|How do we stop climate change?|
There is no strategy for ending homelessness or saving the world in Buddhism. There is no formula, no sense that you should do this, or not do that. There is no way you are supposed to feel.
The only strategy is to touch your heart. Then you can use your experience to touch others.
You might be asking, "what the hell does that mean?!"
Touching your heart is being here, now. It is being totally present. You learn that through meditation. This builds your mindfulness, your ability to focus on one thing at a time. Out of mindfulness comes awareness. This awareness enhances your ability to know what is going on inside of your mind and heart.
As your awareness increases, you gain familiarity with your emotional, mental state. Then you see more clearly through the fog of emotion and mental patterns. You can work beyond aggression and irritation. You develop compassion, even for those who act out of aggression, because you realize that we all suffer from some neurosis and prejudice.
|How do we end poverty?|
That was 12 years ago and I remember the incident because it broke my heart and woke me up. If I had the moment to do over again, I would do things more slowly. I hope I would be able to touch my heart and let the feeling guide my actions, from the moment the irritation struck. From there, I have no idea what I would have done, but having had the courage to inquire about my feelings, might have been a better way of dealing with the situation.
This might sound totally dissatisfying. It certainly won't appeal to that part in each of us that wants an easy answer. Getting to know your heart and developing this sensitivity takes training, or perhaps an indomitable spirit born out of great suffering (I'm thinking of Nelson Mandela, for example).
What I'm proposing - touching your heart and letting it guide your actions - might seem small. But it is actually a big solution for big problems (and little ones too). As an engaged Buddhist and concerned citizen, I'm reminded that I don't need to have the answer to all of the world's problems. The world may be better off if I can simply be present and listen to my heart.