It’s a commonly held misconception that spiritual practice and activism conflict. In fact, the logical consequence of successful practice is action for the sake of others; it just naturally follows.
A bird needs two wings, Buddha says: wisdom and compassion.
The wisdom wing is the work we do on our own minds, the realisation of our own suffering and its causes — karma and delusions — and living a life of discipline, self-awareness, and accountability. This brings contentment, confidence, and compassion, because now we realise we’re all in the same boat, we’re all suffering.
Our actions, our activism — helping our next-door neighbour or helping stop the destruction of the planet — is now grounded in wisdom. This brings optimism and confidence that every small action counts and the courage to never give up, no matter how difficult it is.
“Even small changes we make to improve ourselves are significant. Some of us want to have things on a grandiose scale, but it is often the smaller, more subtle changes that have the greatest impact.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Ven Robina’s teachings are challenging, serious, funny, inspiring and empowering, as she applies the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism to contemporary city life. She teaches around the world, including prisoners on death row, and regularly leads pilgrimages to Buddhist holy sites in the East. Find out more here, and listen to previous teachings in Bath and Bristol here.