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August 2019
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Engaged Buddhism

Engaged Buddhism
Through the proper implementation of Buddhist methods such as the development of loving-kindness, tolerance, and mindfulness, our needs can be fulfilled. This is as true today as it was during the time of the Buddha. Moreover, Buddhist doctrine teaches equality and respect for all people regardless of their gender. There are two main approaches to practicing Buddhism, the first approach is to live in temples or isolated places and to work towards achieving liberation. The second approach requires that we actively engage in the world by helping others, either supporting them with their everyday needs through, for example, building hospitals and centers of educational, or providing guidance related to dharma.
First we can follow the Buddhist doctrine to achieve liberation from samsara, which means to free oneself from the cycle of rebirth, old age, sickness, and death, and then we can attain enlightenment for a sake of all others by cultivating love and compassion and developing the wisdom of emptiness. It is totally based on the individual’s effort and determination as to how they follow the path. For instance, the Buddhist instructions pertaining to patience, loving-kindness, and mindfulness can be practiced living at a temple or in one's own home. The Buddha clearly said that it is not only monks or nuns who can achieve liberation, but also lay people who follow the methods and teachings of the Buddha. These practices include learning the four noble truths, studying about the 12 links of dependent origination, mantra recitation, listening to and contemplating the teachings, and also meditating. If people are devoted to these practices, there is no reason why they cannot attain liberation. Success will come when one makes a lot of effort and practices diligently.
The Buddha clearly stated in many of his teachings that one should work for the freedom of all beings. Today, many teachers and practitioners not only meditate in temples and remote mountain hermitages, but actively engage in social works, such as building schools and providing medical care for the sick and poor. Moreover, Buddhist teachers, like H. H. the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, are participating in many kinds of social projects. For example, they are fighting against gender inequality, and advocating for human rights in many countries, and are also supporting indigenous people around the world. Furthermore, Buddhist activists are raising their voices against dictators, war, social injustices, and corrupt governments in India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand .
Buddhist practitioners should not merely be concerned with attaining personal liberation, but should also focus on relieving the suffering of others in their community and the removal of injustice in the world.