Engaged Buddhist Practice
Engaged Buddhist Practice takes our meditation practice off the cushion into the world through social and ecological service and action. Mountain Rain sponsors periodic workshops, study groups and guest speakers in support of engaged Buddhist practice.
Our Engaged Buddhist Practice Group meets monthly on Monday, 6:00-7:00 PM. Please see our events listing for exact dates. The group puts out a monthly newsletter with information, links, initiatives, and messages from sangha members who wish to link-up to participate in specific engaged Buddhist activities.
Election Bodhisattva Practice
The Federal election is drawing near! The parties have set out their platforms. On October 21, 2019, we’ll be lining up at community centers across the country to cast our votes.
Engagement with politics can be a challenge for the modern Bodhisattva. Yet the election may also offer up a wonderful invitation to “speak truth to power” with a heart of compassion, honoring the practice of right speech.
This election, Mountain Rain’s Engaged Practice Group invites you to reach out to your local candidates, to ask them questions about issues that are important to your life and to your practice.
You can find your candidates through the Elections Canada Voter Information Service at www.elections.ca
You could call your candidate, send them an email, or send a letter to their campaign office.
It can be a helpful practice to think of some questions you would like to ask your candidates. Sometimes it can be tough to know where to begin. To help, here are some sample questions:
How does your government plan to tackle the climate emergency and meet the needs of those communities expected to be most harmed by it? How will you government support transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources, and job transition for workers affected by this change?
How do you personally understand the threat of the climate emergency in Canada? And the threat to your/our own riding?
How do you plan to cooperate with other politicians, parties, governments, and organizations to address the climate crisis?”
How exactly will your government engage with other emitting countries? How exactly do you understand Canada’s engagement with the United Nations on the collective global climate emergency, and how exactly would your government act to strengthen this engagement and take proactive initiatives among nations?
How will your party ensure that Canada’s cities are resilient and sustainable? How does your government plan to support Canadians to make better transportation, recycling, and energy choices, especially in rural communities and the North? Kate suggests adding: How would you support small and large farmers, and consumers to support sustainable agriculture and food systems?
What issues are most important to you this election? What issues do you think will have the greatest positive or negative impact on our riding over the next four years? How do you plan to tackle those issues?: When you think of the collective future of our children and grandchildren, what as an elected Member of our Canadian Parliament do you consider the most important specific issue to advocate for on their behalf?
An issue I care about is ______. Is that important to you as well? If so, how do you plan to advocate for this issue within your party and in government? How have you advocated for this issue in the past? What were the results?
These are examples to guide you, though feel free to use and adapt them as you see fit.
The Mountain Rain Engaged Practice Group wishes you a stress-free election season. May all voters be happy!
Plastic-Free Sangha: a practice period initiative
In the short time that plastic has become a ubiquitous part of human culture the volume of plastic discarded has increased to stunning proportions, endangering the health of our oceans and their inhabitants, as well as the health of human and other beings. North Americans have been relying on countries like China and the Philippines to process and recycle our garbage using underpaid, under-protected and often underage labour, but now those countries are beginning to refuse. Let’s take responsibility! We can make personal decisions to reduce/reuse/recycle, but they remain drops in the proverbial bucket unless we also insist that businesses and policy-makers take responsibility.
Mountain Rain’s newly formed Engaged Buddhist Practice Group invites you to make a pledge for the 2019 fall practice period to refuse/reduce/reuse/recycle plastic and bring mindful awareness to your choices, the challenges in changing our consumption habits, and speaking up to merchants, corporations and politicians about their policies and decisions. Please sign-up on the pledge form below, and we’ll give you support and resources along the way—and connection to others doing their best, sharing their successes and frustrations.
This initiative is not prescriptive. You will not be judged or shamed for not doing “enough”. None of us can ever do enough, but whatever each of does matters. Please make your pledge meaningful to you and appropriate to your circumstances.
A resources section can be found below the form.
Plastic-Free Sangha Resources—contributed by members of the Engaged Practice Group
Green Sangha Rethinking Plastics page
Dharma Sangha Approaching a Zero-Waste Lifestyle
Plastic Pollution Coalition Information, actions
Plastic Oceans Information, actions, excellent films
Albatross a powerful film by Chris Jordan on the effects of plastic pollution on albatross chicks.
Plasticnic video poem by local poet Fiona Tinwei Lam
Greenpeace Links to petitions to the Federal government and to certain multinationals about change in use of plastics.
Plastic Zero PDF of report: In 1991, Germany was the first country to introduce a comprehensive system where manufacturers and distributors were made financially responsible for the packaging they created.
Globe and Mail Article: “Reduce, reuse, recycle, rejected: Why Canada’s recycling industry is in crisis mode”