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Happy Birthday, Sulak Sivaraksa

Buddhist activist and founder of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), Sulak Sivaraksa is 80 years old today. From a wonderful recent article in the Kyoto Journal:

"Sulak reinterprets the five classis Buddhist precepts for the modern day. Individuals may not be killing outright, but they must examine how their actions might support wars, racial conflict, or the breeding of animals for human consumption. Considering the second precept of abstaining from stealing, Sulak questions the moral implications of capitalism. Stopping exploitation of women is a natural exprtension of the third precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct. And vowing to abstain from false speech would naturally bring into question how mass media and education promote a biased view of the world. Finally, the fifth precept to avoid intoxicants deals with international peace and justice because Third World farmers grow heroin, coca, coffee, and tobacco because the economic system makes it impossible for them to support themselves growing rice and vegetables."

Glad that someone is voicing these concerns. Happy birthday, Sulak. Gassho.

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