Sunday May 14, 2017

Stand against suffering: a Buddhist call to action for the Trump era

KHAN YOUNIS REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA STRIP - SEPTEMBER 07:  A Palestinian boy gestures a V-sign as he looks at an Israeli tank (not shown) open fire while guarding the border of the vacant Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim September 7, 2005 near Khan Younis Refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinians await the complete Israeli withdrawal from the settlement in Gaza.  (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
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Lion's Roar magazine (formerly known as Shambhala Sun) is the world's biggest publication about Buddhism in the English language. Founded in 1995, it is published in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Melvin McLeod is President and Editor-in-Chief.  In any given issue, you'll find advice about meditating and stories about how to incorporate Buddhist practice into daily life. 

Lion's Roar

Lion's Roar magazine, May 2017 issue

The May 2017 issue features an article called "Stand Against Suffering" in response to the political situation in the United States. Thirteen of the most prominent Buddhist teachers in America have come together to write this call to action - an unprecedented move. Concerned that new political policies in the US are going to hurt society's most vulnerable, they have decided to speak up.

Melvin McLeod

Melvin McLeod, editor of Lion's Roar magazine (Megumi Yoshida)

Melvin McLeod says that while the message is applicable anywhere in the world, "It's raised and specifically focused on the crisis, really, taking place now in American society and American politics, and it's that almost emergency atmosphere that calls upon these Buddhist teachers to make this statement."

The call to action begins with an acknowledgment that Buddhism does not align itself with any party or ideology, but it offers some concrete examples of what can be done to to ease the suffering of those affected by the current political climate and policy changes, such as providing sanctuary in Buddhist communities for persecuted people.

Melvin McLeod spoke to Mary Hynes from the CBC Halifax studios. He is President and Editor-in-Chief of Lion's Roar magazine, and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly as well as the editor of Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place.

Click listen to hear the full interview.