Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
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    Good Work Summer 2011 Paid Member

    Shinjo Ito, the founder of Shinnyo-en Buddhism, a Japanese Vajrayana school, once wrote, “Faith is not about preaching or philosophy. It is action to which you dedicate your whole being.” Shinnyo-en Buddhists strive to consider the hardships of others as their own and then meditate on how to respond. Reacting to the recent events in Japan—or to any disaster—is not about asking “Why?” but rather “What can I do?” More »
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    "Letter to the Wall Street Journal," 1966 Paid Member

    Every American wants MORE MORE of the world and why not, you only live once. But the mistake made in America is persons accumulate more more dead matter, machinery, possessions & rugs & fact information at the expense of what really counts as more: feeling, good feeling, sex feeling, tenderness feeling, mutual feeling. You own twice as much rug if you're twice as aware of the rug. Possessing more means being aware of more: & that "awareness" is banked in areas we call feeling. Bodily feeling sense or sensual feeling. More »
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    The International Year of Tibet Paid Member

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    Unconditional Service Paid Member

    Why is volunteerism and other social work so central to Shinnyo Buddhism’s practice? Master Shinjo understood that the training within the traditional Buddhist framework would lead to one’s own enlightenment as a monk, but he believed religion had to be able to help more people, including those who were not especially religious, in ways that suit their different circumstances. He incorporated new practices such as volunteerism so our sangha [community] could offer assistance to the widest range of people. People who are interested in traditional Buddhist training are always welcome, but volunteer activities provide an additional avenue for Shinnyo-en to contribute to the wider secular community. More »
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    Charities Fall 2010 Paid Member

    Despite some of the best animal protection laws in the world and a renowned heritage of reverence for life, modern India is a country where millions of animals suffer severe neglect or abuse. Help Animals India (HAI) is an all-volunteer USA nonprofit charity dedicated to supporting efficient and effective animal protection organizations in India. HAI’s principal beneficiary is the Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA) in Visakhapatnam, state of Andhra Pradesh, India. An extraordinary effort by a dedicated team, VSPCA cares for thousands of animals including birds, monkeys, ducks, dogs, cats, horses, as well as 620 cows, bulls, and buffalo.TO HELP: More »
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    The Freedom to Breathe Paid Member

    I am skinny-dipping. Stripping off my clothes, running into the water, diving down naked to disappear for a few breaths from the shouts and sounds of the world. Shedding clothes, embarrassments, care. The surface breaks as I return for air. For a few moments, I am free, opened, beyond place, beyond space.And then I am here. I breathe deeply, fully clothed in a compulsory uniform inside walls that do not vanish before half-closed eyes, seated during an officially-sanctioned time for Buddhist group meditation. My breath joins those of the women around me, travels across the walls and over the barbed wire. Freedom of breath cannot be measured, contained, or punished—as I breathe, my aliveness asserts itself, even laughs at its constraints. Yes, in this place it is an elusive joy, but I feel it now, as surely as I feel the knots of anxiety loosen in my shoulders. More »