When the bombs were falling on people in Vietnam, Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh knew he could not stay in the meditation hall all the time. "Meditation" he explains in
this article in
Shambala Sun, "is about the awareness of what is going on-not only in your body and in your feelings, but all around you." "When I was a novice in Vietnam," he continues, "we young monks witnessed the suffering caused by the war. So we were very eager to practice Buddhism in such a way that we could bring it into society. That was not easy because the tradition does not directly offer Engaged Buddhism. So we had to do it by ourselves. That was the birth of Engaged Buddhism." This birth has led to many
organizations, and even graduate programs at several
accredited universities. While fortunately we don't have bomb's falling us now, there are still plenty of opportunities to bring our internal practice into the world. As Jack Kornfield describes in his book "
the Wise Heart" "As individuals, we have to start with the reality of our own suffering. As a society, we have to start with the reality of our collective suffering, of injustice, racism greed, and hate. We can only transform the world as we learn to transform ourselves. " This meeting will be centered around how to bring our internal practice into the world mindfully, with compassion and without preaching or prejudice. I am not a teacher nor an expert on this subject, however, I am enjoying researching this subject. I will prepare a short presentation on the basics of Engaged Buddhism. Following this I look forward to an open discussion in which we can ask questions and share stories around our struggles and successes in bringing our practice off the meditation cushion and into our world. We have the back room at Common Roots reserved at 7pm. Come and join in our discussion!