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by Sutra Manga
Sunday, Oct. 06, 2002 at 5:11 PM
Have some fun and get rid of some of your angst and enter some gags in this week's caption contest. Gags could relate to the environment, war, neoliberalism or just about anything given Bush's track record!
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This is to announce a new Buddhist and Activist manga site that in the spirit of Indy Media seeks to foster communication and awareness amongst the wider community. As we want to encourage activism as a skilfull form of Engaged Humanistic Buddhism, in addition to daily Buddhist cartoons we have a weekly activist cartoon caption competition.
In terms of activism the Buddhist tradition has some very good role models and examples which we can learn from such as Aung San Suu Kyi the Buddhist human rights activist and leader of Burma's National League for Democracy, Ven Master Thich Nhat Hanh whose recent comments in relation to Sept 11 are very insightful and Ven.Master Sheng-yen both from the Chan tradition, and of course His Holiness The Dalai Lama. These are just a few of the practitioners who practice an Engaged Form of Buddhism that crosses over into the area of activism.
This is by necessity a very short article but I think it might be useful to quote Ven.Master Sheng-yen to provide a Chan practitioner's perspective. He says, quote, “ The pure selfless, uncontaminated inner world makes the outer world pure, selfless and uncontaminated. From the nature of cleanness and emptiness, he or she sees that the world is formless and non-abiding. A great practitioner's inner world identifies itself with the outer, selfless and uncontaminated, formless and non-abiding. Where can he or she find a place that is not a Buddha land? Even though they recognize every place as a Buddha land, Ch'an practitioners try to spread the concepts and methods of spiritual environmental protection because there are sentient beings who still experience vexations.
Ch'an practitioners are clear and systematic in mind. Formlessness and the unity of the inner and outer world do not confuse them or make them fuzzy-minded. They can see the outer world selflessly and deal with it properly. A Ch'an practitioner with wisdom, without self-interest, can be truly objective when confronting people and situations. His or her judgment is good and his or her understanding is clear. He or she influences other people by making him or herself an example for them. That is practicing the Bodhisattva way”.
Thus as per the above quote, this practice of mindfulness and transformation of our awareness is not some abstract ideal, but a very tangible and practicable method that we can all apply to our own lives individually both on the inner and on the outer. Much better of course is a society that consists of a majority of such individuals that then collectively acts with wisdom and compassion on a macro level. A much different state of affairs from what we have now of course and with this goal in mind we have just launched our site and hope that through the use of humor and cartoons we can affect a small change. Hope you can have a laugh or a chuckle too!
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