in your body and in your feelings, but all around you".

"Buddhism has to do with your daily life, with your suffering and with the suffering of the people around you. You have to learn how to help a wounded child while still practicing mindful breathing. You should not allow yourself to get lost in action. Action should be meditation at the same time".

http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?o ... ew&id=1579 :smile:
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
(Mark Twain)
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