This book highlights what Buddhism has to offer for "living well" here and now—for individuals, society as a whole, all sentient beings and the planet itself.

From the perspectives of a variety of Buddhist thinkers, the book evaluates what a good life is like, what is desirable for human society, and ways in which we should live in and with the natural world. By examining this-worldly Buddhist philosophy and movements in India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Tibetan diaspora, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the United States, the book assesses what Buddhists offer for the building of a good society. It explores the proposals and programs made by progressive and widely influential lay and monastic thinkers and activists, as well as the works of movement leaders such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, for the social, economic, political and environmental systems in their various countries.

Demonstrating that Buddhism is not solely a path for the realization of nirvana but also a way of living well here and now, this book will be of interest to researchers working on contemporary and modern Buddhism, Buddhism and society, Asian religion and Engaged Buddhism.

chapter |6 pages


BySallie B. King

part Part I|48 pages

The ancient Buddhist world

chapter 1|27 pages

A map of the good life

The 38 blessings of the Maṅgala Sutta
ByVen. Bhikkhu Bodhi

chapter 2|19 pages

Compassion blesses the compassionate

The basis of human flourishing in Buddhist thought and practice
ByStephen Jenkins

part Part II|192 pages

The contemporary Buddhist world

chapter 3|25 pages

Ambedkar's Buddhist vision

A social democratic republic
ByChristopher Queen

chapter 5|26 pages

The development of well-being

Gross National Happiness and Bhutan's vision for the ideal society
ByBarbra Clayton

chapter 6|14 pages

The good life

A Tibetan understanding 1
ByJay L. Garfield

chapter 7|19 pages

Venerable Pomnyun's Jungto Society

A Buddhist activist movement in South Korea
BySujung Kim

chapter 8|22 pages

Thich Nhat Hanh and the nonviolent society

BySallie B. King

chapter 9|16 pages

Tzu Chi

Buddhist compassion relief and the bodhisattva path to a good society
ByRichard Madsen

chapter 10|14 pages

Japan's Soka Gakkai

Transforming the human spirit to save humanity from itself
ByDaniel A. Métraux

chapter 11|21 pages

Gary Snyder's vision

ByChristopher Ives

chapter 12|20 pages

Mutual morality

Joanna Macy's vision of the Great Turning
ByStephanie Kaza