Taigen Dan Leighton will be a presenter in the Symposium for Socially Engaged Buddhism this summer.
from A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency, edited by John Stanley, David Loy, and Gyurme Dorje (Wisdom Publications, 2009)
The failure of the teaching of karma as solely an individual matter, without accounting for systemic, collective causes, was recognized by the great leader of the Untouchables, Bhimrao Ambedkar, who led the mass conversion to Buddhism of over three million Indian “Untouchables” starting in 1956.
For Buddhists to respond appropriately to the calamities that have only started to befall us all from global climate disruption caused by human activities, we will need to rethink the common misunderstandings of karma that have prevailed in Buddhist Asia. The teaching of karma has been frequently misused in Asian history to rationalize injustice and blame the victims of societal oppression. The popular version of this includes that people born into poverty or disability deserve their situation because of misdeeds in past lives. Such views have themselves caused great harm…read more