The Life Story of Atisha , Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Lama Zopa Rinpoche describes the life and work of the great bohisattva Atisha
It occurs to me that a new brand of Dharma practice is needed in the world in order to relieve suffering on the larger collective level as well.
For individual problems, Buddhism and, indeed, any religious PRACTICE (not belief or faith) rooted in compassion, benevolence, wisdom and, what the Buddhists call "bodhichitta" will lead to improvements for the self gradually over time and that this will then HELP to improve the collective condition through changing the internal state of your mind and the way you perceive and work with the outside world.
But what of the collective society in which we're living? How can we practice solidly if WE (collectively) are concerned about greed and money all of the time? How can we practice if there are unjust laws and dysfunctional practices in the society which hurt the individual and the collective living in a given society?
Wouldn't it make sense that just laws, grounded in reality and empirical facts would do better than the unjust laws, grounded in belief, ideology and personal interest? Could we live better, happier lives if the governing systems of our world were in order and functioning according to their own interests, which is also the public's interests as well?
We need both if we are going to be able to experience happiness, well being and peace of mind, both within our individual selves and within our collective societies. Too often there is conflict between a government and the society in which it is supposed to be operating, or else, too often there are conflicts between one governing faction and another that do not result in productive choices being made, thus increasing the amount of suffering and agro within a given society and amongst individual people, which then boils over into aggression and anger against both factions squabbling over petty issues, concerns and information. We're seeing this drama play out in our own world, not just in the one that's described in the religious texts of any religion, especially those from Buddhism.
What demons must I subdue in order to rid this world of those who would destroy the universe for the sake of their small selves, thus ensuring the collective destruction of the world and their small selves with it? They are people, no doubts about that. But how is it that these people have risen to these positions within our societies? It's incredible to think that we've promoted those who need to follow in the most stringent of ways to positions of leadership where they're making choices that effect everyone, including themselves! We don't promote leaders in our world, so much as just those who are able to play the social game to get to the top best. It's time that we change the rules of this game, such that those who do not belong in positions of power, consequence, authority and responsibility sink back down to appropriate positions within our social order and, hopefully, get treated for the psychiatric conditions that lead them to their behavior, attitudes and actions in the first place.
This is what, I think, I'm here to technically be doing on in this world, at this time. I'm not sure how to actually go about doing it, and I know that it is going to be extremely dangerous, difficult and dependent upon many things working out for me that I have no control over. Already I've had to fight many demons within my own mind in order to make it to this point and the fight is only just beginning for the well being and quality of life for humanity.
Which side are you going to choose? The ignorant, the stupid, the cleverly dumb who would destroy the environment, the society and, indeed, the whole of the universe for a little extra money, a little extra relative power in society and/or a pat on the head from people who do nothing but abuse them in practice? Or will you side with the humans against those who would destroy our world, such that you may be able to live a better existence in this world, if not, in the next world after that? Where do your sentiments lie? Where does your faith lie? Where do your thoughts lie?
These are questions which, I don't think, you have any real choice over. I think your brains will receive this according to what they're able to receive and that, given the architecture of your brains, you will respond in one way or another without you even realizing that it is happening. Even if you do take a long time to decide which side you're going to be on, it will still all be part of the program working itself out inside your head relative to the rest of the universe that is around you. There is no magic in it, other than what you're willing and able to assign it, I think.
But, what do I know about such things?
Think about it.
And, good luck!
Think about it.