Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
  • Why I Support Fast Food Workers Paid Member

    By the end of the day on Thursday, December 4th, fast food workers will have walked off the job in 190 cities across the United States, the latest in a series of single-day strikes that have taken place over the past two years. The workers are demanding a base wage of $15 per hour and the right to unionize. More »
  • Meditating in Public Paid Member

    As members of the Northeastern University Buddhist Group settled into their meditation cushions on Saturday, November 22, and found their breath, a biting wind blew through the green in Boston’s Copley Square. A golden, Thai-style Buddha sat in front of them, its jewelled robe catching the light off of John Hancock Tower. But this wasn’t just a street retreat or a public meditation—it was a protest against climate change. “Every faith group at Northeastern does a service project . . . and we wanted to somehow bring mindfulness meditation—some aspect of the dharma, the teachings of the Buddha—into society, and obviously for a good cause,” explained Emily Burke, a junior at Northeastern University and a member of its Buddhist Group that helped organize the event. More »
  • What Was Mindfulness? Paid Member

    With headlines like “Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1% is hijacking mindfulness” and “Rebel posturing and ‘mindfulness training’ can’t cover up tech world’s awful labor standards” on Facebook courtesy of Salon.com, suddenly American Buddhists find themselves pushed to one side or the other of an age-old debate. Should the sacred life show secular benefits, or should spirituality be essentially an "inside job"? More »
  • Don't Just Sit There, Do Something Paid Member

    Ever since Western converts began adopting Buddhist traditions, their community has sought a balance between the quest for personal peace and tranquility and the sense of social engagement that has sometimes expressed itself, most recently on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, with the well-worn activists’ phrase No justice, no peace. More »
  • People's Climate March Paid Member

    “I know that my path to enlightenment will only come from being connected to the world around me,” Njeri Matheu, a member of Brooklyn Zen Center, explained as she marched through the streets of midtown Manhattan. “It's not just about being centered inside; it's about being connected to your world.” Around her, an estimated 700 other Buddhists belonging to over 35 Buddhist organizations held signs and banners with environmental slogans as they walked, keeping rhythm with meditation bells. This Buddhist contingent contributed to the estimated 400,000 protesters who participated People’s Climate March, the largest march of its kind in history, on September 21. More »
  • Dharma in Action Paid Member

    As our dharma practice deepens, it begins to inform and influence everything we do, including how we engage with the important moral and social issues of our times. At this moment in human history, the unrestrained extraction and burning of fossil fuels has brought us, in the industrialized nations, to the point where we are contaminating and pillaging the Earth to such an extreme that we are endangering all life on this planet. Nothing could be further from the intention and practice of dharma. More »