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An Open Letter from Buddhist and Yoga Teachers and Leaders in Support of the Occupy Movement

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Well, folks, I’ve been occupied by the Occupy movement lately and haven’t devoted much time to posting on Jizo. I am so grateful that Michael Stone and Ethan Nichtern took the initiative to write a powerful letter connecting the dots between yoga and dharma practice and the Occupy movement.  Here’s an excerpt:

This movement has given voice to a near-universal frustration with the economic and political disenfranchisement of so many. It offers a needed counterbalance to a system that saps the life energy of the overwhelming majority –– the so-called 99% –– generating vast profits for a tiny handful, without maximizing the true potential for widespread wealth creation in our society. While our practice challenges us to cultivate compassion for 100% of human beings without villifying an “enemy,” our practice also calls on us to challenge a system that causes such clear harm and imbalance.

We share in the thoughtful calls to address massive unemployment, climate change, the erosion of social safety nets, decaying infrastructures, social and education programs, and workers’ wages, rights, and benefits.

I was honored to be invited to sign the letter, along with other dharma practitioners I respect and love such as Roshi Joan Halifax, Sharon Salzberg, Acharya Fleet Maull, Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Sarah Weintraub, and more.

You can read the complete letter here: http://occupysamsara.org/

And I’ll be back with more good stuff soon. May you and all beings be free from suffering.

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About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. Currently, I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work. I also direct the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at Upaya Zen Center along with Roshi Joan Halifax, where we forge new pathways of everyday engagement and servant leadership.

2 responses »

  1. Patrick McMurray

    Thank you, Maia, for this…it seems incredibly important and I know in my heart that it is!

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Occupy Samsara | Occupy the Moment

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