About Engage!


Your Contributions Are Welcome! Please send electronic copies of your blog posts, articles, photos, poems, art work, video or other media to sbartone22@gmail.com.

The mission of Engage! is to educate, inform and inspire readers, and to create conditions for social transformation. Engage! employs critical dharma to create a critical consciousness about the challenges we face.

Engage! explores social innovation models and practices that define the ‘roots’ or ’causes and conditions’ of a particular social problem and explores proposed solutions that create new causes and conditions resulting in new patterns of social relations.

Engage! takes the approach of Buddhist Naturalism, that is, conceptual work influenced by Buddhism but connecting the dharma to a larger world of meaning and experience. Engage! draws secular principles and teachings from Buddhism and other wisdom traditions that can be applied broadly, in a non-sectarian way, to challenges in our world.

Engage! is concerned with every possible issue in the realm of social and ecological justice, but is not limited to that. Engaged Dharma means full engagement with environment and society, full engagement with arts and culture, full engagement with relationships, full engagement with all aspects of social justice.

Educate-Agitate-Organize! Engage! follows the legacy of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar whose life work was to end the inequality and divisions of caste, race, gender and class. Engage! seriously engages with anti-racist and feminist work, deconstructing and dismantling white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy and heteronormativity. We engage in ally work as a practice of critical solidarity.

I want to extend the free and liberal use of this blog to queer people of every stripe who do not have a voice in mainstream Buddhist organizations. Those of us who have been silenced and unrecognized will speak here with a powerful voice.

As editor, I retain the right to select and edit which stories are published. I actually prefer longer pieces that are original, well-written and well-researched. I welcome photographs, poems, short and long prose.  I also really like stuff that’s funny, off-beat, creative, personal, passionate and hard-hitting. I just can’t pay you for anything. There are no exclusive publishing requirements on this site; you can publish here and elsewhere as you like.

I will be publishing my own stuff here. It will be a kind of pre-publication pad for posting and editing my own work, so expect lots of edits. I’m a compulsive editor. Someone told me there’s a gene for that.


Dr. Shaun Bartone practices engaged dharma as a humanist spirituality; Shaun is an independent dharma scholar with ten years experience in meditation and dharma study.

Shaun is a Buddhist-Naturalist. Shaun combines the humanistic ethics of Buddhism with the empirical analysis of Naturalism.

“One who knows dependent origination knows the dharma.” I believe that dharma opens up the whole universe of empirical analysis and experience to the dharma practitioner.

Many teachers have shaped and inspired my passion for engaged dharma, including Joanna Macy, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, and the 17th Karmapa.


The opinions expressed by the works published in Engaged! are solely attributable to the individuals who created them. Engage! as a publication is not affiliated with any particular sect, denomination or religion, and solely reflects the opinions of the Editor.


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