My favorite line in Patrick Groneman’s account of a group of Buddhist meditators’ attempt to bear witness, by just sitting, amidst the rival armies of 9-11 protestors in downtown New York City (anti-mosque, pro-mosque, et al) is the passer-by yelling

“This is New York, don’t just sit there…stand up and say what you believe in.”

Which made me think: Isn’t that what blogging is — everyone standing up and waving their beliefs for everyone else to see?

Ideally, of course, it isn’t that. Saying something is only one part of communicating; listening is the second, and attending to the ecology of speaking and thinking — the links made up of one’s interlocutors, the things spoken of and those left unsaid, the feeling and impulse giving rise to the speaking, and so on — is the third.

Nathan at Dangerous Harvests has a good wrap-up of the debates over Socially Engaged Buddhism that have followed this summer’s symposium on that topic. (See also Fly Like a Crow.)

Meanwhile, this video, shared by Santi Tafarella, stages the encounter between the “two Americas” in a way that leaves me a little uncomfortable (because of the ethical issues the experiment raises) but that at least gives us some figures: 6 for (racism), 13 against (and willing to act in defense of a Muslim American’s rights), and 22 not willing to stand up and say what they believe, or much of anything. That’s a majority. Definitely not New York.

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