Buddhist Action Month
June 2022: Compassion and Connections in Times of Crisis
Buddhist Action Month is coming around again in June. This year has brought yet more crises to challenge us: the war in Ukraine, the cost of living, the omicron variant in the coronavirus pandemic, all on top of the background of the ever worsening climate crisis.
How should we respond as Buddhists? In the Chan/Zen Buddhist tradition this exchange has been handed down: A monk once asked the ancient Chinese Zen master Yunmen, “What is the teaching of the whole lifetime of Buddha?” Yunmen replied, “An appropriate response.”
This sounds simple, but it can be difficult to know what an appropriate response is in these turbulent and complex times. Taking part in Buddhist Action Month is an opportunity to engage in action, with compassion and connection at its heart, to help ourselves and others through these times of crisis.
Many of our lives have been adversely affected by Covid and by the associated economic and social changes it has brought. Restrictions are now easing and this may bring opportunities for us to reconnect. Connecting with each other, in our sanghas of Buddhist practitioners and beyond, is one of the jewels of Buddhism and key to our well-being.
Other ways of caring for ourselves include: keeping active, learning new things, giving to others and mindful awareness. Please find attached the leaflet “Five Ways to Good Mental Wellbeing and Buddhism” which can be freely shared.
BAM is about action: June might be a chance to kickstart a mid-year resolution! Let us know what you’re doing…it could be small or large, increasing your personal practice and encouraging others could be the start of a new wave of positive change rippling out into the world.
You are invited to join 2 events with David Loy, full details will be posted separately
Friday, 3 June 19.00 – 20.30pm in-person and on zoom
What Does the Ecological Crisis Mean for Buddhism?
Saturday, 4 June 11.00 – 17.00 GMT
The Bodhisattva/Ecosattva Path Today
Other ideas for action might include:
Nature walks with friends. Being outside in nature is calming and invigorating, appreciating nature helps to recognise how precious it is and helps us care for it.
If you don’t know where to go, have a look online. Here are some ideas: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/visit/choose-your-adventure/find-walk-near-you
As we come out of the third wave of the pandemic, easing of restrictions might allow us to join in group activities again. Here are a selection of websites where you can volunteer for tree planting. June might not be the right time of year for putting trees in the ground, but planning to get involved can happen any time.
Looking out for others is looking out for yourself.
You may be inspired to volunteer to connect with others and provide a valuable service, which also improves your sense of well-being. Here are some ideas:
Buddhist chaplaincy is a way of supporting others with a spiritual care dimension https://www.buddhisthealthcare.org.uk/
Whatever you get up to please share it with others by email or social media. Best wishes,
BAM 2022 coordinator