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Thread: A New Approach to the Engaged Project Center

  1. #1

    A New Approach to the Engaged Project Center

    Hi everyone,

    We are going to try out a new approach to the engaged center.

    For me, service and being of help to others is one of the cornerstones to Buddhist practice. But over the years I have not found it easy to do so. Often it is difficult to think of ways to help, or to feel like what Iím doing makes a difference. Often, I start looking for ways to volunteer or be of service and find the road difficult. You would think it would be easy to be of service, but I often feel it isnít. There are so many things in this world that need our help but sometimes it is just so hard to know where to start.

    So I would like to try a new approach, which Iím hopefully will help all of us engage with the problems of world around us and help each of us find ways to be of service.

    The idea of the new approach is as follows, we will pick a topic to discuss and engage with for about 6 months, from now until we start preparing for Ango. There will be couple months of discussion about the topic itself, where I will ask everyone to go and learn about the theme, share stories and really broaden our understanding.

    Then we will move on to talking about ways we can be of service; how can we contribute to helping? There are a multitude of ways to get involved, and I really want to encourage people to think outside of the box. This portion of the project is really meant to help everyone feel they have a way that they could be useful. From suggestions that are small and can be used for your LAH commit, to large projects and everything in between.

    Finally for those of us who are moved, we will spend a couple months seeing what service we can do. How can we help and discussing how it went.

    There are two very important things I want to stress here.

    First, we are not leaving LAH behind. This Engaged Project is meant to help people look around and engage more deeply and help people be inspired. If you are having trouble finding ways to participate in LAH we will talk about the small daily things that could be done, we will also discuss larger ways to volunteer if you are moved by the topic and want to be of service that way.

    Second, if you already have a charity that you work for we donít want you to stop doing that work and do this instead. And this doesnít have to be in addition. If you feel you already give enough (or there just isnít time to do more), that is completely acceptable. But please do join us for the discussions. And help others who are maybe struggling and could use support.

    Lastly, I really want to encourage everyone to be supportive of ideas that are put out as ways to help. I remember a conversation with a volunteer who had just gotten back from helping with refugees from Syria. He was helping to deliver food and clothing. He told me that while the refugees took what was offered, they also stated it wasnít what they needed. They really needed jobs, so they could get their lives going again. Unfortunately this organization couldnít provide jobs, all they could do was help the refugees have food and clothing until the situation changed. This realization was really upsetting to this gentleman because he felt like what he had done wasnít enough or maybe wasnít even helpful. But I would argue, sometimes there are limits to what we are able to do. The best thing for the refugees would have been to get them all jobs, but that just wasnít possible at that time. And so they needed to provide what they could.

    With the information and abilities we have, we do the best we can and sometimes it isnít enough. But that shouldnít deter us from trying to help. And if we always look at the reasons we shouldnít or why what we are doing isnít enough; then we will never get started.

    Iím going to leave us with what I hope becomes a bit of a mantra around the Engaged Center

    ďOne rain drop raises the sea.Ē

    No matter how small the contribution it will help raise us all, so please join us in this engaged project.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday

    Whatís next:
    ē Consider joining us in these discussions and possibly service
    ē Keep an eye out for new posts with prompts for discussion
    ē Join us for discussion even if you already volunteer for a different cause
    ē Donít feel that your contribution is too small, every rain drop matters!
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  2. #2
    nice approach Shoka.


    Coos

    std

    Meister Eckhart ĎNothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.í

  3. #3
    This sounds like a great idea Shoka.

    You mentioned second hand clothing and I was just reading about how this is a problem in parts of Africa. I would never have guessed that donated clothing would be a problem - but once I read the articles it made sense. Some African countries are considering banning donated clothing.

    It is interesting how the best intentions can have negative consequences. Donating clothing in Africa is actually negatively impacting industry.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...onations-kenya

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b06a74c9f10dd6

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Last edited by Shinshi; 02-18-2018 at 04:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Very Shoka, thank you. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  5. #5
    Dear All,

    I just want to say briefly how much I support this effort and thank Shoka for her energy and creative thinking in introducing this project for our Sangha. I look forward to this and its future development.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Sounds like a great initiative. Thank you. I struggle to bring this aspect to life in my own practice. I do donate money to a number of charities but often not my time. I look forward to the discussion. Count me in.


    Tairin
    Sat today & lah

  7. #7
    Thank You Shoka for bringing this into our attention .
    I'm very much interested in being part of it in any way I can.

    Gassho,
    eva
    sattoday and also LAH

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Thank you Shoka, I will ride along. I also feel stuck when it comes to engaged service. I do LAH, freerice, but out in the world, besides picking up trash, I am not doing much.

    Gassho, sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  9. #9
    I'll add my piece here as support for the idea and will keep watching for new posts. One of the Ango requirements this past year was to LAH daily. Before that, I struggled with things to come up with. That requirement helped me to look closer at my life and see what I was doing routinely. I'm retired, and a bachelor, so volunteering is important as a way to keep my mind active. It's also a good way to develop my bodhichitta.

    Sat LAH

    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  10. #10
    Thank you so much for all your thought and effort Shoka! Looking forward to participating!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  11. #11
    Thank you, Shoka.
    I always have a little struggle when it comes to fully engaged service.
    I too am looking forwarding to participating in the project as much as I can.

    Gassho
    Washin
    sat/lah

  12. #12
    I'm looking forward to being a part of this initiative and discussions. Thank you Shoka for taking the reigns.

    Gassho,
    Kelly/Jinmei
    sattoday/lah

  13. #13
    Thank you for this initiative Shoka, I'm always looking for ways to be more engaged with service, it's difficult here for various reasons, so I look forward to seeing what comes out of our discussions here.

    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattoday/lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  14. #14
    Shoka, thanks for suggesting this new approach.

    Gassho,
    Stefan/Souchi

    SatToday

  15. #15

    Thank you Shoka,
    Hope that I too can contribute to this.

    Gassho
    Ryudo
    SatToday

  16. #16
    Shoka,

    totally awesome, way cool. Really looking forward to exploring this together!

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat + lah
    Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

  17. #17
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Thank you Shoka, look forward to seeing how this develops, as I to find this a challenge given our rural location and some language difficulties.


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  18. #18
    Thank you Shoka, I look forward to participating.

    Gassho,
    Jyķkatsu
    sattoday
    柔 Jyū flexible
    活 Katsu energetic

  19. #19
    Thank you everyone who posted. I hope we will all get something out of the discussions and talking opening together about this practice.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  20. #20
    To become more like those who teach me wisdom
    Selflessness, care, understanding, this I do
    Daily, hope for no recognition, no attainment
    I offer nearly daily, what I can offer in HIPPA
    Guard of others, private, love silence, talk
    Giving where no one gives, soon more than phone
    Giving as I can, as full recovered knee,
    Yes I see this!

    Tai Shi
    st today/lah
    Gassho
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

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