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Flashcards in Engaged Buddhism Deck (18)
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What is engaged Buddhism?

Someone who is engaged in social issues and applying Buddhist practice.


Why do Buddhist feel that social activism is an important part of Buddhist practice?

Buddhist response to the various forms of injustice and world suffering e.g. colonialism, war, social and economic injustice, environmental degrading


How does engaged buddhism deviates (moves away) from the buddha teachings?

1) Ignoring inner transformation- removing one's own root poisons
2) Ignores the personal quest enlightenment


How does it doesn't deviate?

1) Four Noble Truths urge Buddhist to dismantle the cause of worldly suffering
2) Buddhists have always been socially engaged- it is just putting the teaching into practice e.g. dependent origination


CASE STUDY: Soka Gakkai International (SGI)

- Soka Gakkai is the world's largest Buddhist lay organisation
- It characterises itself as a support network for practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism and a global Buddhist movement for "peace, education and cultural exchange"
- Created in part of a new international peace movement


What is the daily practice of SGI members centres on chanting the mantra?

Chanting the mantra " Nam Myoho Renge Kyo" or " Glory to the Sutra of the Lotus of the Supreme Law". Once in the morning and again at night, SGI members do gongyo ( assiduous practice), during which member chant the mantra and recite selections from two chapters of the Lotus Sutra. Gongyo is a typically performed in front of the Gohonzon, a scroll to show object of devotion,



- The SGI work closely with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN0 to develop educational programs and raise awareness on nuclear disarmament.
- Awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 2017
" SGI has been one of our greatest partners in the fight to abolish nuclear weapons"


People's Decade

- the Sgi have created "The People's Decade" campaign which since 2007 had developed a global grassroots network of people dedicated to abolishing nuclear weapons
- In 2014 , an SGI youth delegation met with the United Nations Office For Disarment Affairs (UNODA)


SGI environmental awareness

- SGI Amazon Ecological Conservation centre, which is plating tree and administered by SGI- Brazil
- In India, the Bharat Soka Gakkai debuted the travelling exhibit "Seeds of Hope'.
- In November 2015, the SGI signed on to the Buddhist Climate change Statement representing "over a billion Buddhists worldwide" in a call to action submitted to world leaders at the 21st session of UN climate change talks held in Paris


SGI Aid work

The SGI conducts humanitarian aid projects in disaster-stricken regions. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, local Soka Gakkai facilities became refugee shelters and distribution centres for relief supplies. Efforts also including worldwide fund-raising for the victims, youth groups and spiritual support.


SGI Interfaith dialogue

In 2015, SGI-USA was part of the organising committee that convened a day long conference in Washington, dc of 125 Buddhist leaders to discuss Buddhism and civic activism in the US. The conference identified climate change and the environment, education and peace and disarmament as popular priorities


Why and when was the Order of Interbeing founded?

Founded in 1964 during the Vietnam was. Was founded because in 1964, responding to the hatred, intolerance and suffering, a group of Vietnamese Buddhists founded the order to become an instrument of their vision of engaged Buddhism.


Explain the social activism of the Order of Interbeing?

Organised anti-war demonstrations, printed leaflets and books, ran social service projects, organised an underground for draft resisters and cared for many of the war's suffering innocent victims.


What are the two communities that make up the order?

1) Core community: men and women who have taken a vow to observe the 14 precepts
2) Extended community: all those who practise exactly the same way, but not have been ordained into the core community. The person has to organise a community around himself or her in order to continue practice. Practice of 60 days of retreat a year.


Importance and significance of the 14 precepts

- Applying Buddhism in every day life
- Continue Bodhisattva vows (' essence of Mahayana')
- Develop Buddha-nature
- Brings the dharma in real life
- Based on traditional Buddhist teachings
- Encourages all Buddhists to develop compassion, universalistic human qualities/ values.


Describe the role and responsibilities or task of a member of this order?

- To act like a Bodhisattva and engage in compassionate service for others & alleviate suffering in the world
- To create communities (anger) all over the world that encourage social activism based on compassion and mindfulness
- To live in a more ethical and responsible manner- towards others and the planet


What are the three Vietnamese ideas?

1) Awareness in daily life
2) Social service
3) Social activism


Thich Nhat Hanh: " Solving world problems"

1) Kind of listening to alleviate the suffering of others. Listen with compassion. Helps him to suffer less. Let the person talk, come back later for advice - greater healing. We learn about our own perceptions and others. Understanding the root cause.
2) Anger is the energy they used to act. You can do wrong things. Inner compassion is very strong.
3) We can aways learn from our suffering. Depends on the way we respond. Can lead to great suffering. Minfulness brings into here & now - the present moment.