Triratna members engage in a range of compassionate activities. For some Buddhists their livelihood is a vocation, and many work in the caring professions, in hospitals, schools, charities, social work and so on. Others give their free time — for example, prison visiting, volunteering at hospices or on telephone helplines, befriending the aged, giving blood, environmental campaigning – whatever motivates their altruism.
There are also local projects undertaken by many Buddhist centres to contribute to their particular area. For instance, around the London Buddhist Centre as well as many Right Livelihood teams, Buddhists are involved in a couple of wider initiatives:
‘London Citizens’ (TELCO) is a communities organisation that fosters cooperative links between different faith groups, schools, unions and other groups — working together for positive change in the city.
The Globe Community Project was founded by local Buddhists and runs events and services for their immediate
community. Artistic, educational and cultural activities aim to promote the well-being of various sectors of the local populace – such as t’ai chi for the elderly, aikido for girls and boys, ‘Making more of your life’ (a project for women with Bengali translation) – and classes are offered in creative performance, drumming, mask-making and healthy eating.
In India we have a wide range of social projects working with children and families from some of the poorest communities in the world. The Karuna Trust raises money for many such projects. The Nagaloka Centre is a great example of an independently funded project where Buddhist approaches to social work and education directly benefit those attending.
Listen to evocations of compassion in action in the world.
The Buddhist Centre: buddhism for today