is a verb.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The popular image of Buddhism is often
an overly-austere one, and many people still consider
it to teach an escape from worldly concerns into a private,
hermetic realm of bliss. However, if we take the trouble
to go to the words of the Buddha himself, we find a full
and rich teaching encompassing every aspect of human
life, with a great deal of practical advice on how to
live with integrity, wisdom and peace in the midst of
a confusing world.
indefinitely under the Bodhi tree will
not do; to muse without emerging is to
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize
to the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi has helped us
in the West realize how contemporary Buddhism — beyond being a meditative
vehicle for spiritual liberation — can be a vehicle
for social and political change. We at Ashoka believe
strongly that individual and social transformation go
hand-in-hand. Ashoka will teach and encourage meditation
in action—engaging the world with wisdom and ethical
action. In addition to Buddhist wisdom
teachings on compassion, loving-kindness, tolerance and
generosity, Ashoka will offer training and teaching in
such areas of applied engagement such as ethics, social
justice, peacemaking, environmentalism, caring for the
sick and dying, and working with the incarcerated.
Ethics of Altruism
Dalai Lama offers us a profound blueprint for reorienting
ourselves towards that which really matters. At the
heart of what matters is the reality that everyone aspires to achieve happiness
and avoid suffering.
Happiness derives not
from wealth or progress but from an inner peace, one
that each one of us must create for ourselves by cultivating
the most profound human qualities such as empathy,
humility and compassion, and by eliminating destructive
thoughts and emotions such as anger and hatred.
From the foundation of
such an an inner peace we can develop ethical discipline
founded on true compassion, a motivation to practice
love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness
toward all, even those who would harm us.
In this course you explore
the Dalai Lama's framework for moral living, which
rests on the observation that those whose conduct is
ethically positive are happier and more satisfied and
the belief that much of the unhappiness we humans endure
is actually of our own making.
For the Dalai Lama, we
act ethically when we do what we know will bring happiness
to ourselves and others. When we act towards others
with a deep understanding of the interconnectedness
of all life, we recognize that everything we do affects
others, that everything we do has a universal dimension.
In this course you explore
some of the ways we can develop our heart and mind,
cultivating a motivation to contribute to the well-being
of others. How do we develop such compassion? You learn
to cultivate those qualities such as empathy that contribute
to inner peace and to eliminate the negative emotions
which are obstacles to compassion.
taught by Jeffrey
What compels some people
to act compassionately without giving it a second thought,
while for others it almost seems against their nature?
And what will become of our society if compassion dwindles?
By learning to live from
a more compassionate viewpoint, we can create a better
life not only for ourselves but for others. In this
course you learn Buddhist meditations (including the
Dalai Lama’s favorite) and visualizations to
guide you in developing an awareness of your capacity
for love and learning to project that love into the
world around you.
This course delivers a
potent message with the power to change our relationships
and improve the quality of our lives. Anyone seeking
release from negative emotions, such as anger, or simply
wanting to increase the love and caring among us, will
welcome this timely vision.
Compassion - taught by Taigen Dan
In this course you
explore seven major bodhisattva
figures of the Mahayana tradition
who represent various aspects
of enlightened activity and
awareness and are forces for
well-being in our lives. You
explore the iconography, teachings,
folklore and history of each
bodhisattva, as well as the
ways that each manifests the
paramitas, the ten perfections.
And for each bodhisattva you
look at modern exemplars, personages
from non-Buddhist spiritual
Dharma: A Buddhist Approach to Ecology
If you yourself, who are the valley streams and
mountains, cannot develop the power which illuminates
the true reality of the mountains and valley streams,
who else is going to be able to convince you that
you and the streams and mountains are one and the
same? --Zen Master Dogen
An introduction to Buddhist perspectives on nature and Buddhist responses to
environmental issues. Buddhism's teaching of the interrelatedness of all life
forms may be critical to the recovery of human reciprocity with nature. This
course explores Buddhism's understanding of the intricate web of life and aspects
of the traditions which may help formulate effective environmental ethics, offering
examples from both Asia and the United States of socially engaged Buddhist projects
to protect the environment. This course also introduces the Earth Charter, which
sets forth fundamental principles for sustainable development.
with Life - taught
by Joanna Macy
We are finally becoming aware
of how thoroughly we of the Industrial Growth Society
have set ourselves apart from the natural world.
We have forgotten that "we are
earth of this earth, bone of its bone," and so,
as the poet says, "the earth is perishing." But
it is our good fortune to be living in a time when
countless thinkers and poets are calling attention
to a profound split in the depths of the modern psyche
and offering work that seeks to heal our illusory but
fateful separation from the living body of Earth, and
the loneliness, the viciousness, this alienation engenders.
to Life maps ways into
the vitality and determination we possess to take part
in the healing of our world. Developed by Joanna Macy
and many others, this
body of work has helped hundreds of thousands of
people find solidarity and courage to act, despite
rapidly worsening social and ecological conditions.
Wheel of Engaged Buddhism
this introduction to engaged Buddhism, Kenneth Kraft
highlights the activities and the struggles
of socially conscious Buddhists. Using a mandala
as a navigational aid, he presents various paths
of engagement, such as cultivating awareness,
embracing family, participating in politics, and
caring for the Earth. In the course's eleven lessons,
you explore both the inner and outer dimensions
of this growing movement. John Seed, a defender
of rainforests, imprisoned Burmese leader Aung
San Suu Kyi, poet and environmentalist Gary Snyder,
and a woman who spontaneously organized an effort
to comfort victims of the Bosnian war are some of
the examples Kraft offers.
Engaged Life coming soon
weaving together basic spiritual teachings, real-life
examples, social context, and exercises, Donald Rothberg
provides a clear, thorough, and compelling guide for
those interested in connecting inner and outer transformation.
At the core of the course are five spiritual principles
and associated practices that will enable you to
engage all the parts of your life-whether personal,
interpersonal, or political-into a seamless whole.
For an extensive
collection of learning resource for meditation
in action, see Dharmanet's Engaged Practice
resource area.. Learn about engaged practice
and find people and groups who are working
mindfully to help others and heal the world.