Elections and Buddhism in America

by Molly Shoong, Shambhala Sun, October 30, 2008

A Good Place to Be on Election Day

Santa Fe, NM (USA) -- At election time, Zen teacher Joan Halifax and activist Jim Gollin aim to lead people past partisanship and into an exploration of the democractic process.

Together, they’ll lead a retreat called “Politics and Compassion Election Retreat: Buddhist Perspectives on Democracy and the Environment” from November 4-6 at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe.

“This retreat gives us the opportunity to sit upright and explore our response to the elections of 2008″, says the Upaya website. “Observing the election outcome, we examine our relationship to the democratic process. What can we learn from Buddhism about our modern democracy? How do we deal with our own feelings of partisanship, self, and other? We’ll discuss the interrelatedness of society, biology, and culture, the rights of all sentient beings and the duties of citizenship in an era of globalization and climate change.”

Roshi Joan is an avid follower of the political process. Jim Gollin is Chairman of the Rainforest Action Network, a member of the Democracy Alliance, and trained under former Vice President Al Gore in environmental advocacy.