Engaged Buddhism refers to Buddhists who are seeking ways to apply the insights from meditation practice and dharma teachings to situations of social, political, environmental, and economic suffering and injustice. Finding its roots in Vietnam through the Zen Buddhist teacher Thích Nh?t H?nh, Engaged Buddhism has grown in popularity in the West.
Asian Origins The term was coined by the Vietnamese Thi?n Buddhist teacher Thích Nh?t H?nh, inspired by the Humanistic Buddhism reform movement in China by Taixu and Yinshun, and later propagated in Taiwan by Cheng Yen and Hsing Yun. At first, he used Literary Chinese, the liturgical language of Vietnamese Buddhism, calling it Chinese: ; literally: "Worldly Buddhism". During the Vietnam War, he and his sangha (spiritual community) made efforts to respond to the suffering they saw around them. They saw this work as part of their meditation and mindfulness practice, not apart from it. Thich Nhat Hanh outlined fourteen precepts of Engaged Buddhism,which explained his philosophy. The term "Engaged Buddhism" has since been re-translated back into Chinese as "Left-wing Buddhism" () to denote the liberal emphasis held by this type of Buddhism. The term has also been used as a translation for what is commonly understood in China and Taiwan as "Humanistic Buddhism" (). Western Socially Engaged Buddhism In the West, like the East, Engaged Buddhism is a way of attempting to link authentic Buddhist meditation with social action. . . . more