Socially Engaged Buddhism: Tradition, Innovation, and Contemporary Challenges
The Buddha guided us to study human experience carefully in order to develop the wisdom that brings liberation from suffering, and manifests as lovingkindness and compassion toward other beings and their suffering. In the last half-century, this basic approach has been extended, through what has been called “socially engaged Buddhism,” to responses to social issues. Socially engaged Buddhism has been articulated and embodied, both in Asia and in the West, by teachers and leaders such as Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Robert Aitken Roshi, and Joanna Macy. It has been expressed in a great variety of forms. Some have emphasized social service—working with those who are suffering or in need, developing compassionate programs and policies, bringing mindfulness into the workplace, or engaging in the helping professions. Others have connected their spiritual practice to attempts to end wars or oppression, change institutions, or address large-scale social, economic, political, cultural, or ecological issues. In this daylong, we combined periods of sitting and walking meditation with talks and discussion on four basic themes: (1) the roots of socially engaged Buddhism in the teachings of the Buddha, with a focus on those discourses relevant for social issues; (2) the history of socially engaged Buddhism, the forms that it has taken, and how it is both grounded in tradition and innovative (particularly in its connection with Western social justice traditions); (3) the nature of socially engaged Buddhist practices, how they might help constitute an engaged “path of practice” leading to both inner and outer liberation; and (4) some of the core issues and contemporary challenges related to socially engaged Buddhism.
Principles For Socially Engaged Buddhism
by Donald Rothberg, Diana Winston
Quotes On Socially Engaged Buddhism - Summary