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Buddhadharma : Spring 2017
64 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly spring 2 0 1 7 of the dharma in our everyday activity are con- cerned precisely with relationships and collective life shaped by the act of redistribution. Indeed, the Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom extols: “Do give gifts! For poverty is a painful thing. One is unable, when poor, to accomplish one’s own welfare, much less that of others!” Generosity not only makes the teachings relevant but also defines one’s own spiri- tual well-being. If the challenge of this moment is to embrace solidarity by learning new ways of belonging to one another—of suffering with each other—it is made manifest through our acts of sharing. Or, as Shantideva extols in the Bodhisattvacharyavatara, “Since I and other beings both, in wanting happi- ness, are equal and alike, what difference is there to distinguish us that I should strive to have my bliss alone?” Today this question is often framed as a mat- ter of justice, with many voices articulating visions for a more just and inclusive society. As Buddhists, we must respond both individually, as a matter of personal practice, and collectively. Together, we can explore ways of training sanghas to share power and resources and to embrace embodied solidarity. In the months and years to come, we will have plenty of opportunity to participate in new move- ments of human dignity and redistribution as peo- ple step forward to describe their visions of solidar- ity in the face of injustice. The first step, of course, is to see through our conventional limitations and stand against injustice by listening to the voice of the other crying out. By letting go of who we imag- ine ourselves to be and cultivating a non-clinging heart, we can learn to accompany each other in an embodied way and live in community—and in dig- nity—with those with whom we suffer. Oceti Sakowin Camp in North Dakota, where thousands of people from across North America came to support Standing Rock and protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, November 29, 2016