May 6, 2014
Here’s some information about Ariya Magga Buddhist Missionary Society (AMBMS):
Vision: We envision a more just, peaceful and enlightened world.
Mission: AMBMS promotes, encourages and supports the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path as the means to realize our vision.
Establish vihāras (residences) for persons who share our vision and commit to the mission full time.
Establish centers for the teaching and practice of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Publish and distribute media materials (texts, audio and video) related to the Noble Eightfold Path.
Establish and endow educational institutions.
Support like-minded institutions, organizations, groups and individuals.
From our perspective nearly all of the social and political problems in the world (dukkhā) can be traced to a lack of wisdom (avijja), a lack of discernment and critical thinking (bhāvanā) and the lack of character (taṇhā). Evidence supports that the disciplined practice of the Noble Eightfold Path leads to the development of wisdom, moral character, and cognitive-intellectual acuity.
From our perspective there can be no peace without justice, no justice without peace. We in the West have known since the 17th century, the Age of Enlightenment, that a social structure based on enlightened reason is most conducive to peace and justice. Evidence supports that the disciplined practice of the Noble Eightfold Path leads to insight (vipassana) and understanding, and to the development of high moral character (sīla) exhibiting the attributes of mettā (benevolence and loving-kindness), karunā (compassion), muditā (altruistic joy) and upekkhā (an internal state of joyful, peaceful equanimity).
AMBMS is unquestionably “Buddhist” in our advocacy of the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path. We are “Missionary” in taking the Noble Eightfold Path out of the monastery and into society at large. As a Buddhist Missionary Society, we are a religion and a “church” in the large sense of that word. However, while the Noble Eightfold Path is the essence and substance of the Buddhist religion, we do not require anyone to identify themselves as “Buddhist.” While disciplined practice of the Noble Eightfold Path leads to a spiritual transformation, we don’t require that anyone “convert” from his or her religion or to Buddhism. While the doctrine of the Noble Eightfold Path is fundamentally religious, it requires no faith or belief.
So, what about you? What do you think?