Engaged Buddhism is one element of Great Wave’s Eight Gates of Training. Students work both individually and in groups and in accord with their abilities and interests to promote the health and welfare of their communities. Past and current efforts have mainly focused on environmental preservation and combatting local food insecurity.
Recently, some members of Great Wave have volunteered with the US Forst Service to eradicate invasive species (such as Spotted Knapweed and Hound’s Tongue) that have damaged the sensitive dune biome and contributed (among other things) to the endangerment of the Monarch butterfly. In other cases, Great Wave members have surveyed local forests for Hemlock Wooly Adelgid infestations. This invasive insect can kill entire stands of hemlocks. one of the most beautiful trees in Michigan’s forests. Great Wave also conducted shoreline cleanups in partnership with other volunteer organizations that strive to preserve the health and beauty of the Great Lakes.
Growing Food for the Local Pantry
Food insecurity is a significant issue in west Michigan. In the past, Great Wave has participated in the Empty Bowls project, raising money to buy food for local food banks. And this year, volunteers managed a vegetable garden that supplied the local food pantry with fresh, organic produce.
As practice, engaged Buddhism is all about fulfilling our vow to do good for others, one of the Three Pure Precepts. Engaged Buddhist practice is also a significant aspect of Right Action, one of the elements of the traditional Eight-Fold Path.