What’s Your Big Question? (VIDEO)
How do we get beyond nonviolence as a foregone moral conclusion, and investigate how people might choose to deploy nonviolence strategically in high-stakes situations?
How do we get beyond individual solutions like using cloth bags at the grocery store, and address the roots of what destroys our earth, like greed enshrined in capitalism?
How do we work collectively, when our Buddhist and activist communities are still divided by racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and other forms of oppression?
How do we accept things as they are and still work like hell to change them?
Tell Us What You Want To Talk About!
What’s your Big Question that you want to talk about with other political Buddhists? Tell us by recording a short video clip that says who you are and what pressing political issue you care about!
Make us a short 10-15 second video and tell us these three things:
[insert your name here!]
I’m a Buddhist.
[or "I study Buddhism" or "I practice the way of the Buddha" or "I might be a Buddhist?" - however you identify!]
I want to talk about ____________________
[insert a burning political issue that you'd love to talk about with other people who think about politics and Buddhism!]
Hi, I’m Dawn. I study Buddhism, and I want to talk about how strategic use of vandalism fits within Buddhist ethics. I want to know: How do other political Buddhists feel about people who pour sand in a bulldozer’s gas tank before it tears down an old forest?
Watch Katie & Dawn share several of our questions (above) to get some ideas! Your video doesn’t have to be perfect … in fact, funny outtakes are welcome! We’d love it if you make us laugh!
Help Us Spread the Word About “The System Stinks”
We’ll be using these videos to spread the word about “The System Stinks,” a series of themed dialogues exploring some of the biggest questions confronting us as political Buddhists in today’s world. Starting in 2013, the series will be hosted online via Turning Wheel Media so people all over the US and farther will be able to participate. Chapters, sanghas, activist collectives, and other interested folks can organize local study groups to dig in around these big questions together.
We’re using the favorite protest sign of BPF founder Robert Aitken Roshi to inspire Buddhists to deepen our wisdom and methods of political engagement. If the whole system stinks, we need to identify what causes the smell and neutralize it at the source. A systemic problem requires a systemic solution; as political Buddhists, we need to step up our game, get together, and get much more strategic about working hand-in-hand for liberation.
How to Get us Your Video
While you can leave a comment here to let us know what your Big Question is, we really need your video! Seeing the faces and hearing the voices of real live political Buddhists will help others get excited about participating in this project. Help us spread the word that there are political Buddhists out there in the world, and we have important questions to discuss with each other.
Not that comfortable with the technical aspects of video or camera shy? We’d love for you to try this out and keep it simple. Use your webcam or even the camera on your smart phone if you’ve got one of those! Upload your video to us via this website (use this password: sociallyengaged).
For those of you with some tech savvy skills, you’ll make our job easier if your video can match these specifications (easiest to do if you record video on a Mac using Quicktime Pro – this is a screenshot of what it will look like).
For Windows users, we’d prefer Windows Media Files (.wmv) that meet the above specifications.
If your recording software looks different, don’t get bogged down with perfection! Keep it simple, get and upload your video to us via this website (use this password: sociallyengaged).
A Cool Thank You for Making a Video!
Please get your videos to us by Thursday, September 13. This will give us time to edit and include them in a longer video about The System Stinks that will be released in October!
Everyone who sends us a video by September 13 will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Not Turning Away: The Practice of Engaged Buddhism, edited by Susan Moon.
We can’t wait to hear your Big Questions you’d love to discuss with other socially engaged Buddhists and spiritual activists. And we can’t wait to see your faces!