Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
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    Truth or Consequences Paid Member

    IF THE ANCIENT CHINESE proverb has much relevance today, I would say that I am cursed by living in interesting times. Beginning zazen while wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine thirty years ago, I began to question "authority"—not only the authority of the Marine Corps and ultimately of the U.S. government, but the authority of Zen teachers, and even my own authority, my own sponsorship of and participation in the growing war in Vietnam. A stateside friend sent me an essay by Albert Camus, "Neither Victims nor Executioners," from which I copied most of one paragraph in my notebook: More »
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    The Green Buddha Paid Member

    The Green BuddhaChristopher TitmussInsight Books: Totnes, UK, 1995.299 pp., $18.00 (paper). One might be surprised that the restless and fervent voice of Christopher Titmuss in The Green Buddha belongs to a former Buddhist monk and a world­renowned meditation teacher, as well as a Green activist. Titmuss' fundamental tenet, that "the root problem is a spiritual one," will get no argument from anyone who is looking deeply at the vast array of interconnected problems facing us and future generations, but the moral haughtiness of his tone can be exasperating. More »
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    Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; The Spirit of Evolution Paid Member

    Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of EvolutionKen WilberShambhala: Boston & London, 1995.831 pp., $40.00 (cloth). Ken Wilber has written a big book. Although different from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, this book is also designed to help us sober up. Wilber wants us to sober up from the reductionistic, shortsighted, antisacred, antispiritual, greedy, materialistic way of thinking that has ruled Western culture for the last two or three thousand years. Sex, Ecology, Spirituality is the first of three volumes. More »
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    It's Not Our Karma Paid Member

    THE SRI LANKAN VILLAGE where the Theravadin Buddhist nun P. G. Ranwala built her temple is in the upcountry, miles from any city. One-story mud-and-thatch houses painted pastel pink, blue, and green, and deeply ridged paddy fields carved into the mountainside below give the village a prosperous feeling, although the people here live on the edge of poverty. Before Ranwala came, the villagers waited weeks for monks to come from the city of Kandy to perform chanting ceremonies and other Buddhist rituals on their behalf. Most parents relied on weekly radio programs to provide religious education to their children. More »
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    Let Them Eat Empathy Paid Member

    I’m no marketing executive, but I’ve watched enough TV to understand the basic syllogism underlying all endorsements: celebrity X is well-liked; celebrity X will appear with a product; therefore the product will be well-liked. Variations arise, of course, depending on what the advertisers are trying to sell. They get Megan Fox to endorse jeans because she’s sexy. They get George Clooney to endorse tequila because he’s classy. And, as it turns out, they get His Holiness the Dalai Lama to endorse market capitalism because he’s virtuous. More »