Wermske

The Third Noble Truth with its three aspects is: "There is the cessation of suffering, of dukkha. The cessation of dukkha should be realised. The cessation of dukkha has been realised." People rarely realise non-suffering. To realize takes a special kind of willingness. One must get beyond the gross and the obvious; one must look at self.

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Barely Buddha

There are those who read an article or book and believe they understand Buddhism and Buddhists.

This is unfortunate; however, they are welcome to enter the stream.

There are those who attend a single teaching on Dukkha (commonly translated as “suffering” or more brutally as “pain”) and mistakenly think Buddhists are nihilistic.

This is unfortunate; however, they are welcome to enter the stream.

Then there are those who have merely visited a temple, misunderstood the statuary, and drawn the wrong conclusion that Buddhists “worship” multiple gods and “saints” to which they make sacrifices.

This too is unfortunate; however, they too are welcome to enter the stream.

It is an exceptional rarity, for me, to encounter anyone outside a temple or monastic community that has a deep and abiding awareness of Buddhism. It is a further rarity to encounter those who live the claim of refuge in the Dharma, Buddha, or Sangha. I am comfortable knowing they are where they need to be and I am where I need to be.

I feel fortunate. I am Barely Buddha.

I am human. I comprehend and experience the real and perceived challenges present in the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. The Way is both simple and complex.

I am a sotāpanna (သောတာပန်, རྒྱུན་ཞུགས་).

Activist Teaching

I have come to understand the importance of teaching English for speakers of other languages (ESOL or ESL). Both the formally trained ESOL teachers and volunteer teachers of English are educators at the grassroots -- the social justice level of outreach.

Teacher activism is a critical element in the struggle to level the playing field.

There is no question that there is a socio-economic floor for people existing within cultural conclaves.  But there is also a ceiling beyond which social and economic mobility is unattainable. Opportunity is denied to anyone who cannot communicate beyond their cultural niche. Instead of being rescued by the social safety net, such people become ensnared; they become unwitting warriors for cultural imperialism.

In America, English education a social and economic imperative.

Research shows that effective (ideologically neutral) teacher activists make three principled commitments:

  1. to reconcile a vision for justice with the realities of injustice;
  2. to work within their classrooms to create liberatory space;
  3. and to work collectively against oppression as activists.

To enact these commitments, they engage in specific, outcome-based, common practices regardless of geographic location or external, ideological influence.

Teachers who are interested in working towards educational equality can leverage a teacher activist framework for success.

ABC's of Activism