We are poised on the inflection point of the fourth industrial revolution. Hence the title of this book, Bodhisattva 4.0. To some, it appears as the dawning of a brave new world of emerging technologies. To others, it appears as the precipice above the inferno of unsustainable development. The challenge of a way forward is complex and urgent.
This book is a collection of simple conversation-starters about those very difficult questions. It is not meant to provide answers, but rather to encourage mindful reflection and action. The ideas presented here come from a Buddhist perspective, but not in an exclusive way. Good ecology embraces biodiversity and adaptation. In that spirit, Buddhist ecology draws upon ideas that will benefit all of us, irrespective of their origins.
You have before you 108 meditations. They are organized into 12 subject areas, and each area comprises 9 topics. Each topic is presented as a two-page spread that includes resources. In total, the book contains more than 500 easily-accessible online resources for further study.
Sections and topics include:
TECHNOLOGY: Tools, Design, Designed, Society, Ecology, Prajna, Happiness, Responsibility, Degrowth
FUTURE: Emergence, Anthropocene, Tech Paradigm, Tech Mess, Tech Salvation, History, Ethics, Magic, Imagine
PRACTICE: Life Hack, Mr. Natural, Meditation, Faith, Vows, Secular, Prayer, Mind Only, Upaya
CULTURE: Child, Addicted, Buddhist Apps, Buddhist P2P, Buddha Stuff, Buddhist Geek, Social, Citizen, Bodhisattva
VIOLENCE: Kali Yuga, War, Guns, Race, Gender, War on Women, Watcher State, Titans, Whistleblower
WORK: Consumer, Maker, Money, Work 3.0, Progress, Performance, Corporation, Share, Give
PLAY: #Nowtrending, @Troll, Celebrity, Media, Mobile, Porn, Interactive, Information, Art
COMPUTERS: Reality, Network, AI, Cyborg, Singularity, Ubicomp, Code, Hive, Love
ACTION: Global, Engaged, Saffron Revolution, Scandal, Silk Road, Good Works, Petitions, Slogans, Blogs
FOOD: All Beings, Vicious Samsara, Farm, Meat, Veg, Food Insecurity, Eat, Drink, Package
HEALTH: Birth, Old Age, Sickness, Death, Biotech, Life Support, Abortion, Drugs, Mental Health
PLANET: Bodhimandala, Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Biosphere, Energy, Capacity, The Commons
This book is designed specifically for Buddhist teachers and community leaders who want to go beyond basic statements of caring for the planet, to understand the complex nature of emerging technologies and their implications, and to chart a course of sustainable development for the world of tomorrow.
As a Buddhist practitioner of some 40+ years, and as environmental activist and a technological design teacher for almost as long, I believe Buddhism has lots to offer in the conversations about Earth's future, but we also have to listen and learn from experts in the field. That's why each topic includes resources for further study and networking, as well as resources presenting some Buddhist context where relevant.
Hopefully, this book will inspire and facilitate your Engaged Buddhist practice and community outreach with new tools. We're all in this together.