Socially engaged Buddhism = Seeing the Interdependence of all life

Ginny guided our session this Sunday, drawing on readings and teachings from Thich Nhat Hanh and others on the importance of Socially Engaged Buddhism.

The hour is striking so close above me,

so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now: there’s a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.

I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met.

The hour is striking so close above me
Rainer Maria Rilke, translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows

“These days, I am thinking that socially engaged Buddhism is to be found in those with a solid Dhamma practice—not just fuzzy, nice intentions—who can bring it to bear on social issues in real live situations. What Dhamma practice can give is enough mindfulness to be present in the moment, enough non-bias to see the situation from various angles (including one’s own inner dynamics), enough compassion to want to end suffering, enough wisdom to understand the major causal relationship at play (including intra- and interpersonal) and enough effort to do something effective on the ground.”

Santikaro Bhikkhu, cited in Ken Jones, The New Social Face of Buddhism: A Call to Action (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2003), p. 230

Everybody wakes up – the story of the Sarvodaya movement in Sri Lanka – the talk was given following the massive Tsunami that hit Sri Lanka and Thailand in December of 2004.

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

“Violence never ceases through hatred. It is only through love that it ceases. This is ancient law.”

the Buddha from the Dhammapada

Ginny also discussed the 14 Principles of Engaged Buddhism, whihc you can read here: