"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.
- 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
"An anthology like this should have been published decades ago. We all know, politics sucks. It is largely a playground for (individual and national) egos that are fixated on power and self-advantage. The present volume, compiled by the editor-in-chief of Shambhala Sun magazine, consists of twenty-nine very readable contributions that envision politics as a humanitarian enterprise focused on the betterment and upliftment of all human societies. [ . . . ] Melvin McLeod has assembled a galaxy of notables with spiritual credentials, who can shed light on how to humanize politics and--dare we hope--politicians. Delightfully, even Jerry Brown, former governor of California, makes sense. How can the Buddha's wisdom not guide us in that most human of activities called 'conflict resolution,' or politics? This anthology should be must reading for all aspiring or seasoned politicians, and it also should be placed in the hands of anyone old enough to vote."
A new approach to global problems / Dalai Lama -- Be peace embodied / Charles R. Johnson -- Call me by my true names / Thich Nhat Hanh -- Wego / David Loy -- Buddhism and the politics of domination / Bell Hooks -- The Buddha's politics / Reginald A. Ray -- Joining heaven and earth / Jerry Brown -- Creating enlightened society / Fabrice Midal -- The discovery of basic goodness / Chogyam Trungpa -- Nowhere to spit / Peter Coyote, David Koczynski, Jan Willis, Noah Levine, Ken Jones, Richard Reoch, Alan Senauke and Charles G. Lief -- Three means to peace / Joseph Goldstein -- We have the compassion and understanding necessary to heal the world / Thich Nhat Hanh -- The power of patience / Pema Chodron -- Giving and taking / Gehlek Rinpoche -- The political precepts : the fourteen mindfulnesses of the order of interbeing -- Beyond us and them / Ken Jones -- The path to forgiveness / Ezra Bayda -- The Buddha's advice on healing the community / Thanissaro Bhikkhu -- Four freedoms / Margaret Wheatley -- Agent in Indra's net / Stephanie Kaza -- Gross national happiness / Jigmi Thinley -- The wisdom in the anger / Rita M. Gross -- Taking whole : the art of less war / James Gimian -- Letter to a dictator / Seung Sohn -- No color, all colors / Gaylon Ferguson -- Compassion is our best protection / Thich Nhat Hanh -- A Buddhist response to globalization / Sulak Sivaraksa -- Killing the Buddha / Sam Harris -- Four truths & ten laws / Kazuaki Tanahashi.