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This year we have three broad areas for suggested actions for your Buddhist Centre or Sangha - but don’t let that limit you. Other suggestions welcome, of course! If you’d like to share them in this space, mokshini [at] ntlworld.com (get in touch)!
1. Get in touch with the trustees at your Buddhist Centre and talk about how your Centre can move towards becoming low–carbon sustainable community” and be part of Triratna’s Sustainable Buddhist Centre Certification Scheme.
For everything you need to know about the Sustainable Buddhist Centre Certification Scheme, including how to get the certificate, signed by Order member and Low Carbon Consultant Amalaketu, here is our guide to sustainable Buddhist Centres.
2. Switch to Green Electricity (eg Good Energy - UK only). This takes about 5 mins and you have already made a significant change. Make a pledge to encourage 10 of your friends and family to switch; get your Buddhist Centre to switch to Green Energy if it doesn’t already do so. The European Chairs Assembly has become an Affiliate of Good Energy (goodenergy.co.uk) and we invite everyone to quote our affiliate code GE2190 when switching - we’ll get £25 and so will the new customer!
3. Go Vegan! For a day or a week per month – or longer! Find out about the environmental impact of the dairy industry and share that info with others at the Centre. Encourage your Buddhist Centre to go vegan for a month! For a powerful exposition of why veganism is an ethical issue (and vegetarianism is not really enough), see ‘Buddhism on a Plate’ by Samacitta.
Join the Vegan space on The Buddhist Centre Online
1. Explore the third Buddhist precept: ‘With stillness, simplicity and contentment, I purify my body’. What does this really mean for us iin the 21st Century?
2. Live simply for June - Give something (or a number of things) up for the month eg coffees in cafes, chocolate, cinema, newspapers. Work out how much you save and give it away. Be even more radical Have a no-shopping day/week/month (apart from essentials like food/rent).
3. Check out Vaddhaka’s barnstorming talk on ‘Going Beyond Capitalism’ and his new book, ‘The Buddha On Wall Street.
It shows what you, as an individual, can do about the fact that more than a billion people are living in extreme poverty.
Caring for Others - Suggested Actions
1. Register as an organ donor and/or give blood, or platelets - both needed NOW!
2. Get in touch with 5 friends that you’ve dropped out of contact with - and also one person with whom there’s not been harmony recently.
3. Organise an Amnesty International letter-writing circle.
…And don’t forget the power of the metta bhavana meditation practice, and the other brahma viharas (metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha). Have an evening combining music, images and meditation to stir the heart and connect more deeply with the life we all share; practice ‘exchanging self for other’, and do the Bodhicaryavatara puja.
To really make a difference, consider going beyond BAM… Sign up to the Compassion In Action group. Keep inspired and active all year round!