Engaged Buddhism: Relieving Suffering In Our Community

by Shantel Grace, Honolulu Weekly, Aug 25, 2010

Honolulu, Hawaii (USA) -- The first noble truth taught by Buddha after his enlightenment was that life is frustrating, painful, and sometimes, downright miserable. For many GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered) persons, that truth couldn’t be truer.

On Monday, a Shin Buddhist perspective on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues will be presented through a “talk story” forum called Engaged Buddhism: Relieving Suffering In Our Community.

The GLBT community and their families are invited to participate and engage in meaningful discussion on suffering as a result of hatred and ignorance based on cultural, social and religious intolerance. Anyone and Everyone, a documentary of “coming out” stories will be presented with a panel discussion afterward.

For those who might be anxious about engaging in a religious-based forum, know this: Buddhism is a pragmatic religion. It does not indulge in metaphysical speculation, and there is no worship of a deity. The point is, this forum is less about religion and more about taking a very straightforward look into the human condition.

The suffering by the GLBT community will be openly discussed, and the path to the end of the cause of suffering will be examined through careful self-reflection. Personal stories by parents of gay and lesbian children will be shared, and Shin Buddhist ministers will introduce the Dharma (Universal teaching) in relation to these issues.

Buddhist Study Center, 1436 University Ave., Mon., 8/30 (7–9pm), 973-6555