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When I hear people say, 'Let it happen,'
    I vow with all beings
to work toward making it happen -
if it doesn't, then that's how it goes.
                          -   Robert Aitken Roshi

 

 

     If I were to name a single most significant principle of the practice of the self it would be generosity (dana).  The following sites present some of the ways that generosity comes forth as work to benefit the many beings in our world.  As the scientists who put together the socio-political statement called the Seville Statement on Violence pointed out, we are not inevitably destined to be violent -  this is a result of conditioning, which can be changed.  From the Buddhist point of view it is important to remember that social action is useless if we don't transform our minds -  the mind is the origin of all happiness, the origin of all sorrow -  and realise our Buddha-nature:  

"No matter how much violence or how many bad things we have to go through, I believe that the ultimate solution to our conflicts, both internal and external, lies in returning to our basic  or underlying human nature, which is gentle and compassionate." Source:  The Art of Happiness: a Handbook for Living, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler.  The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work, and has consistently advocated universal responsibility.

     In a drive for alternatives to the destructive habits of our past, engagement in social and ecological action is an imperative for many Western Buddhists in the late twentieth century.  In his article Envisioning the Future by Robert Aitken Roshi, discusses this. He says: "We can begin our task of developing such alternatives by meeting in informal groups within our larger Sanghas to examine politics and economics from a Buddhist perspective."   

This task of bringing forth our innate generosity, this 'lending a hand to Being' (David Michael Levin), is not only confined to the human world, but includes the other beings of the world - the living and non-living species of planet Earth.  I've included some sites here that give expression to that love that Being has for itself, in coming forth as biosphere.

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The Buddhist Peace Fellowship is more than 20 years old and and has thousands of members worldwide. "Our style of open-minded, open-hearted engaged Buddhism, our expanding programs in Asia and the United States, and our lively, immediate journal, Turning Wheel, serve as a beacon for Dharma activists committed to transforming the world and themselves".

Lesslie's Engaged Buddhist Dharma Page  Lesslie has been collecting Engaged Buddhist sites for a while,  so she can introduce you to those.

Amnesty International is a worldwide campaigning movement that works to promote all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards. In particular, Amnesty International campaigns to free all prisoners of conscience; ensure fair and prompt trials for political prisoners; abolish the death penalty, torture and other cruel treatment of prisoners; end political killings and "disappearances"; and oppose human rights abuses by opposition groups.


Psychopolitical Peace Institute.  "Our Essential Guidelines, basic to all our programs, are to view the human being as an interdependent multidimensional body/mind/spirit complex. Empowerment of the individual leads to conscious choice and taking the responsibility to align with one’s inherent life energy. This in turn allows for personal growth, a new quality of life, and the fulfilment of one’s own evolutionary potential, which is translated in daily action. Individual growth and evolution influences and transforms the collective, which leads to intelligent cooperation with the evolution of the earth and humanity as a whole."  The applied method is Transpersonal Psychology. The organisation was founded by
Dr. Margret Rueffler


"Medecins Sans Frontieres is a private international humanitarian organization that carries out emergency medical support."  "The activities of MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES is based on such idea that we offer assistance to populations in distress,to victims of natural or man- made disasters,to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination with regard to race,religion, creed or political affiliation."

  Survival International is a worldwide organisation supporting tribal peoples. It stands for their right to decide their own future and helps them protect their lives, lands and human rights. 

"Greenpeace is an independent and non-political, international organisation, dedicated to the protection of the environment by peaceful means."

 

World Wildlife Fund

"Known worldwide by its panda logo, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is dedicated to protecting the world's wildlife and wildlands."  "WWF directs its conservation efforts toward three global goals: protecting endangered spaces, saving endangered species, and addressing global threats."

 

Australian Endangered Species:  The Biodiversity Group has an Endangered Species Program administered by Environment Australia which "is to prevent further extinctions of Australian fauna and flora, and to restore endangered species and ecological communities to a secure status in the wild."

Of course one species threatened by its own behaviour is homo sapiens. Let's give them a hand:  Un 21�me si�cle sans armes nucl�aires.


Vegetarian Information - Australian Vegetarian Society If you love animals, don't eat 'em.

If you know of especially helpful sites, supporting others in their efforts in protecting the planet and the many beings, please mail suggestions to Chris McLean with EcoSocial Web in the subject line.

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