Three years ago I started Dana Wiki, a website to help Buddhist organizations get involved in social service. On Dana Wiki, you can learn how to start and lead a small volunteer group in your Buddhist center or meditation group; get information on different types of social service; read Buddhist reflections on social service; learn about Buddhist teachers and organizations that are involved in social service; and find places to volunteer. The best part is that Dana Wiki is a wiki, which means that anyone, anywhere can contribute to and edit it.
Back in November I did an interview about Dana Wiki and American Buddhism in general with Rev. Danny Fisher for Shambhala SunSpace, “Dana Wiki and the Future of American Buddhism: Danny Fisher interviews Joshua Eaton.”
I hope that Dana Wiki will become a hub where Buddhists involved in social service can share what’s working for them, get help with what isn’t, find material for Buddhist reflections on service, and connect with others. I also hope it will be a place where we can learn from religious traditions with a longer history in America about how to do more effective service work. Please join us!Learn More
On Earth Day April 2010, we broke ground on a 1/4 acre garden at the Montague Farm. Now in September we are harvesting and serving organic vegetables every week to 60-70 people at our Montague Farm cafe free community meals.
Cucumbers, zucchini, basil, cilantro and carrots being harvested right now. Volunteers to maintain the garden and process the harvest are very welcome.
A plot of grass transformed into the Montague Farm Zen House garden
This one is from our friends at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship:
Sit-for-Change is an innovative event weaving together contemplative practice and fund-raising – both of which are important parts of creating a stable, dynamic, and powerful movement for social change.
Sit-for-Change is like a walk-a-thon… you can help us raise funds by getting people to pledge you to do contemplative practice for 108 minutes on September 18th. You can also support this event by pledging one of us!
The BPF community will sit together in Berkeley, and around the country, to care for ourselves while caring for the world.
It’s a day for you to practice mindfulness and awareness, while supporting the work of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and our event partner, Center for Transformative Change.
On September 18th, spend 108 minutes in practice – sitting with us in Berkeley or on your own, practicing yoga or walking meditation, or whatever activity nourishes you – and invite your friends and family to participate and/or to sponsor your activity.
You can also support BPF Community Sit for Change by pledging for one of our staff members or friends. Or you can simply make a donation to support BPF.
Thank you again for all that you do, and for being a part of our community.
with deep bows,
The Charter for Compassion
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.
We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.
We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.