A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Engaged Buddhism, my view

I have talked about Engaged Buddhism, and it dawns on me that I should define what I mean by it. To me Engaged Buddhism, is not about changing what the Buddha taught. Nor is it about accepting new systems of beliefs. Rather it is about solving the problems we face today based on wisdom that has stood the test of time. There was a musical in the 1960s called Stop the World I want to get Off, and you might say this is the opposite approach, instead of getting off, it’s about getting involved. Also as we are all interconnected here on this planet, we can’t just hop off. It s about solving the social, economic and environmental problems we all face, according to the principles and practices of Buddhism.

Being content

I have searched for ways to describe my views on commerce, ecology and the required balance between the two. I have stated I want to lighten my eco-footprint on the world, not live in a cave. I found a statement from the 14th Dalai Lama that espouses the balance and is also in balance with Buddhism.

“Over-consumption and wasteage of good, or excessive effot to make money, all of this is not good. By the same token, mere contenment should not be endorsed. Basically, contenment is something to iam at, but frugal living for the sake of it prevents development, and it is a deathlike living.”

the 14th Dalai Lama

A Value practised is an offering of Love

Buddha taught that the greatest gift we can bestow, is that of universal love. That if we practice this virtue in all our actions, the world will be a better place. The true teachings of a religion are those that promote morality, clarity of thought and and wisdom. That a tranquil mind is a the prerequisite for being a happy person. That we can only realize our potential when we see reality, no preconceptions, no filters or mental judgements. That the simplest way of living, is one based on: no dependence on theories or beliefs, but what we experience at the moment. That any wise person regardless of religion, can teach us something. That wisdom is not confined to one ethnic group, class, sex or any other artificial boundary between beings. Recognizes that hatred can not be defeated by a greater hatred, but only by it’s opposite, love. Greed can not be overcome with more greed, rather by an equitable sharing based on equality of need not want.

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