2500 Years Of Social Revolution

This quote by Roshi Joan Halifax came to me by email in December. This ties in with The Story of the Buddha from earlier this week and reflects on 2500 years of social revolution.

Zen.BuddhaAlso, I have been listening to a podcast by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in which he talked about how the Buddha consulted with the rulers of various kingdoms in Northern India about social, economic, and political issues of his time. He advised the rulers to be compassionate to all of their people, without regard to caste or financial status.

The Buddha, some 2500 years ago, was involved in social revolution, from ordaining untouchables, a serial killer, and women to flattening out the social system by not re-creating the caste system in the monastic body.

—Joan Halifax

There  are many teachings of the Buddha that teach about social action. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh took these teachings to heart in the 1960’s and coined the term, “engaged Buddhism.”

His School of Youth for Social Services helped many Vietnamese people in the outlying villages during the war in Vietnam. It was a training program for young social workers to help out in the war-torn villages.

Thich Nhat Hanh was also a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King and shared his dream.

My personal involvement with the 2500 year social revolution is in the work I am doing on this and other blogs as well as offering classes in Mindfulness in Healing to members of my community at the Pine Street Clinic in San Anselmo, California on Wednesday evenings. This program is nearing its fourth anniversary and is my way of giving back to the community.

The principles of Mindfulness in Healing are simple. We encourage people to speak lovingly, listen compassionately without judgement, and learn mindfulness practices which enable them to take charge of their own healing. We never discourage people from following conventional medical advice and procedures.

If you know anyone who would benefit from Mindfulness in Healing, please share this with them. New participants are always welcome.

If you find 2500 years of social revolution fascinating, please share what you are doing to keep it rolling!

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