Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
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    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 »
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    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 »
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    In Exile from Siam Paid Member

    In September 1991, Sulak Sivaraksa was accused of lese majesty for remarks made at Thammasat University in Bangkok which were critical of Thailand's authorities. Under threat of arrest by Thailand's military junta, Sulak—as he is known—fled his country and has since been in exile from Siam (the country's original name, which Sulak insists on using). One of Asia's leading social activists, Sulak is the founder of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. He has taught all over the United States, and his most recent publication is Seeds of Peace (Parallax Press). In April, he was interviewed at the Tricycle office by editor Helen Tworkov. More »
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    In the News Paid Member

    AMNESTY TAKES ON CHINA Amnesty International, the human rights advocacy group, is launching a campaign in May to bring greater attention to the atrocities cited by Tibetan prisoners of conscience. Amnesty has evidence of over one hundred prisoners of conscience in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, including Buddhist monks and nuns incarcerated for peacefully advocating Tibet's independence from The People's Republic of China. Many prisoners have been held without a trial in labor camps and jails. Reports of brutal beatings, repeated electric shocks, and prolonged solitary confinement carried out by Chinese officials spurred immediate action. More »
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    Meditation In Action Paid Member

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    Of Samurai and Sisterhood Paid Member

    Alexis: Many of us came into Buddhism at the same time that we came into feminism, at least the three of us, and so we were wondering for you, how these two isms, Buddhism and feminism, are complementary and how are they contradictory? I find them complementary, and it’s probably because my personal and academic interests in feminism have been about the self and the formation of gender. I teach a course called “The Construction and Deconstruction of Gender,” which almost sounds like a course on Buddhism—in both cases it seems to me that the practice is about letting go of the labels and identities that limit us. I’m not sure I have ever found feminism and Buddhism in conflict. Because I see any feminist issue—like any issue ever, anywhere in the universe—as a Zen issue. More »