by Jack Kornfield

Many Buddhist practitioners have questioned what to do in these turbulent times. More than anything, I believe the world is in need of a spiritual perspective. The Dharma, the teachings of generosity, virtue, loving-kindness and wisdom are non-partisan. The benefits of dharma teachings can be used by Republicans and Democrats, by Green party and Libertarians, by Iraqis and Israelis. The Dharma welcomes everyone and encourages all to awaken together.
But how, as dharma practitioners, do we find our own place in a complex political world, and find a way towards peace? Our first task is to make our own heart a zone of peace. Instead of becoming entangled in an embattled bitterness, or cynicism that exists externally, we need to begin to heal those qualities within ourselves. We have to face our own suffering, our own fear, and transform them into compassion. Only then can we become ready to offer genuine help to the outside world. Albert Camus writes,