Sangh as Your Managed Care Organization

Via DailyKos via Shambhala Sun SpaceAndrew C. White writes about how Buddhism can inform the United States’ current healthcare debate.

Without going too much deeper into Buddhist thought which traverses the borderlines between western philosophy, psychology and religion, let’s see how the eightfold path might clear some of the muddle going on in Washington, DC as well as the deep fog enveloping the traditional media reporting on the debate.

But I think the healthcare system also has much to teach us about our own Buddhism. If Lord Buddha is your doctor and the Dharma is your medicine… then the Sangha is your managed care organization. All three of these metaphors can only be stretched so far, but I’m interested in the broad themes. Does your dharma center provide services on a fee-for-service basis, or is it more like a free clinic? How do you bolster access for the poor and disadvantaged? Or is your center designed to pander to bougie elites, erecting social, cultural and economic barriers for the rest?