A new report, “Which Side Are You On? November 12, 2016” has just been posted at:
It contains news and photos of recent activities, information about upcoming projects, and an appeal for the Bangalore Intensive.
We hope you enjoy it.
Ken and Visakha
Buddhist Relief Mission
Everywhere we turn, we find issues that offer clear choices and virtually demand that we take sides. To be consistent, we need to stand with those water protectors trying to stop the pipeline in North Dakota. We need to show solidarity with the besieged peoples of Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We need to speak out on behalf of the refugees fleeing war and terror and seeking asylum in other lands. We need to advocate for the Rohingyas, the Kachin, the Karen, the Shan. We need to side with nature against Monsanto. We need to proclaim loudly that Black Lives Matter and to oppose racism and white supremacy. We need to stand up for those who are discriminated against–gays, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgender people, Muslims, Sikhs, atheists, the poor, and the homeless. We need to oppose the commodification of everything and respect working people. We need to demand that potable water and clean air are fundamental rights. We need to fight those who would limit health care and education to those who can pay. We need to oppose the death penalty and to support inmates’ strikes against prison slavery and for-profit incarceration. We need to defend forests, rivers, jungles, and oceans. We need to protect wildlife of all sorts and to strive to live more simply and kindly. We need to be ready to declare which side we are on!
We should make choices which are wholesome, moral, and blameless. The way in which we stand up for what is right, however, is crucial. We must be skillful, kind, generous, well-intentioned, and non-violent. The end, no matter how noble, can never justify unwholesome or harmful means.
In these toxic times, we need to read both widely and critically, to listen carefully, to fact check what we hear and read, and to engage in discussion whenever possible and always honestly. We need to understand the danger of emotions, the compulsion that arises from fear, the addiction of hatred, the craving for self-preservation, and the ease of believing in attractive lies.
Hatred is never appeased by hatred.
Only by non-hatred can hatred be appeased.
This is a universal law.