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Activism with Altruism: A Retreat
Venerable Thubten Chodron
Sravasti Abbey, Newport, Washington, USA
31 August - 3 September 2007

The following is from a weekend retreat at the Abbey on environmental activism.

Part 1 [28 min] Download mp3 file
Introduction, topics that will be covered during the retreat and breathing meditation

Part 2 [56 min] Download mp3 file
Environmental Activism - Generating the proper motivation 
Part 2 Q&A [37 min] Download mp3 file
  • When we locate the cause do we find the solution?
  • Because you are not personally involved with someone's misfortune is it OK to rejoice in his misery?
  • Is this a form of attachment, we work very hard and things to do not turn out the way we want them to?
  • Can things change based on our expectations?
Part 3 Q&A [33 min] Download mp3 file
  • Cynicism among young people, what can we do to help?
  • Fear of change - discussion of the difficulty of giving up something that is really bad because it is too scary to live without it.
  • How do we make responsibility attractive?
Part 4 [75 min] Download mp3 file
Discussion of motivation and a discussion of other emotions, panic and fear as opposed to relaxed and calm.
Part 4 Q&A [46 min] Download mp3 file
  • Request for advice when you live in a home where your family does not practice Buddhism.
  • Discussion of creative endeavors and motivation.
  • What does a well-balanced life look like?
Part 5 Q&A [39 min] Download mp3 file
  • What is all the bowing about?
  • If we want to help someone because we want to feel good about ourselves, how do we re-direct that intention?
  • Please explain the meaning of right livelihood.
  • Question about ritual in Buddhist practice.
Part 6a [39 min] Download mp3 file
Review of judgmental attitude discussion
Part 6b [32 min] Download mp3 file
Proper understanding of kindness and compassion
Part 6 Q&A [77 min] Download mp3 file
  • Discussion about using equanimity to have compassion for both sides of an environmental problem.
  • Discussion about having patience for our own actions that harm the environment.
  • Recognition that everyone who invented items that are now polluting the environment had a good motivation to benefit people.
  • Discussion of the importance of bringing the Dharma to all sentient beings.
  • Where does responsibility fit into the environmental issues and how do we avoid feeling like a victim?
  • What are the motivations we should remember when we wake up in the morning?



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