What is ‘engaged practice’?
Engaged practice involves different ways Buddhist practitioners bring their skills to help others. This section shows some ways to become more engaged.
The CoI ‘Engaged Practice’ project
A significant number of CoI sangha members are active on an individual basis. The CoI ‘Engaged Practice’ project aims to increase the number of people actively taking the practice to benefit less advanteged individuals in the UK. Initially this will be simply by identifying those already active and building these web-pages so that others can find out how to work in that area and have a contact person to discuss things with.
The Trustees link is Mike Bell. The project leader is Liz Archer. You can contact Liz using the form below.
Thich Nhat Hanh on ‘engaged practice’
“Engaged Buddhism is just Buddhism. When bombs begin to fall on people, you cannot stay in the meditation hall all of the time. Meditation is about the awareness of what is going on – not only in your body and in your feelings, but all around you.
When I was a novice in Vietnam, we young monks witnessed the suffering caused by the war. So we were very eager to practice Buddhism in such a way that we could bring it into society. That was the birth of Engaged Buddhism.
Buddhism has to do with your daily life, with your suffering and with the suffering of the people around you. You have to learn how to help a wounded child while still practicing mindful breathing. You should not allow yourself to get lost in action. Action should be meditation at the same time.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Types of engaged practice
This section provides information and contact details for groups of CoI members who are engaged in using the practices to help in the following areas:
- Chaplaincy/visiting in prison.
- Chaplaincy/visiting in hospital or hospice.
- Volunteering in education
- Volunteering for a charity
- Bringing the practice to your work
- Using the practice in caring for relatives
- Bringing the practice to disadvantaged groups in the inner-city.
The aim of these pages is to provide:
- A shared space for those already practicing in this area
- A contact/reference space for those interested in getting engaged in this area
Stage 1 will be to develop website pages which will contain:
- A description of what practice in that area will mean
- Practical advice and links for those who want to get involved
- Personal testimonials from people who are already active in that area
- A contact-person in each area.
Stage 2 will be to use the information gained in Stage 1 to assist those who want to be more engaged in that area (eg do an assembly in their local school)