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The Khmer Rouge Era And The Power

701 words - 3 pages

At least every Asian country with a Buddhist community has experience some sort of civil war, foreign invasion, or systematic poverty and tyranny. During the Khmer Rouge era, Buddhism was nearly destroyed. Monks were tortured, killed and forced into lay life. Buddhist temples were destroyed and used as a prison area. After the defeat of the Khmer Rouge, Buddhism remained repressed within Cambodia. Some Buddhist monks or leaders responded with forms of social engagement. That being said, Maha Ghosananda is one the monks who played a key role in rebuilding Buddhism in Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. His work, Dhammayietras was the first program to set up for peace and non-violence in Cambodia. The Dhammayietras consisted of peace walks through war-torn, landmine-infested regions. This non-violence and social action is considered to be “engaged Buddhism.” The idea of “engaged Buddhism” places an emphasis on the need for compassion for compassionate action is rooted in the Buddhist practice. Ghosananda activism rebuilt Buddhism in Cambodia by teaching peace through example. Through Ghosananda’s daily dharma talks, workshops and literature on non-violence they taught and encouraged the spread of peace and happiness to others. Attaining peace is a process and step-by-step peace will grow in Cambodia. Ghosananda points out that the most important action for a peacemaker is to be peaceful for “inner peace to create social peace.” In other words a peacemaker is one at peace for when they are peaceful this has positive impact on others. Ghosananda’s teaching calls for self-reflection for “personal transformation is the master key for social transformation.” In other words, an individual should incorporate his or her own ethical development of consciousness into their daily life and activism. Moreover, “consciousness is the starting point for social ethics because one’s mental state generates all verbal and physical activity. All involved are personally responsible for the health of society.”
Buddhism incorporates the concept of environmentalism and social activism. A great example is the ordination of the tree ceremony where...

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