Sunday, September 4, 2011

Political and cultural activism and Buddhist insight

I read a piece in Tricycle today that I though links the insights of East and West.  Well worth the read.

To me, an essential felt insight of meditative practice is that the subjective, phenomenological universe I inhabit is created by me, and it therefore is as I am.  That perspective gives me large freedom and large responsibility from and for my own suffering.  It is not caused by others.

This insight is valid, and it is partial.

This author does a nice job of shifting from the perspective of the psychological suffering of the individual to the perspective of the culture in which the individual is immersed.  Just as the individual co-creates his or her universe, the culture and the individual co-create each other.  This insight necessarily gives rise to a freedom to change the culture and a responsibility for the suffering the culture causes others.

From this larger perspective, it is very difficult to see how one can be a Buddhist and refrain from being culturally and politically active.

1 comment:

  1. Dog "A": feed, sheltered, loved
    Dog "B": starved, frozen and hated

    Without meditation, Dog A wins. With meditation, Dog A still wins.

    Oooops, we are suppose to discuss humans. Well, same goes!