What does Buddhism say about political activism?

As far as Buddhism is concerned, you are free to be as activist or non-activist as you like, on any side of any issue. But just as with anything else in our lives, if our political activism comes from clarity and compassion, it has a better chance of actually helping rather than causing more pain. So what Buddhism says about political activism is what it says about everything else. Perceive clearly. Act clearly. Act for others. Don’t be taken in by delusion. Easy to say. Hard to do.

Why is it so hard? Because we attach to opinion so easily. Even Buddhist monks have been taken in by extreme nationalism and sectarian violence. We need to see through that. We need to learn not to be pushed around by our opinions, or by anyone else’s opinions. That’s why we practice. And we need to bring that mind into everything we do.

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