We’d all like to sit down, cross our legs, close our eyes and become enlightened – just like that. Instead, we have to take the time to lay a foundation, to become patient and clear enough to develop the path in a comprehensive way.
Just as the Buddha taught us the Four Noble Truths as the basis for our own practice – suffering, the causes of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path leading to the cessation of suffering – the same applies to social action. We’ve got suffering; we’ve got a problem. What are all the different causes of that problem? What kind of end can there be to that problem?
If we haven’t understood the problem, we won’t be able to see the causes. And if we aren’t really clear about the goal we are working towards, we won’t really know what kind of path to develop.
It works in society the same way it works in our own practice. The more we reflect on and practice with those truths for ourselves, the more we are able to apply them in our lives, in very ordinary situations, with our friends, with our family, at work, with different problems happening in the community.
That is social action.
This reflection by Luang Por Pasanno is from the book, The Dhamma and the Real World, (pdf) pp. 22-23.