Thoughts on Engaged Buddhism

Here are a few quotes from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh containing his thoughts on engaged Buddhism. It was Thay, as he is affectionately called by his followers, who coined the term, “engaged Buddhism” in 1954.

Now, it is more important than ever before for us to take action to do what we can to reduce global warming, climate change and the destruction of the ecosystem. Many diverse groups are forming and coming together to discuss what can be done.

“We have to begin with ourselves, from the grassroots. The School of Youth for Social Service was founded on the spirit that we don’t need to wait for the government.”

“The Order of Interbeing was born as a spiritual resistance movement.”

“Engaged Buddhism is the kind of wisdom that responds to anything that happens in the here and the now — global warming, climate change, the destruction of the ecosystem, the lack of communication, war, conflict, suicide, divorce. As a mindfulness practitioner, we have to be aware of what is going on in our body, our feelings, our emotions, and our environment. That is Engaged Buddhism. Engaged Buddhism is the kind of Buddhism that responds to what is happening in the here and the now. “

Thich Nhat Hanh from the  Dharma Talk: History of Engaged Buddhism, Hanoi, Vietnam – May 6 -7, 2008

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