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Dharmic reasons to take part in BAM: No 3

On Thu, 21 May, 2015 - 20:52
Munisha's picture

Lokabandhu writes in his document Dharmic reasons to take part in BAM: “Although there may be some elements in the Buddhist consciousness that lead us to hold back (teachings on detachment, impermanence, our habit of ‘retreating’ etc), there is much in the Dharma encouraging us to get involved and to act with courage and active compassion. Here’s a selection from the scriptures and also sound-bites from individual Order members.

The Karaniya metta sutta encourages us to develop a heart of unbounded love “for those born and those yet to be born” so it seems that even the Buddha was encouraging us to include future generations in our metta! At present we are messing their world up.

Mokshini: “We talk about interconnectedness but we may be failing to join the dots and realise that life on earth is subject to conditions, and these conditions are breaking down now, this century.”

Listen to Mokshini’s talk “Altruism, Actually - Getting out and doing it”.

For Sahajatara, climate change equals suffering. She says “Try starting a conversation off with this question: ‘If climate change equals suffering, do we as members of a faith community have a duty to try to prevent it?”

Nandavajra writes “We have the vision of creating a ‘new society’ and the transformation of the world and surely that vision must address the very particular challenges that humanity is currently facing.” He also says “Although I make some effort to living a ‘low impact’ life I also recognise the forces of indifference and indolence in me and a strong resistance to deeper practical changes. How far am I prepared to speak up, agitate and act?”

Perhaps the near enemy of non attachment is detachment. A Dharmacharini commented: “I really loved the talks on the women’s National Order Weekend, but I was very struck by how the impression was thatit somehow existed in a sphere completely independent of what will be happening in the rest of society in 50 years’ time…”

Mitras Claire Morris and Bec Frost (national BAM workers for the Network of Buddhist Organisations UK in 2013 and 2014) link BAM with the Five Precepts:

  1. Loving-kindness: purchasing eco/ethical products
  2. Open-handed generosity: giving and sharing with others
  3. Stillness, dimplicity and contentment: de-cluttering
  4. Truthful communication: openly campaigning, “speaking truth to power”
  5. Clear and radiant awareness: learning ‘systems thinking’ ie feedback and interconnectedness
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