We’ve had the bold BAM! logo at the top of this page since the start of June. What was it? What happened?
Throughout June, a great many activities took place, in Brighton, Colchester, Essen, Exeter, Leeds, London, Manchester and Stockholm, to name just a few places.
Originally conceived of by the Network of Buddhist Organisations UK as a nationwide day of British pan-Buddhist social action in 2012, Buddhist Action Month grew to a month in 2013. This year it grew substantially in being taken up by a number of Triratna sanghas - not just in the UK but also in Sweden and Germany. We even had interest from Australia!
It’s been hard to find out what you’ve been doing, however; clearly in future we need to develop the “communications” aspect of BAM, to encourage people to network across Triratna - and beyond, to all the other Buddhist traditions involved - and tell each other what they’ve done. (Putting stuff on your personal or Centre Facebook page is a start, but doesn’t enable anyone beyond your sangha to be inspired by your ideas.)
But here’s a taste. Centre activities included
a “radical ethics” event, exploring personal practice of consumer and environmental ethics
a talk exploring our relationship to money, “Your money or your life!”
stopping buying cow’s milk during June, looking at the ethics of the Centre’s tea, coffee, soya milk and holding a vegan cake-making afternoon
investigating switching to greener energy sources
encouraging people to sign up for a local organic vegetable delivery
using environmental ethics as a basis for study groups and courses
making food donations to a local “food bank” for those in need
selling sprouting kits at the Buddhist Centre
promoting lift-sharing in the sangha
film nights showing films related to global warming: “Chasing Ice” and “The Eleventh Hour”
“Nature connection” workshops
volunteering in a wildlife reserve
a canal cleanup
city centre street meditations
exploration of the ideas of American Buddhist systems theorist Joanna Macy
a “yatra pilgrimage” for women, experiencing sacred landscape
BAM is a festival of social change in general, so some events went wider than the suggested theme of the environment and global warming:
discussing Buddhist extremism in Sri Lanka: what’s our role as Western Buddhists?
sangha members talking about their work, paid or voluntary, as an expression of altruism
Follow BAM Make sure you’re among the first to hear about BAM next year! Follow BAM here on The Buddhist Centre Online.
Beyond BAM Of course all this thoughtfulness needs to continue all year round if it’s to become embedded in our lives. If you’d like to be part of the continuing discussion just go to “Beyond BAM” and click on +Follow.