Buddhist Action Month (BAM) 2018
Transforming Self, Transforming World
Buddhism generally has a very positive image in the west as a peaceful, meditative lifestyle. However, most people (including many Buddhists) are completely unaware of the range of work and volunteering done by western Buddhists for the benefit of others.
June 2018 is Buddhist Action Month (BAM) in Europe – a festival of Buddhist social action of many kinds.
Buddhists of many traditions will be engaging together in socially beneficial activities, rooted in Buddhist values. Many Triratna Sanghas engaged enthusiastically with BAM last year, and are gearing up for another inspiring month this year.
Together with all the other Buddhist groups and Sanghas involved, those of us involved in BAM are inspired by BAM’s potential to make connections between our ethical commitment as Buddhists and the needs of our society and our environment.
We also want to help raise the profile of Buddhist altruistic activity in Irish and European society. It’s a chance to show that Buddhism is about far more than just meditation!
Theme for 2018
As always, the theme for BAM is inspired by contemporary issues, and this year’s emphasis invites us to stop and look at the big picture: for 2018's the theme is Transforming Self, Transforming World and it provides an opportunity to reach out and engage with friends and communities in ways that we may not be able to do for the most part during the year.
In addition, this year we are offering two particular issues for discussion:
Transforming Self: looking at the effect of digital technology on the well-being of us as individuals and on society
The invitation is to become more conscious of the unhealthy cravings related to the use of technology.
Is the way we use it conducive to our awareness and awakening or does being absorbed by a screen eclipse our awareness of others, of the moment, of our surroundings and obscure our clarity of mind?
Do we fall into the trap of believing television’s message that life is somewhere other than where we are now and how do we work with social media’s double edge which both creates connections and breaks them?
Transforming World: exploring our society’s need for a positive collective narrative for the future
This part of the theme invites us to engage with the bigger picture - to imagine what kind of a world we wish to inhabit.
It seems that the 21st century urgently needs a new myth. But after several decades under neoliberalism and consumerism how can we move towards a less destructive and more inclusive future when we don’t know what that might look like? What kind of future we want?
A clear and simple narrative describing what we want is essential if we wish to change the inadequate story that continues to govern politics and society.
Connecting with other Triratna Centres
We'd also really encourage you to follow BAM in the wider Triratna Buddhist Community in the dedicated group on thebuddhistcentre.com. Here you'll be able to see what other centres around Triratna are doing, and find a host of resources if you'd like to explore the theme further.
Pledges for June
And, of course, intention is not much use in the world without action! So we'd really encourage you to think about taking on one or more of the pledges for the month...
The pledges for 2018 include:
- Reducing our use of plastic
- Doing a digital detox, reducing and purifying our use of social media
- Going more vegetarian or vegan
- Practising ethical consumerism, e.g. buying only recycled clothes, or buying only the bare minimum necessary
- Reducing your carbon footprint
- Picking litter each day
- Plant a tree!
- Divest your money
Click the above link to take a pledge (or even a few pledges!) and we'll send you resources to help you in your efforts.