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Podcast: Ethan Nichtern, David Loy and Michael Stone discuss Occupy Wall Street Part 02

This week ID Project founder Ethan Nicthern interviews David Loy and Michael Stone as they discuss the Occupy Wall Street Movement as it relates to Buddhist Practice and Philosophy. This is the second of a two part interview.

Ethan Nichtern is the founder and principle teacher for the Interdependence Project. His forthcoming book Your Emoticons Won't Save You will be released in January 2012.


David Loy, PhD is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher. His articles appear regularly in the Tricycle, Turning Wheel, Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma, as well as in a variety of scholarly journals. David lectures nationally and internationally on various topics, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity.


Michael Stone is a psychotherapist, dharma teacher, yoga teacher, author and activist, committed to the integration of traditional teachings with contemporary psychological and philosophical understanding. He leads Centre of Gravity Sangha, a thriving community in Toronto.He also maintains a dedicated workshop and retreat schedule in communities internationally. You can visit his website at www.centreofgravity.org

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referring to serving others as "blue-collar dharma" is a lovely illustration of the elitist, classist attitudes that keep buddhism in an intellectual ghetto. writing about slavov zizek on the huffington post is about as far from bringing dharma into the real world as you can get.

don't just walk among the unwashed and feel good that you're witnessing them. see watch is needed and do it -- without thinking about whatever merit you're accumulating or how good it makes you look.

On passivity...

So so good to see this issue addressed. This is one of the Bardo Zones where Buddhism like Christianity has served the Rulers and their material hierarchies for 2,500 years! Zizek is right this is the role long played by Buddhism and Judeo-Christianity. It seems only the Prophet Mohammad explicitly addressed money and the destructive cycles of markets as a root cause of suffering and destruction of families. Perhaps that is why he is so vilified by the Western Elites who live off and kill by this cycle.

Our Western experience will bring something new to Buddhism that reflects our Democracy and the broader sphere of influence we all possess here and for which we will all be held accountable in the Karma Scales.

We cannot any longer ignore this obligation to remove contamination from the world in all spheres where we have influence. Here in the West we have absolved ourselves of this responsibility because of the passivity and self-absorption of our culture and our misunderstandings of what is non-attachment or emptiness.

Now true to laws of cause and effect we have brought onto ourselves and everybody else the fruits of that misunderstanding which will be increased suffering and misery right here amongst us, and further debasement of humanity and the world.

We will engage ourselves as our social and economic conditions worsen. We will no longer be able to choose not to under false notions. They are not going to get better without us asserting ourselves. This will be the only way to remove suffering and we will see first hand the laws of cause and effect and our place in them, including the systems of money. This will be the big lesson for Buddhists now! Hurray! And Namaste!

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