Paths of Engagement

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A mandala of kindness

The New York Times recently asked a number of scholars what they thought was the "most underrated idea."  One answered, "Kindness."  Engaged Buddhists would agree.  The Dalai Lama makes it official when he says, "My religion is kindness."  Basically, the Wheel of Engaged Buddhism is a mandala of kind gestures.  Although a mandala is not a maze or labyrinth, it wouldn't hurt to have a strong thread as a guarantee that we will not lose the way.  That thread is kindness. 

The Bodhisattva path

Ken - since you mention bodhisattva mind I thought it might be good to have a brief mention at the beginning - and this links to Taigen's Ashoka course on bodhisattvas...

Bodhisattvas are beings who are dedicated to the universal awakening or enlightenment of everyone. They exist as guides and providers of succor to suffering beings and offer everyone an approach to meaningful spiritual life. The principal bodhisattva figures of the Mahayana tradition have for thousands of years represented various aspects of enlightened activity and awareness and have acted as valuable psychological and spiritual resources.

The archetypal bodhisattva figures are living and evolving as dynamic embodiments of spiritual life and activity and are not the property of any particular tradition or religious institution. As we explore the many paths of the Wheel of Engaged Buddhism, we will reflect on the opportunities each affords to actualize bodhisattva mind.

By noting modern exemplars of bodhisattva mind—personages from non-Buddhist spiritual traditions—we can see bodhisattvas not as glorified, exotic, unnatural beings but simply our own best qualities in full flower.