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Avalokiteshvara's Tears: What is a compassionate Western Buddhist response to the issues of the 21st century?

On Thu, 4 June, 2015 - 19:00
mokshini's picture
mokshini

The theme of the Womens Area Order Weekend at the end of May was to reflect on one of the four ordination vows of the order, that is to acto for the welfare of all beings, relates to the current climate crisis and increasing social injustice: If climate change and injustice equals suffering, is it our duty as an Order to try and do something about it? 

Green Tara was at the centre of this weekend: she exemplifies the perfection of wisdom and compassion: her left leg is in meditation pose –  the wisdom aspect: Everything arises in dependence on conditions and ceases to be when those conditions cease. Her right leg steps out into the world, the aspect of compassion. “Once the illusion of a separate self is removed, all that is left is love.”

Let’s do more to bring ideas of sustainability into Triratna. Like the Quakers have done  – they agreed that sustainability ethical issues and made a collective decision in 2011 as a community that they want to do something about it. What this means is moving in the right direction, rather than waiting until we have al the answers. 

BAM gives us the opportunity to up our game ethically. How can we make our Buddhist Centres and Triratna groups more sustainable? Let’s remember that we can achieve a lot and make big changes if we work together! Many many individuals come through our Buddhist Centres world wide and we can play a significant part in raising these ethcial issues. It is also important that we don’t get bogged down with detail - of the “is Tesco’s worse than Waitrose, is soya better than rice milk” kind, can we look at this first and foremost in terms of principles and recognize it as an ethical issue, discuss it in terms of metta, in terms of ethics, in terms of understanding the consequences of our collective actions as consumers on people “living near and far away, those living now and those yet to be born”. 

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