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Buddhists speak on Occupy Wall Street

Thanks to Maia Duerr and the follow-up comments on a post on her blog, the Jizo Chronicles, here’s a quick round-up of some of the recent posts that Buddhists have made on the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon.

  • There’s a post by Maia herself, along with Roshi Joan Halifax: “This is What Compassion Looks Like.”
  • Nathan Thompson has post on “Occupy Minnesota: Zen Style” on his blog, Dangerous Harvests where he describes “coming out” as a Zen Buddhist at a peaceful protest.
  • Chris Wilson, president of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship board of directors, compares OWS to the Arab Spring and asks why engaged Buddhists should get involves. Chris states that BPF endorses OWS, “based on our agreement that the influence of money in politics is blocking many of the social justice and environmental goals that BPF promotes.”
  • In “We Are the 100%,” Ari Pliskin of the Zen Peacemakers offers a “mindful response” to OWS: “We Are the 100%.” Drawing on the precepts and particularly this one: “When peacemakers vow to be oneness, there is no Other,” Ari’s piece makes the case for a non-dualistic view of the current situation.
  • Madrone Phoenix is a dharma practitioner based in Providence, RI. In “Waking Up From the American Dream” she shares her experience visiting OWS in New York last week, and she reflects on her earlier experiences as an “angry activist” and how her Buddhist practice over the past few years has impacted her way of being involved in this movement.
  • Michael Stone, a yoga and meditation teacher based in Toronto, also visited NYC last week. He offers his perspective in an article titled, “Remaining Human: A Buddhist Perspective on Occupy Wall Street.”
  • Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Marselean Manuel is past executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and Zen priest based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In “Un-Occupy the Land” she notes the troublesome connotations of the word, “occupy.” She writes, “The word brought up visions of invasion, people marching in to take over. I also saw a consciousness of us holding down specific territories (turfing) that seems to persist as the way to conquer.”
  • The Rev. James Ford, who is both a Unitarian Universalist minister and a Zen priest, begins his piece by echoing the words of Harvey Milk: “I’m here to recruit you.” In his piece, “An American Autumn: A Yom Kippur Meditation,” he says, “Sometimes you have to be outside. Sometimes you have to stand up. And sometimes you have to shout. You have to make demands that may be uncomfortable to the status quo. The Vietnam war ended for many reasons, but one principal among them were the people willing to mass together, take some tear gas, and bear witness to another way.”
  • Meredith Arena on the Interdependence Project site, has written “Politics and Practice: How we Face Social Injustice. Occupy Wall Street.” She writes, “Regardless of my ambivalence about how-why-when-where-who, sometimes you just have to SHOW UP.”
  • And on this site we have already brought you “The Buddha and Occupy Wall Street” and “Robert Thurman talks at Occupy Wall Street.”

Please let us know in the comments of any other posts you come across.

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About Bodhipaksa

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Bodhipaksa is a Buddhist practitioner and teacher, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, and a published author. He founded Wildmind in 2001. Bodhipaksa has published many guided meditation CDs and guided meditation MP3s.

He teaches at Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket, New Hampshire. You can follow Bodhipaksa on Twitter, join him on Facebook, or hang out with him on .

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Comments

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Comment from Janet Kelly
Time: November 27, 2011, 12:13 pm

I have been putting brief daily pieces on my Facebook page when I participate in mass gatherings. Yesterday I posted one about Occupy Boston and Occupy Nashua; these activities came at the good offices of Mark Provost who is not a Buddhist but devotes his entire Facebook page to Occupy Manchester NH.

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