Amida: training, practice, vision and engagement - Dharmavidya writes:
We have been discussing the foundations of critical and socially engaged Buddhism. This has been partly a new look at the principles set out in my book The New Buddhism and partly a review of how practice has evolved within the Amida sangha over the past fourteen years. These discussions will continue. In this blog post I would like to record some things that came out of last weekend's discussion.
The Amida approach is not that of importing and extending an Asian way of doing things. Rather it is about applying basic Buddhist principles of ethics, faith and wisdom in a diversity of ways in society. The results are various. We do not replicate projects or services. We respond to particular concrete situations and develop something appropriate. Whatever has already been developed is seen as a potential spring board for something new. Thus the India project has gone through numberous transformations and will no doubt go through more in the future. If we were to start a second project in India, however, there is no reason why it should necessarily look anything like the existing one. It would be a new response to a new situation. For sure we would use what we have learnt from work in a wide range of settings, but there is no sense of having a final formula.