Do Activism and Buddhism Mix?
Inspired by a powerful spiritual awakening at a very young age, Adyashanti teaches a unique non-dual Buddhist approach to every aspect of living, including activism.
What follows is a series of questions posed to him about activism, and his answers.
Question: How do I reconcile allowing things to be as they are without taking a stand? There are a lot of areas in my life where I feel I canít just allow things to be as they are, but I must take up arms and oppose them.
Answer: Thereís never a need to oppose. Opposition is an attitude of the separate self. Do what is true. In doing what is true, there is no attitude to opposition.
Question: It wouldnít feel right in my soul to lay back and do nothing. It would be cowardly. At times, allowing things to be as they are can enter into the realm of cowardice.
Answer: Let the Truth inform action.
Question: Does that kind of action come from a feeling about whatís right under the circumstances?
Answer: Itís before feeling.
Question: Even at the risk of consequences?
Answer: Truth doesnít care about consequences. Itís concerned with the Truth. It doesnít care if youíre liked or not liked. You wonít always be liked for it, and sometimes you will be disliked for it. As long as youíre acting in the world based on what you like or donít like, or what others like or donít like, youíre not in the realm of the Truth. Truth insists that we not only be truthful, but that we act truthfully. Itís not enough just to know the Truth. You have to be it Ė to act it, and to do it.
Adapted from The Impact of Awakening, by Adyashanti (Open Gate Sangha; 2nd edition, 2002).