Buddhist perspectives on society and culture


Buddhist perspectives on
society and culture


The aim of Apramāda is to bring Buddhist perspectives to bear on questions facing the world today – a task of urgent importance in an era when public discourse is often clouded by divisive ideologies and partisan animosity.

We apply Buddhist ideas and insights to a range of issues in society, culture, politics, science, and philosophy. We also offer clear expositions of fundamental Buddhist teachings and practices, in the hope that people will be drawn to explore them further. In pursuing these ends, we strive to exemplify and promote ‘wise thinking’ and ‘wise enquiry’. 

Apramāda was founded by members of the Triratna Buddhist Order (the membership of the editorial board can be seen on this page), but it does not speak either to or for any formal group. Its contents are intended for anyone interested in how Buddhism and contemporary culture can illuminate one another. The views expressed in any article are those of the author.

The Meaning of Apramāda

In Sanskrit, the word apramāda refers to an aspect of mindfulness. It is the vigilance that protects us from falling into mental confusion or intoxication.

To explain the significance of apramāda, the Buddha used the simile of an elephant’s footprint, which is so big that the footprints of all other animals can fit inside it. In the same way, all other good qualities ‘fit inside’ apramāda. Through the exercise of apramāda, we can marshal all those qualities and apply them to the challenges or opportunities that face us.

For evidence of the importance of apramāda in Buddhism, we need only recall that it was one of the Buddha’s last two words: appamādena sampādethā – meaning ‘accomplish your aims with vigilance’.

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Editorial Board


Subhamati has been a member of Triratna Buddhist Order for thirty-one years. He has led a varied career as a university administrator, a language teacher, and a teacher of meditation and Buddhism. He has worked as an editor or co-author (with Dharmachari Subhuti) on several books, including Buddhism and Friendship and Mind in Harmony: the psychology of Buddhist ethics.


Ratnaguna has been a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order for 45 years. He is a well-known teacher and has written four books – The Art of Reflection, Great Faith Great Wisdom (with Dharmachari Śraddhāpa), Kindfulness (in Spanish, with Dharmachari Dharmakirit), and, under his civil name, Gary Hennessey, The Little Mindfulness Workbook.


Vidyaruchi has been a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order since 2009, from which time until 2013 he was personal assistant to its founder, Urgyen Sangharakshita. Since then he has been a freelance Buddhist. When not engaged in teaching or travelling he mainly lives in a shed in his parents’ garden.


A Chartered Engineer by background, Achara’s first love is uncovering ‘how things work’. This explains his thrill on discovering the Dharma, becoming especially intrigued by the law of conditioned co-production. He recently founded an agency specialising in obtaining high quality data.


Advayacitta is a retired clinical psychologist. He is the author of  ‘Thinking at the Crossroads – a Buddhist exploration of Western thought’.


Sthirananda is a Taiji and Qigong practitioner and teacher. Also, a keen acoustic guitarist and singer with a love for music of most genres. Recent interests include studio recording, mixing and mastering.


Dayavajra has worked in Buddhist run businesses for several decades. Recently he set up a Cafe in Sheffield run by a Buddhist team.

Where to next?

ascent of beauty
In this first of two articles based on his celebrated 'Eros and Beauty' talks given in 2014, Subhuti explores the pursuit of beauty as a spiritual path.
Posted in: Buddhism, Culture
chronic pain
In this short reflection Advayacitta looks at the importance of psychology in caring for people who are physically ill.
Posted in: Psychology
sun over trees
In this article Advayacitta describes the process of how he came to alter his opinion about climate change.
Posted in: Science


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