16 Sep 2010 Leave a comment
There's an old saying:
In life, we wear a lot of hats.
This really isn't true. While we may think we create distinct differnt personalities and reactions for differnt functions in our life this is a delusion.
There is no such thing as Socially Engaged Buddhism. You are who you are and you do what you do.
Creating a justification isn't necessary. If your behavior follows your own ethcial guidelines, then you'll be at peace.
Socially Engaged Buddhism is a label. It's a label that doesn't exist.
Furthermore, it's acknowledging a divide that is an illusion. It's practitioners subscribe to a philosphy of a "need for change." That's an us v. them situation and it invokes the grasping, dualistic mind.
Basically, it's creating dukkha and further samsara instead of working to end dukkha and escape Samsara.
Lots of other people have written about this recently:
I'm sure there are more.
I respect what is being done. I respect that motivations that lead to the work of these people. I share the motivation. I understand that the people doing this work take their Bodhisatva Vow very seriously.
However, is it necessary to conflate Buddhism with Activism?
Nope. In fact, to do so implies that Buddhism has a political agenda and is only for those who share the views of these practitioners.
Be compassionate be informed by your Practice, but don't use your Practice as a Brand.
Buddhism isn't Greenpeace or PETA or the NRA.