Buddhist teachings on civic engagement without attachment to outcome
  • A Tibetan Buddhist Nun Blazes a Trail for Other Women to Follow Paid Member

    NEWPORT, Wash. (RNS) At a conference for Western Buddhist teachers some years ago, the Venerable Thubten Chodron and other monastics complained to the Dalai Lama about the difficulties they faced: lack of finances, education, a place to live. At one point the leader of Tibetan Buddhism began to weep. Finally he told the teachers: “Don’t rely on us to do things for you; go out and do things to help yourself. If you run into problems come and tell me.” Those words changed the course of Chodron’s life. The notion of starting a Tibetan Buddhist monastic community in the West was already in the back of her mind. All she needed was permission. More »
  • Putting an End to Buddhist Patriarchy Paid Member

    On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, an African-American woman refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat to a white passenger. This simple act of defiance became one of the most important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Before she passed away in 2005, Rosa Parks became a Buddhist—at age 92. One can speculate that this female icon—and fierce opponent of discrimination—chose Buddhism because it lends itself to the advancement of social justice causes. She was right. More »
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    Awakening in the Age of Climate Change Paid Member

    Let me begin by emphasizing what most of us already know about climate change. First, it’s the greatest threat to human civilization ever, as far as we can tell. Second, it’s not an external threat but something we are doing to ourselves. And third, our collective response remains, if not completely negligible, very far from adequate. More »
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    The Witness Paid Member

  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Nothing Need Be Done Paid Member

    One morning in 1984, a letter posted on the other side of the world clacked through the flap of my door in Cape Town. It was from the poet, environmental activist, and longtime Buddhist Gary Snyder, a warm response to questions about his writing. I was a graduate student at the time and had been reading his work after a friend gave me a copy of his 1967 collection A Range of Poems. That first letter was the beginning of a long long-distance friendship and an ongoing conversation. More »
  • The Economy of Salvation Paid Member

    The incomparable loftiness of the monk figure—placid and disinterested, having renounced desire—leads many to think of Buddhism as a religion detached from all worldly concerns, especially those of economy. But Buddhism has always addressed a continuum of human flourishing and good, creating what has been referred to as an “economy of salvation.” Metaphors of economy—even of debt—abound in Buddhist texts, and in many ways Buddhism came to be fundamentally shaped by economic conditions and considerations of the era in which it originated. More »