Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
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    Silence in the Pagoda Paid Member

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    The Likably Unlikely Monk Paid Member

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    Bernie Glassman's Excellent Adventure Paid Member

    Roshi Bernie Glassman celebrated his 70th birthday in January with three days of public reflection on his 50-year encounter with Zen. But even as he put a coda on five decades of Buddhist practice, America’s best-known—and arguably best-loved—Zen master showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, the irrepressible social entrepreneur, who wrote the book on socially engaged Buddhism in the West—actually, three books—has dreamed up yet another venture: something he calls Zen Houses, residential dharma centers devoted to Zen practice and social service in impoverished areas. The first two houses are opening this spring. More »
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    Why Buddhism Needs the West Paid Member

    In an oft-cited statement, which might be apocryphal, the British historian Arnold Toynbee said, “The coming of Buddhism to the West may well prove to be the most important event of the twentieth century.” Given the monumental social, political, and scientific changes of the last century, that claim seems pretty unlikely. But Toynbee may have noticed something the rest of us need to see: that the interaction between Buddhism and the West is crucial today, because each emphasizes something the other is missing. Whether or not Toynbee actually made this observation, the significance of the encounter may be nearly as great as his statement suggests. More »
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    Procession of Peace Paid Member

    Photography by FRED LEBLANCMore »
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    Freedom Behind Bars Paid Member

    They filed through the gymnasium doors in regulation blue and gray sweatshirts, rubbing their eyes, some curious but all of them tired. A cellmate had kept most of them up all night by yelling and banging on the walls. At the doors, the young men slapped on name tags and grabbed their complementary granola bars. “It’s a great day to be in prison,” one of them said as he filed past the makeshift check-in desks to find his seat. Although Prison Dharma Network (PDN) holds a shorter, smaller weekly class on Thursday evenings at the Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center in Golden, Colorado, today’s program would be a bit different. The fifty males—all fifteen to twenty years old—who were about to go through the half-day PDN program on this Monday in late March, had been hand-selected by Lookout staff as those most likely to benefit from today’s workshop. More »