engaged buddhist training - empowering transformation

11th to 25th August

“Our times desperately call for both spiritual and social commitments. Without spiritual development, well meaning attempts to change the world will probably unconsciously replicate the very problems that we believe we are solving. …… But if the path of spiritual transformation is not socially informed, it too is at risk. There is the irony of attempting to overcome self-centeredness through spiritual practice while ignoring the cries of the world” Donald Rothberg

  • A training grounded in buddhist values and practice
  • Crucial practical tools for organising
  • The inner resources for sustaining inspiration and engagement
  • Skills for building a culture of compassion

In our times, personal and social transformation are intimately bound together. As climate change, peak oil and economic precarity articulate the endgame of this industrial growth era, spiritual practice that fails to face these conditions runs the risk of falling into narcissistic escapism. Meanwhile, attempts to engage with these social and ecological conditions need to be resourced by deep awareness, self-knowledge, and emotional intelligence. As they say, “Wisdom without action is lame, and action without wisdom is blind.”

So, this is a training for people who are awake to the needs and opportunities of our times. This event brings together a team of talented facilitators to offer tools that integrate the inner dimensions of personal transformation with practical skills in organising, community building, and designing effective strategies for social transformation. It brings together the best in activist education with Dharma based practice, to simultaneously empower personal and interpersonal change.

Whether our efforts can herald in a future expressing our potential to live in solidarity with each other and the non-human world, or our work simply creates resilience and capacity in individuals and communities to weather a complex and uncertain future, we cannot know. Either way, there is enormous creative potential for us to nurture in the years in front of us. This training aims to help us build the personal and inter-personal resources to bring that potential forth.

This training aims to:

  • enable individuals to learn and deepen their practice of meditation and other Dharma based methods for developing inner resources of clarity, insight, courage, patience, and emotional resilience.
  • develop an integrated understanding of how these inner based practices inform and support outer engagement and activity.
  • create a supportive temporary community, modeling key community building practices, in which individuals can reflect on their experience, go deeper in understanding their own motivations and concerns, and share experience and learning.
  • offer key organizing and community building tools and support the development of the skills required to use them effectively. Such as:

1. An understanding of different models of social change, and the ways social and community movements can be influential
2. Learning to analyse problems and opportunities in our own situations, so we can develop an understanding of critical pathways to effective change adopting relevant strategies and tactics
3. Methods for evaluation and ongoing review of strategy and tactics
4. Methods for movement and organization building, such as recruitment, finding people to work with, developing collaboration, understanding group formation
5. A capacity to understand and work with power dynamics at various levels, including within our own organizations and groups
6. Consensus process, why, when and how it can be effectively used – and when not!
7. Communication and mediation tools and skills necessary for lasting and effective group building
8. Planning and developing campaigns and actions, including how to work (or not work) with the media
9. And, importantly, how to avoid burnout, and stay inspired and engaged for the long haul!

For more background on the course and approach check out Self + Society: A Radical Response and Engaged Buddhist Training Series.

Suggested contribution in the Dana Economy €300 to €850 (euros). Make a booking. Some bursaries and/or work exchange options are available.

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