Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
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    In The News Paid Member

    Change Your MindChange Your Mind (CYM), Tricycle’s second annual day of meditation in Central Park, opened with a surprising and auspicious event: a white heron flying above the grassy slopes of Mineral Springs Hill. Only after it circled twice, on the morning of June 4, did Michele Laporte hit a large Japanese temple gong 108 times to formally open a day in which meditation teachers from various Buddhist traditions gave introductory talks and led the participants in silent sitting and Buddhist chanting. CYM is designed to introduce meditation practices in a friendly public setting, free of charge. Participants are encouraged to relax and enjoy the event in whichever way works best for them. More »
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    Who's Zoomin' Who? The Commodification of Buddhism in the American Marketplace Paid Member

    After the Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, he walked the dusty roads to the Deer Park in Sarnath, where he delivered his first sermon, The Sutra of the Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. Here for the first time he described life’s conditions in terms of the Four Noble Truths, declaring desire, craving, “thirst” as the driving force that keeps us stuck in the mire of suffering called samsara. More »
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    A Monk Goes To Washington Paid Member

    At the conclusion of his U.S. tour in September, Thich Nhat Hanh traveled to Washington, DC, where he spoke with members of Congress and held a three-day retreat. In the packed auditorium of the Library of Congress, he offered some valuable, if challenging, advice for the gathered politicos: Voting along party lines, he said, would not lead to good policy; politicians must instead listen to their inner wisdom in order to vote wisely. (Tell that to the House Whip.) He also stressed the importance of listening to views of others, treating them not as opponents but as people with differing opinions. More »
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    In The News Paid Member

    TIBET OR NOT TIBETAt the U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing this past September and the parallel Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) Forum in the suburb of Huairou several issues had delegates and Chinese officials toe to toe. Not the least of these was the issue of Tibetan sovereignty. On September 1, as the rain fell over dozens of supporters, nine Tibetan women held a silent protest. With scarves tied over their mouths, they stood holding hands for…At the U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing this past September and the parallel Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) Forum in the suburb of Huairou several issues had delegates and Chinese officials toe to toe. Not the least of these was the issue of Tibetan sovereignty. More »
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    Beyond Rangoon Paid Member

    BURMA IS, IN ITS WAY, a kind of shadow Tibet, Tibet without the glamour or mystique, a "Land of Buddhas" as devoutly constant as the land of six thousand monasteries to the north. The charms of its premodern culture have been preserved from the modern world by a policy of inwardness. Its people have a good nature and gentle strength that instantly convert every visitor to their cause. And for thirty years now, it has been suffering a demeaning and remorseless repression that the rest of the world is either unable or unwilling to combat. A nation is dying in silence there (in some ways, it is dead already, Burma having been renamed “Myanmar” by its oppressors). More »
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    Life or Death Paid Member

    The one thing I have never fully understood about many Buddhists is why they devote so much attention to the individual roots of greed, hatred, and ignorance, yet so little attention to the manifestations of these poisons in social institutions. Is it simply understood that the real work needs to be done on our individual failings, with social greed, hatred, and ignorance being someone else’s problem? Or is it that Buddhists, like so many people, have been deceived into believing that political issues are “none of their business”? Have they been trained to see problems and solutions solely in personal rather than political terms? More »