Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place

Overview

"I've studied politics my entire life. It's been because of my time working on this book that I've finally learned what's really important in politics." So says Melvin McLeod, editor of Mindful Politics, a book that transcends Right and Left, progressive and conservative, to get to the heart of what matters: how we can all make a positive difference in our complex political world.

This is not your typical political book. It's not written at a fever pitch, it doesn't use a ...

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Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place

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Overview

"I've studied politics my entire life. It's been because of my time working on this book that I've finally learned what's really important in politics." So says Melvin McLeod, editor of Mindful Politics, a book that transcends Right and Left, progressive and conservative, to get to the heart of what matters: how we can all make a positive difference in our complex political world.

This is not your typical political book. It's not written at a fever pitch, it doesn't use a good/bad binary, and it doesn't tout partisan policies. Instead, this timely collection addresses the less-discussed but more important questions about politics: What insight does religion have to offer politics? How can we as concerned citizens move beyond the particulars of legislation and party affiliation, and take direct action? How, amid divisive and challenging times, can personal growth and effective advocacy take place together?

In short, Mindful Politics offers the perspectives of 34 important authors and thinkers on how each of us, right now, can make the world a better place.

McLeod includes essays and insights from some of the brightest, and most controversial, lights of Buddhism - and beyond.

Included are:

  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Sam Harris (author of The End of Faith)
  • The Dalai Lama
  • Jerry Brown
  • Pema Chodron
  • Trungpa Rinpoche
  • bell hooks
  • Ezra Bayda
  • Meg Wheatley
  • ...and many more
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This collection of essays on a Buddhist approach to politics is far-ranging. We see contributions from Buddhists engaged in politics, whether religious figures like the Dalai Lama and Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh or Zen student and political leader Jerry Brown, as well as a wide variety of Buddhist teachers and practitioners. McLeod, who edits two Buddhist periodicals and an annual anthology of Buddhist writing, skillfully organizes the diverse writings by using the categories that describe Buddhism's noble eightfold path. Contributions vary in quality. Nhat Hanh is clear as a Zen sitting-room bell; the precepts of his Order of Interbeing community are specific, and he can draw on decades of peace work to illustrate that what he says is not merely possible but has already been done. Scholar Rita Gross offers fresh insight about the anger of righteousness that often motivates political involvement. Other contributions are woolly or left over from the 1960s; bell hooks's use of leftisms ("imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy") draws on stale ideology. Margaret Wheatley does important work in community and leadership development, but should avoid writing bad poetry to express her views. Despite unevenness, this anthology usefully disputes Buddhism's reputation as apolitical. Buddhism is quiet but not quietistic. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861712984
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Melvin McLeod attended the National Defence College of Canada, the country's highest institution for the study of domestic and international affairs. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Shambhala Sun magazine and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Journal. He is also the editor of the Best Buddhist Writing collections. He has spent his life studying politics; he took a degree in political science, including a period of study in Washington, and has covered political stories in his capacity as a journalist. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Table of Contents

A new approach to global problems 17
Be peace embodied 29
Call me by my true names 39
Wego 45
Buddhism and the politics of domination 57
The Buddha's politics 65
Joining heaven and earth 77
Creating enlightened society 89
The discovery of basic goodness 99
Nowhere to spit 105
Three means to peace 121
We have the compassion and understanding necessary to heal the world 129
The power of patience 141
Giving and taking 149
The political precepts : the fourteen mindfulnesses of the order of interbeing 159
Beyond us and them 165
The path to forgiveness 171
The Buddha's advice on healing the community 181
Four freedoms 189
Agent in Indra's net 201
Gross national happiness 213
The wisdom in the anger 225
Taking whole : the art of less war 239
Letter to a dictator 251
No color, all colors 261
Compassion is our best protection 273
A Buddhist response to globalization 285
Killing the Buddha 293
Four truths & ten laws 301
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