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Friday, December 07, 2007

Engaged Spirituality

In response to the atrocities of the Vietnam War, Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh set up a school for social work. He believed that part of his faith included standing up for what he believed in. One monk set himself on fire in protest. Thus, Engaged Buddhism, or the fusion of Buddhism with activism and social causes, was born.

The Dalai Lama continues this tradition with the peaceful protests of the treatment of Tibetans by the Chinese. He takes every opportunity possible when traveling to speak out about the plight of his people.

As spiritual people, we can practice our own Engaged Spirituality. We can stand up for what we believe is right, protesting human trafficking and other violations of civil rights. We can use our position as consumers to boycott companies that use slave labor or environmentally unfriendly practices.

Raising the awareness of others and taking responsibility to let peace grow in and shine through us will make you a shining exaple for many years to come.

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