A history of Buddhist Social Engagement

Not long ago, a friend and colleague of mine posted a query in a Buddhist academic group: what sutras or other suitably ancient Buddhist writings could one read today as appealing to something like the social activism we see in America now?The ensuing discussion was lively and, for some perhaps, disappointing. In short, there are none. No pre-modern Buddhist writing can be found that will exhort people to go to the streets, to directly help the poor, or work to overcome systemic … [Read more...]

Buddhists: Sit for $15, fighting for higher minimum wage

In major cities across the country today activists rose up (and sat) to protest our countries unfair minimum wages.In L.A. 1000+ protesters chanted "We want 15" or "Sí se puede" as they followed a marching band around a McDonalds. Hundreds more gathered in Berkeley (photos) and across the Bay Area:These were part of a nation-wide "Fight for 15" campaign seeking higher minimum wages as well as rights to unionize. As the Washington Post states, "Their success would increase family in … [Read more...]