Discussions of Buddhist ethics are dominated by the problem of resolving the apparent tension between two key values: detachment and compassion. These aspirations are often seen as incompatible, and the great reforming movements of Buddhist history are interpreted as attempts to shift the balance either in favour of compassionate action in the world or of a more rigorous rejection of the world. However, understanding that detachment is a virtue that is cultivated in practice in the world, through the cooperation of teachers and disciples, allows us to look beyond competing rhetorics of detachment and engagement. The panel put the cultivation of detachment in the broader context of Buddhist self-cultivation—tracing its consequences for personal, civic and political life. The practice of cultivating detachment is, for many contemporary Buddhists, at the heart of what it means to lead a good life, and bears on the proper relation of the individual to the community and the state, to other faith communities, and to Buddhists in other countries.