Engaged Buddhism and Social Activism

When did the term ''Engaged Buddhism'' emerge?
In the later part of the 20th century.
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Why did Engaged Buddhism come about?
Due to wars and crises that could not be avoided by ordinary Buddhists, e.g the Vietnam War.
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What were Buddhist practitioners concerned about saving people from?
The tendencies within society to be individualistic, narcissistic and consumerist.
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What does Engaged Buddhism seek to do?
Be active in society at large.
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What are examples of areas where Buddhists have been active?
Environmentalism, social inequality, sexism, nuclear disarmament, war and peace etc.
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What does traditional Buddhism seem to be?
Selfish and inward looking. Engaged Buddhism is not.
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What is Buddhism all about?
Compassion - you can't be a Buddhist without compassion. Engaged Buddhism seeks to rework this compassion and weave it into the everyday lives of Buddhist practitioners.
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Buddhism has a tendency to be...?
Quietist - Buddhists tend to stay quiet and not doing anything when they see wrong doing.
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What is Engaged Buddhism not about?
Not about just giving money to charity or helping in soup kitchens. It must be about helping and compassion.
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What is the world according to some Buddhists?
The public realm of samsara. We live on a cycle of suffering held by the Three Poisons. It's only if we eliminate these poisons that we can help do good for the world.
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The term ''Engaged Buddhism'' was coined by...?
Thich Naht Hanh.
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Which order did Thich Naht Hanh found?
The Order of Interbeing.
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What do supporters of Engaged Buddhism say about it?
Its simply Buddhism stripped down, or at least what Buddhism should be. It encourages mindful awareness in all aspects of our life, including the political.
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What must you not do in Engaged Buddhism?
Confuse doing with helping - doing and helping are not the same.
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Engaged Buddhism is a distinctly ..... view:
Mahayana.
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Why is it Mahayana and not Theravada?
Theravadins focus more on improving themselves rather than helping others. For the Mahayana, it's a part of the bodhisattva vow.
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What's a common misconception about meditation?
It only happens in solitude behind closed doors. In fact meditation can be just about any peaceful or a helpful action.
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What did Thich Naht Hanh say about meditation?
''You cannot stay in the meditation hall when there are bombs dropping. You must learn to help a wounded child while still breathing mindfully. One thing I have learnt is that power, money and fame still cause suffering.''
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Without peace and compassion you will...?
Still suffer very deeply.
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How many members did the Order of Interbeing start off with?
Just 6
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When was it founded?
1966
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What are 4 of the 14 Precepts of Engaged Buddhism?
1) Do not be idolatrous about any doctrine including Buddhism, 2) Do not think that the knowledge you possess is ultimate truth, 3) Do not force others, including children to adopt your views, 4) Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes
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Why are they important in Buddhism/Engaged Buddhism?
They allow us to see what is true Buddhism. Our world needs care, our goodness and peaceful action more than ever now. We will lead happier and more fulfilling lives if we follow these teachings.
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What is a famous book that Thich Naht Hanh has written?
Peace is Every Step.
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Conscious breathing allows you to...?
Find peace in every action.
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Give examples of social activism in Buddhism:
Recycling, CND, Ani Choying - fights for women's rights in Nepal, Thich Quang Duc - burnt himself to death in protest against the Vietnam war.
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Do Buddhists believe in war?
No - goes against the 5 Precepts and isn't helpful or good.
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What did Thich Naht Hanh say about war?
Even if he were the last person on Earth, he would not kill the person who'd killed all human kind, it'd be better the let him kill him.
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Why did he say this?
If he'd killed the evil man he'd be deviating away from the Dharma and thus away from goodness. By letting the man kill him, he'd stay true to the spirit of the Dharma.
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Where are some Buddhists taking this social activism movement the wrong way?
Myanmar - the Rohingya Crisis.
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What can be a problem with social activism?
People can take it the wrong way and side with oppressive forces instead of forces of good.
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Card 2

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Why did Engaged Buddhism come about?

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Due to wars and crises that could not be avoided by ordinary Buddhists, e.g the Vietnam War.

Card 3

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What were Buddhist practitioners concerned about saving people from?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What does Engaged Buddhism seek to do?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are examples of areas where Buddhists have been active?

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