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FAQs

What does Buddhist Peace Fellowship do?

We help connect Buddhists to social movements and social movement activists to Buddhist practice for mutual deepening and grounding, and to build meaningful community for those involved in this work.

How does Buddhist Peace Fellowship do this?

We focus our efforts on sparking conversation, training, and mobilizing people to action. We use communications and conversation to inspire action, we collaborate with other organizations to develop channels for action, and we support organized communities (chapters and other organizations) through training materials and connection so that they can support each other in this work.

With our members and allies, we are building a strong network of Buddhist activists who are ready to meet the challenges of our times.

We spark conversation at the intersection of Buddhism & social justice

We train Buddhist political activists

We mobilize people to action from a Buddhist perspective

  • Share calls to action on key issues – environmental justice, prison solidarity, human rights
  • Develop and sharpen Buddhist-influenced political strategy and tactics

We build a network of radical Buddhist activists

  • Offer a place to feel connected to socially engaged Buddhism
  • Support members to connect with other members through chapters and events
  • Create space for socially engaged Buddhist elders and new leaders to share wisdom
  • Collaborate with allied organizations
  • Serve as a hub of communication about Buddhist activism

Do I Belong Here?

Sometimes it can feel lonely when you are a Buddhist activist.

Your activist friends say, “We don’t have time to be so woo-woo” when you suggest everyone sit together silently for five minutes at the start of each meeting to ground and center.

Your Buddhist friends suggest, “Let’s sit on our cushions and develop more kindness and wisdom,” when you try to talk about global climate change, the problems of mass incarceration, or corporate greed.

Buddhist Peace Fellowship is a home for people who are both Buddhists and activists. Some of us identify most as Buddhists who are interested in engaging in more political action as part of our bodhisattva vow to practice for the liberation of all beings. Others of us identify most as activists who find Buddhist tools useful in our work within social movements. Together, we explore how both the inner work of mindfulness and the outer work of collective organizing can come together to transform our world.

Are we the right people for you? Find out for yourself!

Turning Wheel Media, our online magazine of Buddhist activism, offers you a place to join the conversation between Buddhism and social justice. We take pride in offering a diversity of perspectives and issues, some of which you may agree with and others you might find challenging to your ideas about what it means to be a Buddhist activist. Read some articles and add your perspective by commenting on an article you find inspiring or difficult! Not sure how to comment in an online discussion? Read our commenting policy here.

As Buddhist activists, there are few issues that fall outside of our areas of interest. When you see the world as an interconnected web of causes and conditions, what issue is not connected to the rest? If you care about the environment, you also care about how racism puts the worst environmental toxins in Black and Brown neighborhoods. Then you also care about the lack of basic health care for poor people exposed to environmental toxins. As you start to worry about health care, you question the ways that corporations have hijacked our political system for financial gain. Not just the health insurance companies, but the banks, the private prisons, and the military contractors are all out for profit regardless of how they harm people. And the harm they cause! Lost homes, lost years, lost lives … not to mention a devastated global economy, a false sense of safety and security, and deepening levels of greediness, hatred, and confusion. On Turning Wheel Media, we highlight all these issues and more, and include specific ways you can take direct action. Read the latest set of action alerts to see what most enrages or inspires you.

Welcome! We’re glad you found us!

If you enjoy what we do here and find it useful for our world, we invite you to join us as a member! When you become a member, you help spread the message that both inner and outer transformation are essential for solving the world’s problems. You meet the world’s suffering with compassion. You raise your voice with others for a just and sustainable future for generations to follow. Join us today!

In solidarity for the liberation of all beings,

Katie Loncke & Dawn Haney
Co-Directors of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Socially engaged Buddhism is a dharma practice that flows from the understanding of the complete yet complicated interdependence of all life. It is the practice of the bodhisattva vow to save all beings. It is to know that the liberation of ourselves and the liberation of others are inseparable. It is to transform ourselves as we transform all our relationships and our larger society. It is work at times from the inside out and at times from the outside in, depending on the needs and conditions. It is is to see the world through the eye of the Dharma and to respond emphatically and actively with compassion.
– Donald Rothberg and Hozan Alan Senauke, Turning Wheel Magazine Summer-Fall – 2008

Thai Buddhist Sulak Sivaraksa, who founded the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, interprets a Buddhism for daily life in this way: “Sulak reinterprets the five classic Buddhist precepts for the modern day. Individuals may not be killing outright, but they must examine how their actions might support wars, racial conflict, or the breeding of animals for human consumption. Considering the second precept of abstaining from stealing, Sulak questions the moral implications of capitalism. Stopping exploitation of women is a natural extension of the third precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct. And vowing to abstain from false speech would naturally bring into question how mass media and education promote a biased view of the world. Finally, the fifth precept to avoid intoxicants deals with international peace and justice because, ‘the Third World farmers grow heroin, coca, coffee, and tobacco because the economic system makes it impossible for them to support themselves growing rice and vegetables.’” ~ reported by Matteo Pistono

 

© 2012 Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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