In the twenty-first century, people live in a technologically-advanced world. Everything is done with a touch of a button. Perhaps, the saying that “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” is true because the more free time man has, the more time he spends on whining about how miserable life is and how only a new gadget or material possession could make him feel better. Conspicuous consumption is the name of the game. And consumerism is the rule.
This paper shall discuss the concepts of consumerism from the perspective of Engaged Buddhism and their interaction in society, how Engaged Buddhism responds to tide of consumerism. More specifically, Engaged Buddhism responds to consumerism with meditation and mindful living coupled with acts of compassion and generosity.
Engaged Buddhism is a movement within the Buddhist religion. It follows all the teachings of Buddha, the Enlightened One; it practices all the traditions and rites of the Buddhist religion. But what makes it different is the fact that it puts a premium on the value of active compassion, that is, meditation coupled with action. However, when the founder himself is asked, he contends that “Engaged Buddhism is just Buddhism” (Malkin 1).
This movement was established in the middle of the 20th century by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk who, surrounded with pain and desperation during the Vietnam War, realized and decided that, “Buddhism has to do with your daily life, with your suffering and with the suffering of the people around you” (Malkin 1). ...