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Engaged Buddhism – Critical Buddhist Study

May 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Third Wednesday of each Month | 7:00 – 8:30 pm EST

Facilitated by Yuki Eric Michels

Location: Online

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 4th, 1967.

In our Zen tradition, we seek to cut through the three poisons of greed, aversion, and delusion. Here we seek to examine & deconstruct how these poisons manifest institutionally & systemically, in such forms as capitalism, white supremacy, colonialism & imperialism. In the language of the ongoing Poor People’s Campaign, these manifestations exhibit themselves as “the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and [a] distorted moral narrative….”

Our intention with this study group is to investigate the intersection of Dharma teachings and Buddhist practice with critical analysis, activism, and organizing. Integral to this goal is an exploration into the history of work that’s been done at this intersection, along with a deep look into the systemic roots of suffering and what this entails for our collective liberation. This also necessitates a discussion of who we want to be, what kind of world we seek to build, and how we can pursue these endeavors.

This includes addressing such questions as:

  • How can the lens of interdependence help us understand our personal material conditions, along with the systems that produce those conditions?
  • How does systemic analysis and critical theory affect our study and practice of the Dharma?
  • How does our Buddhist study and practice affect our action and engagement with the systems that create suffering?
  • What does Buddhist study have in common with critical/systemic analysis? What does care in a Buddhist sangha have in common with care in community organizing?

Learn more about Engaged Buddhism at the Zen Studies Society.

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May 17
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm



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