Engaged Buddhism

Social Engagement at SIMS

It is said that the two arms of the dharma are compassion and wisdom. Through wisdom we see our connection with all things and with compassion our hearts open. Using mindfulness and in the quiet of formal practice we witness an inner transformation that allows more easily for well intentioned action in the world. This is the grounding for social engagement from a Buddhist perspective. 

Our attention is called to many difficult outer conditions such as the climate crisis, systemic racism, social and economic inequity, homelessness, immigration and refugee issues, LGBTQ rights, sexism and misogyny, and a growing nuclear weapons buildup.

Responding to these conditions from the ground of practice provides a way to engage with less ego and anger, and more kindness and understanding.

Groups and Dedicated Resources

Please take a look at these pages to learn more about how we are expanding our efforts to engage compassionately and wisely with our communities and how you can get involved. We welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please email Iris Antman to discuss and explore ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Climate Action Group at SIMS was started in May of 2018 by a few sangha members concerned about the climate crisis. We were interested in working within our sangha and from the ground of our Dhamma practice to learn, understand, connect, and, with wise intention and view, take appropriate actions. We meet monthly, have sponsored several programs at SIMS, and facilitated Tim Geil, one of our guiding teachers, in giving annual climate crisis-related Dhamma talks each April, the month during which Earth Day is celebrated. We have an online bulletin board with our mission, goals, and meeting notes, as well as a variety of resources to deepen understanding of climate change issues and how to take meaningful action.

As Dhamma practitioners, we are dedicated to understanding suffering and the end of suffering. The root of suffering is the illusion of a separate, isolated sense of self. Racism is a profound manifestation of the separation between self and other. By creating a separate self, we create an other to defend against and to oppress and control. Healing racism is Dhamma work. 

We must seek to understand and heal the racism in our own hearts. We must act with wisdom and compassion, confronting and uprooting all aspects of racism. It requires inner transformation and outer action.

 

There are other social issues, besides Climate and Anti-Racism we face, such as homelessness, immigration/refugee rights, poverty, food scarcity, addiction, LGBTQIA rights, and others.

We are interested in helping to create groups around issues you care deeply about. We invite you to share work you’re already engaged in and/or hear suggestions you may have for new projects or groups. 

Check out our growing list of  opportunities to engage with other sangha members to benefit others.

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