Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    The R Word Paid Member

    In our current atmosphere of cultural polarization, the term religion has become highly contested. Just how contested was brought home to me in April 2006, when, during a public lecture I gave at the University of Montana in Missoula, a man in the audience sharply questioned my very use of the word. I said that I was simply following a long history of usage, that I knew that some people contrast spirituality, which they see as good, with religion, which they believe is bad, but that I had never found that dichotomy helpful, as spirituality until recently was always considered an aspect of religion, not a rival to it. But he was adamant. Religion, he insisted, is a terrible thing and if I didn’t want to use the term spirituality, I should think of some new word. Like what? I queried. He had no answer but insisted I come up with one. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Satyagraha Special Section: Blueprints of Freedom Paid Member

    In Atlanta SCLC office, 1966   FAR FROM THE police dogs, jail cells, and hostile crowds, Martin Luther King, Jr., stands in his office with his arms crossed in front of a portrait of Mohandas Gandhi. The juxtaposition of these two spiritual titans in this photograph reminds me that Gandhi’s “experiment with truth” was at the heart of King’s work for justice and equality. For King as well as Gandhi, the methods of satyagraha, far from being neutral tools devoid of cultural values, contained precise, challenging blueprints for leading a moral life. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    War or Peace? Thinking Outside the Box Paid Member

    Tricycle: How do you view the U.S. government’s military response to the events of September 11? Jan Chozen Bays: I would have preferred a more restrained response. In an ideal world you’d send special forces into Afghanistan in the dead of night, anesthetize the core group of terrorists, put them in padded restraints, provide them with lawyers, and deposit them on the steps of the international court in the Hague. This is an imperfect world, but still I had hopes for a more “surgical” intervention. As a physician I think of terrorism as analogous to cancer. A physician’s job is to go in and surgically remove the cancer to alleviate the immediate cause of suffering. Tricycle: José? More »
  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    Equality Paid Member

    During a lecture while I was interpreting for the Dalai Lama, he said in what seemed to me to be broken English, “Kindness is society.” I wasn’t smart enough to think he was saying kindness is society. I thought he meant kindness is important to society; kindness is vital to society; but he was saying that kindness is so important that we cannot have society without it. Society is impossible without it. Thus, kindness IS society; society IS kindness. Without concern for other people it’s impossible to have society. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Confessions of a Buddhist Political Junkie Paid Member

    In the late seventies and early eighties I would escape every few months from my political work in Jimmy Carter’s White House to play chess with my old friend and Buddhist teacher, Geshe Wangyal, in Washington, New Jersey. From dawn till night the long silences, laughs, and wild accusations of cheating could be heard throughout the house. Meditative serenity sought by those looking for the “Wisdom of the East” was hard to find in his retreat center. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Radical Confidence Paid Member

    IN THE SUMMER OF 1992, the Louisiana Pacific Lumber Company decided to cut several stands of old-growth forest on land it owned on the Albion River, in Mendocino County, California. The forest and associated meadows were much loved in the community, and a group of local people responded by occupying the forest for two months until a court order to stop the cutting could be obtained. Fifteen people lived in the trees. Hundreds of others came every day to stand at the property boundary, held back by sheriffs. It became a celebration joined in by Alice Walker and many others from all over Northern California. So deep a sense of community was formed that the two-month occupation of the forest was dubbed The Albion Nation, and its protest was successful. But such a confident uprising and such success are all too rare. More »