Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mindful Citizenship


Just got off the phone with a former Healthcare Now activist in Albuquerque, investigating whether there are any solidarity actions taking place in New Mexico concurrent with the October 6 rally in Washington, D.C.

Nothing much going on, he said, although there is some good activism going on advocating a state-level public health system. We then moved on to other things and then came this:

"You know, my experience with Buddhism is with another branch, and they took no interest in politics. Their attitude was work on yourself first, you know."

Silence. A response was desired.

Okay then. "I'm sorry -- work on what?"

"Work on yourself first." He thought I hadn't heard him.

"My self? You mean, an isolated self that has nothing to do with money or property or a community? An isolated self that has no relationship to other human beings and has nothing to do with society?"

"Oh, right."

"Our practice is called 'mindfulness,' right? And that's something we do in the midst of all our activities. So there is mindful meditation, and there is also mindful parenting, mindful driving, mindful decisions with respect to money and home economics, and mindful citizenship."

"That's a balanced view."

"Thanks for all your work."

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