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Activism - Dhamma Wheel

Activism

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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paxamo
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Activism

Postby paxamo » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:06 pm

I am wondering, is activism very common among Buddhists? For example: civil rights activism, helping to relieve poverty (not having enough money to live, as opposed to living the simple life), slowing down corporations who seem to be becoming too powerful for the world's good, and working towards environmental protection.

Thank you,
Last edited by paxamo on Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice" - Confucius

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Aloka
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Re: Activism

Postby Aloka » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:44 pm

Hi Paxamo,

I think many Buddhists do whatever they can in relation to important issues such as the environment, helping the poor, working for equal rights etc etc - but I think "fighting" probably isn't a word I'd use personally. For me 'fighting' implies anger and conflict, and its good to try to avoid acting out of anger, if that's possible.

With metta,

Aloka

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paxamo
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Re: Activism

Postby paxamo » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:22 pm

Thank you Metta for the advice,

I will watch my word usage more carefully. I did not use the word "fighting" out of anger. I just use it in general to describe working towards something with a passion. I will change it.

-Paxamo
"To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice" - Confucius

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retrofuturist
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Re: Activism

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:06 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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pink_trike
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Re: Activism

Postby pink_trike » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:23 pm

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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zavk
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Re: Activism

Postby zavk » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:52 am

Hi Paxamo

Have tried Googling 'engaged Buddhism'? That should link you up to a few resources.
With metta,
zavk

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Ben
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Re: Activism

Postby Ben » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:23 am

Hi Paxamo

Service or 'selfless service' is a component of my own practice. I think its absolutely essential to not only assist others with their practice but also extend a helping hand, when and where possible, to help alleviate the causes of gross suffering in the world.

In the past I have gotten involved in raising money and profile for medical research and medical charities. At the moment, I am raising money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and the Beyondblue Australian Depression Initiative via the 'Movember' campaign: www.au.movember.com or follow the link in my signature.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Activism

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:43 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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pink_trike
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Re: Activism

Postby pink_trike » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:15 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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paxamo
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Re: Activism

Postby paxamo » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:16 am

Hello,

I define passion as a strong feeling or emotion. Passionate is the trait of being intensely emotional. It does not have a positive or negative denotation, and in my experience not a positive or negative connotation either. It happens to be my case though, that I want to help people in this world, and protect our environment, and alleviate civil rights, with compassion and love. I will admit that I have just started studying Buddhism and my heart is filled with hatred once in a while, but these were certainly not the feelings that I had when talking about helping the world.

Anyway, I am glad to hear that Buddhists are quite active in alleviating suffering in the world!

-Paxamo
"To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice" - Confucius

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mikenz66
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Re: Activism

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:31 am


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paxamo
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Re: Activism

Postby paxamo » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:57 am

Mike, thanks for giving me a bit of a path to follow! It's tough to figure out what to study when you are just starting off! I will read through the articles when I have more time.

With much appreciation,

Paxamo
"To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice" - Confucius

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retrofuturist
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Re: Activism

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:58 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
pink_trike
Posts: 1130
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Contact:

Re: Activism

Postby pink_trike » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:21 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Activism

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:44 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Clueless Git
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Re: Activism

Postby Clueless Git » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:39 am


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poto
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Re: Activism

Postby poto » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:35 am

I think it's important to make a distinction between political activism and compassionate activism. I am fully in favor of compassionate actions, like volunteering at hospices, and things where I know I am helping people.

I worry that people promoting political causes may not always be doing the right thing. This can be especially troublesome on issues where it's not clear who is right and who is wrong. While many activists may have good intentions, sometimes the best intentions can still result in wrong or harmful actions.


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