Engaged Buddhism is the application of the Dharma to large and small scale problems that cause suffering in the world. Most commonly it is thought of as Buddhist social and political action, but can include everything from hospice care, to environmental work, to anti-war activism, to soup kitchen work, to solitary meditation in a Himalayan cave for ultimate benefit of all living beings. Socially Engaged Buddhism is not aligned with any particular Buddhist denomination and can be found across the Buddhist world. It has been more clearly defined and prominent in the past fifty years thanks to the efforts of leading Engaged Buddhist thinkers like Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sulak Sivaraksa, Samdhong Rinpoche, and Robert Thurman among others. In this class we will look at the writings of these Engaged Buddhists and investigate the kinds of activities Engaged Buddhists are doing in order to transform society to create a world that engenders our highest ideals and nurtures compassion and wisdom.
Faculty: Leigh Miller