Community Highlights

ICin5 No.5 - Day Three, Social Engagement and Harmony

On Tue, 1 September, 2020 - 22:09
Centre Team's picture
Centre Team

We’re in Australia and New Zealand for Day 3 of the International Council online! And today we hear about conversations around social engagement as Buddhists: the passion and the potential pitfalls, especially when we prize harmony as a deep value in community.

- Revisiting some working principles from last year from which to engage with issues: 
exemplification, renunciation, awareness, right effort, the precepts, right livelihood, spiritual friendship, ethical speech, conditionality, karma, active compassion.
- Discussing ways we can cultivate non-polarisation in discussion.
- Hearing a range of voices.

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siddhiratna's picture

Do OMs agree that the Nuclear Family is the basic building block of consumer capitalism and that without it we may be able to build Sukavati?

aranyaka's picture

Hi SIddhiratna,

Is this mentioned in the video/Council Discussion? Or is it just a personal question from you?

If it’s the latter….. I’m no economist but I would imagine that ‘capital’ is the basic building block of consumer capitalism. With in turn a market economy in which the capital, in the form of  goods and services, flows based on supply and demand.

All the Best, Aranyaka

siddhiratna's picture

Capital is the breath, the breather is the consumer. The more we consume, and want to consume, the more the planet is ravaged for the materials needed.

The Amazon package arriving is the in breath and the debris that we put out as rubbish is the out breath.

The Nuclear Family is the prime organ of consumption which is why so much advertising is aimed at it or at particular members of it.

I think (or was projecting) how ‘middle class’ a lot of the OMs speaking were coming across. There seemed very little emphasis on living the ‘simple life’, everyone looking quite well heeled and comfortable.


Now I reach the contradictory/hypocritical point- so am I.

Am finding some of the talks interesting and think generally that folks are heading in the right direction in applying the Dharma to their lives (not that I’m really qualified to judge).

So ‘Give the Anarchist a Cigarette‘. Keep on trucking and good luck.

Best wishes, Siddhiratna

aranyaka's picture

Great to hear the importanceis being highlighted of finding ways having the difficult discussions around current social issues that both respond to the presenting issues as well as the polarised tensions that can ensue.

Equally great to hear the importance of inviting wider input from a range of perspectives around the order into discussions being recognised. This seems crucial, as pointed out,  going into the future if we are to accommodate the range of perspectives in ways that unite rather than divide us as a community.


Full quotes provided below! :-) 

Aranyaka  xx

Akasajyoti 1.09:
I think the thing that I care about most in relation to this conversation about social engagement is that discussion in our community at times about what’s a skilful and appropriate engagement as as a buddhist community can get polarised and painful. And particular tensions have surfaced. So I think that there’s a need to explore with each other how we can creatively engage and both respond to the presenting issues but also respond to the tensions in non polarised ways.

Ratnajyoti 2.55:
We feel it’s really important with these social issues to go out and find out about what Order Members do think about things. So we really thought it would be great to have some questions to got out to the chapters and see whether they would be interested in responding to these guidelines so that we are getting input from a whole range of different perspectives on these. And also as dhiramani said, we would really like to invite people into an area council meeting who are very engaged in some of the social issues….

Dhiramani 4.33:
I feel encouraged by these principles because of the broader reach it will accommodate whatever sort of way people choose to engage in them, so whether they are the full activist, whether they are the more of a renunciant…. it can really accommodate all of those. So once again it’s that what is it that unites us not divides us