As one who practices mindfulness I wonder at times if I should be playing a more active role in changing the world. There is a branch of Buddhism called Engaged Buddhism as well as Buddhist thinking that believes that there is a role for Self Immolation. I am still not sure of what is the best way although I think that self-immolation is out. My body seems to be disintegrating at quite a fine pace as it is.
I have for the most part over the years favored the approach that suggests that practice benefits others through the transformation of how we are in the world. If we are more accepting, more peaceful, less judgemental less selfish than the whole world is that much more loving and peaceful, that much less judgemental and selfish. Our mind-body being a resonating energy system of necessity where how we are affects everyone around us.
But it seems to me that there needs to be more of a focus on waking up and if I can be part of that in a mindful way then this seems to be a practical way of being as long as it is done without judgement. In the end I feel compelled to follow something other than my mind in choosing a way of being and I’ll do the best I can in being non judgemental.
I have included a review of Joseph Goldsteins new book here from Tricycle. over the years I have read a number of books by Joseph Goldstein and attended a number of retreats at the Centre in Barre that he had a role in creating. In purchasing the book I was thinking that after all these years someone like him probably has substantial insight into the practice of mindfulness and very early in the book I realised that I wont be disappointed. He addresses quite early some of these concerns that I raise.