man pushing thousands of pieces of plastic in water
Plastic Kills! Try going a day without it.  I bet you’ll say you can’t, but I’m going to challenge you anyway.  Because, what if I told you that just by changing one thing in your life, you could save hundreds, maybe thousands of lives?  Would you do it?  I hope […]

The First Precept in the age of Plastic


Rally crossing Brooklyn Bridge
George W. Bush, in his 2000 presidential bid, popularized the term ‘Compassionate Conservatism,’ ascribing ‘compassion’ to various conservative policies.  The patina of compassion the conservatives of that era brushed their policies with has long since worn away.  We have to ask ourselves, then, does zero tolerance mean zero compassion?  And […]

Buddhists Rally Against Zero Tolerance


sea turtle swimming next to plastic bag
Plastic is bad for the environment.  That’s something we all know and have grown up hearing.  If we must use it, we must recycle it, or else it will stay where tossed, taking hundreds of years to decompose.  But plastic has become so ubiquitous that it’s become part of any […]

Buddhists Forgo Plastic on World Oceans Day



man looking through slot in solitary confinement
“There is no glory in punishing” –Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison Find yourself here:  alone, in a room, barely bigger than a closet, no wider than the span of your outstretched arms. There is no window to the outside, no day, no night. A world […]

Village Zendo Sends Hope to Solitary


Large group of Buddhists marching in NYC
On Saturday, March 24th, Compassion NYC partnered with Buddhist Action Coalition to mobilize an inter-sangha contingent for the March for our Lives.  This was BAC’s inaugural event.  Over 75 New York City area Buddhists joined together to protest gun violence in our schools, churches, theaters–in our society as a whole.  […]

NYC Buddhists March for our Lives


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Birth of a new Buddhist Action Coalition Over two hundred Buddhists braved the frigid cold of this past Saturday, February 3rd, to spend the day at Union Theological Seminary. While most of those in attendance were local, Buddhists from other parts of the country, including as far away as California, […]

Buddhist Action: Forming a new Moral Action Group



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During the recent winter storm in New York City, dubbed a “bomb cyclone” by meteorologists, there was a downpour of several inches of snow with fifty mile an hour winds and sub-zero wind chills.  Much of the city shut down, but I bundled up in ski pants and 2 pairs […]

In NYC, Dharma Goes to the Dogs


boy standing on shore
“The Next Buddha Will be a Sangha” “I had to leave home when I was sixteen,” a friend of mine told me this past Thanksgiving. She, like me, was spending the holiday with an adopted family. That is, we were not spending the holiday with our family of origin, but […]

Family Rejection Meets Spiritual Friends


peoples climate march banner
Buddhists at the Peoples Climate March, 2017. Compassion NYC thanks Caroline Contillo for participating in Compassion NYC and Buddhist Global Relief’s Triple Gem Rolling Retreat and for sharing her article with us, which originally appeared on Lion’s Roar.    Stepping off the Buddhist retreat bus in DC on Saturday, two […]

Buddhists March on Washington, DC



New York Botanical Garden
New Yorkers like it Green From turning abandoned lots into mini-parks with green space to composting lunch food from the city’s schools, most New Yorkers understand the importance, and the benefits, of living in a greener New York City.  For one thing, it just looks nicer. A study out of […]

10 Steps You Can Take for a Greener New York ...


picture of girl with balloon 4
Homelessness.  A View from There to Here Our country’s homeless problem requires a healthy dose of radical compassion.  In Nashville, Tennessee, where I’m from, homelessness has risen ten percent in the last year. Two out of five homeless people there are chronically homeless. This is more than in any other US […]

Homelessness and Radical Compassion


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Sharon Salzberg, the 28-day Meditation Challenge, and Seeing Clearly “Why do you meditate?” is a question I sometimes get when people learn I’m into Buddhism and meditation. While I often say something like, “to deal with stress,” what I mean is, “to learn to see clearly and respond wisely.” I’ve […]

Loving-Kindness, Pain, and the Soles of my Feet