Engaged Buddhism for Social Welfare

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Judy Lief


Buddhism has been playing a significant role in the modern world and in the rise of
“engaged Buddhism” in particular. For many years, the spread of Buddadharma took place
primarily in Asia, but more recently, Buddhism has begun to take root in the west. Like
myself, many western Buddhists came to the dharma with strong backgrounds in political
action, arts, health, psychology, or education, which are related to engaged Buddhism. My
teacher Trungpa Rinpoche, encouraged his students to apply their dharmic view and training
to the smallest details of their daily lives. The reputation of Buddhism in the west could be
reconsidered when talking about engaged Buddhism because Buddhists tended to be viewed
as dis-engaged in the past, especially when compared with Christians. Although all Buddhists
are engaged in the world in one way or another, the term Engaged Buddhism emerged in 1978
in association with a group known as The Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Since that time, the
engaged Buddhism movement has continued to grow, and it has become an important stream
of dharma in the west. One of the most prominent voices has been the Zen teacher Bernie
Glassman. Other activists have focused on issues such as environment, racial bias, as well as
in the area of death and dying and prison mindfulness. The biggest and most rapidly growing
development stemming from engaged Buddhism has been the rise of the secular mindfulness

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How to Cite
Lief, J. (2018). Engaged Buddhism for Social Welfare. The Journal of International Association of Buddhist Universities (JIABU), 11(3), 365–371. Retrieved from https://so06.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/Jiabu/article/view/219833
Author Biography

Judy Lief, Teaching/ Writing/ Editing, judylief.com

Judy Lief is a Buddhist teacher who trained under the Tibetan meditation master Ven. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She has been a teacher and practitioner for over 35 years and continues to teach throughout the world.  Ms. Lief was a close student of Ven. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who trained and empowered her as a teacher in the Buddhist and Shambhala traditions.

Judy is a writer. Ms. Lief is the editor of numerous books on Buddhist meditation and psychology.  She is the author of Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality and numerous articles. Her articles have appeared in The Shambhala Sun, Tricycle, O Magazine, Buddhadharma, and The Naropa Journal of Contemplative Psychotherapy.

She is also an editor. Ms. Lief is the editor of many of Trungpa Rinpoche’s books, including the recently published three-volume set, The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, which gives a penetrating overview of the three-yana journey from beginning to end.