POSTS:

Social and Political Engagement Recommended

The path of the bodhisattva or ‘making the road’ through solidarity?
Mike Slott offers an alternative model to the path of the Bodhisattva, one based on the solidarity of practitioners ‘co-creating’ the transformative changes that we seek.
What is engaged Buddhism missing? The Buddha on poverty and plutocracy
In a recent dharma talk, David Loy emphasized the economic roots of the climate crisis and calls for structural, not just individual, change. According to David, ‘the ecological crisis is deeply implicated in the basic structure of our economic system. . . In other words, the eco-crisis is also an economic—especially a class—crisis.’
How Buddhist insights and values can help sustain political activism
Mike Slott explores the ways in which Buddhist insights and values can enable political activists to sustain their activity in various movements and to make a positive contribution to the organizations in which they participate.
Understanding and alleviating suffering (dukkha)
We suffer not only because we have the tendency to be angry, greedy, and deluded, but because social, political, and economic structures foster these tendencies and amplify their impact. John Danvers discusses the characteristics of a society which would facilitate their opposites: compassion, non-harming, cooperation, and mindfulness.
An interview with Yanai Postelnik on meditation and climate change activism
Bernat Font Clos interviewed Yanai Postelnik, a meditation teacher who in recent years has been devoting more and more time to climate activism with the group Extinction Rebellion, a decentralized, international movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act on the climate emergency.
A secular Buddhist perspective on the threat of climate extinction
Stephen Batchelor argues that a wise and compassionate response to the threat of climate extinction demands direct engagement with life itself irrespective of any a priori beliefs about the origins and end of suffering. By entering into a contemplative, empathetic, and existential relationship with the pain of the world, one seeks to respond with situation-specific compassion.
Transforming ourselves and transforming the world
Meditation is invaluable in developing the skills and qualities for us to play a productive role in movements for social change, but engaging in social change with others is essential if we want to fully develop these skills and qualities. We should see individual and social transformation as a simultaneous, mutually interactive process.
A dharmic understanding of evil: the banality of climate change
The mythical figure of Mara in the Pali canon provides us with an obvious starting point for understanding evil. He appears again and again to the Buddha and his advanced disciples, preferably when they’re meditating. He’s disguised as a well-meaning stranger offering friendly, banal advice, the import of which would throw the hearer right off course if s/he heeded him.