What is engaged Buddhism?

A discussion on all aspects of Engaged Buddhism
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Re: What is engaged Buddhism?

Post by Dharmasherab »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:29 pm ...although, of course, alternative descriptions and definitions will also be valid, since
That depends on how it is defined. We can expect if people are left to come up with their own description or definition then some may have a mistaken view or opinion on it, given that a description in relation to what it is trying to say needs to have meaning in relation to what is being discussed. Another person's ignorance about the teachings is not the same as another person's knowledge on the same subject.
Kim O'Hara wrote: Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:29 pm "Engaged Buddhism is not a homogenous movement," as you say.
When I made that statement I said it within the context of the variety of domains that one can be engaged in as a Buddhist. Yet when I made an attempt to define it I focused on the underlying principle behind 'Engaged Buddhism' - that it is the extension of ethics and teachings in the Buddha Dharma to domains that dont always require a spiritual input yet people may choose to (or at least that is what I implied). I did not use it to mean that anyone can come up with whatever the description that they want in an attempt to define 'Engaged Buddhism' no matter how divorced it is from the reality.
Dorje Shedrub wrote: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:32 pm HHDL is one of the most engaged Buddhists ever, and he of course is Tibetan. He also teaches us to be engaged with both the environment and each other.
When looking at the example of HHDL one needs to look with care and caution. This is because the HHDL has had a history of being involved with politics. Despite His Holiness no longer being the leader of Tibet, HH still is a spiritual advisor to Tibetan politicians in exile. It is best to appreciate that the HHDL has a dual role which should be appreciated distinctly without clumping them both together.
Dorje Shedrub wrote: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:32 pm I think that our practices of chod tonglen, shitro, phowa, animal release, saying mantras, etc. fall under engaged Buddhism, imo.
Apart from animal release, the other practices you mentioned are actually not 'Engaged Buddhism'. Because then one can say that any practice done in Buddhism is 'Engaged Buddhism' (even practices immediately outside of Dana) and therefore make the phrase 'Engaged Buddhism' mostly redundant. The phrase Engaged Buddhism is there to appreciate that outside of the actual practices of Buddhism, one can extend those principles to domains which are not necessarily related to spiritual development. One could say that 'Engaged Buddhism' is a form of Dana Paramita.
“When one does not understand death, life can be very confusing.” - Ajahn Chah
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