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Activism and Shin Buddhism

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  • Lisa McCann
    Hello, everyone! Coming from an activist s perspective, I feel that Shin Buddhism has much to offer. Even though not all Shin Buddhists would be comfortable
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2006
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      Hello, everyone!

      Coming from an activist's perspective, I feel that Shin Buddhism has
      much to offer. Even though not all Shin Buddhists would be
      comfortable calling themselves activists, I find that the essence pf
      wisdom and compassion calls for us do what we can to help alleviate
      suffering in the world--indeed, that seems to me to be the essence
      of the primal vow. I have spent a number of years involved in
      political and cultural movements, especially those related to civil
      rights, labor and correspondence with prisoners. I don't expect my
      sangha to wholeheartedly support these activities as a group, but I
      have also found a great deal of respect for my position as well. I
      would also offer that activitism can take many forms--I wonder
      myself if what looks like activism from a mainstream American
      perspective may take a different form with someone from a cultural
      background that is Japanese or other-than-mine. Just a thought.

      Engaged Buddhism is a concept that has vitality accross many
      Buddhist systems of thought. The Dalai Lama actually had some very
      postive things to say about the ideas brought forth by communism,
      despite the horrors that he experienced. The focus of the folks in
      the Buddhist Peace Fellowship is the role of buddhists, and
      buddhism, in the world. Even with these groups you'll find people
      who interpret their buddhist role in the world differently--some are
      more politically oriented than others, but all seem open to the
      world of buddhism in the world.

      You might be interested in the website of the Amida Trust, an
      incredible group of socially engaged Pure Land Buddhists in
      England. Their website is located at www.amidatrust.com. I have
      learned alot from the HUGE amount of information available there.
      The trust is a encumenical Pure Land group--you can find information
      on pure land traditions of all kinds there, and all from a socially-
      engaged perspective.

      I would agree with an earlier post that Jodo Shinshu is a radically
      democratic proposition by nature. I love what I know so far.

      Lisa McCann
      Ft. Collins, CO
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