Engaged Buddhism. What is it, and what does it have to do with my practice? Is it a Buddhist thing? A Zen thing? Who came up with all of this, anyway?
Good questions, all! A good place to get some answers is by reading Thich Nhat Han’s 14 Precepts of Engaged Buddhism.
For a detailed examination of engaged Buddhism, check out David Loy’s essay, Socially Engaged Buddhism.I'm Right, You're Wrong, by Ajahn Amaro, consists of reflections and practices related to the ‘Sublime Abiding Places for the Heart’-the four brahma-viharas. This particular book thus investigates metta through the lens of contention and self-righteousness and, through understanding them, how true kindness can be established–especially helpful for those wishing to advocate for change through Engaged Buddhism.
Oppression is a difficult concept to embrace, and it is a difficult experience to explain. Larry Yang’s Precepts for Diversity helps to break it down so we can more understand the harm we can inflict on others unconsciously. A clinical supervisor at San Francisco General Hospital’s outpatient psychotherapy clinic, Larry Yang supervises and mentors psychotherapists and is the coordinator of diversity and multicultural services.
There are many inspiring, ‘real world’ examples of Engaged Buddhism in action. One of the more known examples is that of Greyston Bakery.