Sula Sivaraksa

New York, NY

#1 Mar 24, 2013
The Engaged Buddhism of Sulak Sivaraksa

“When we begin to develop simplicity in our life, and humility towards others and the environment, we begin to break free of that oppressive net. Perhaps more importantly, when we cultivate mindful-awareness alongside simplicity and humility, we can liberate ourselves completely from our own anger, greed, and delusion. Through this personal transformation, we begin to see the interconnectedness between each other and the environment around us. With this insight, we will begin to find the wisdom in caring for each other, how not to abuse the earth’s resources, and find respect for other cultures, traditions, and beliefs.”

Can individuals make a difference? Are we to reject capitalism? How can we stop a war? Where do we start to dismantle structural violence and bring about a more equitable society?

Sulak begins to answer these questions by stressing individual responsibility and the cultivation of mindfulness through meditation. On this note, Sulak tends to be optimistic believing that individuals do have the possibility to alter humanity’s current course.

“Restructuring political and economic institutions cannot, in themselves, bring about liberation. Personal transformation is the starting place. Peace can prevail in a society only when individuals in that society are at peace. When greed, hatred and ignorance govern our personal affairs, they will also be present in our society’s institutions, preventing lasting social change. Real security depends on working on ourselves.”

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