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Burma Human Rights Day Benefit: March 9 in Oakland

Where are Burma's reforms going? What can you do to help? Since last year, the U.S. has been warming up its relationship with Burma and lifting the sanctions in recognition of the ongoing reforms. President Obama paid a historic visit to the country last November. However, there are serious challenges and concerns as the military and their cronies are still firmly in control of the country's political and e ...

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Inside BPF, We’ve Got a Few Stinking Systems

While we are pointing fingers at stinking systems here at BPF, it would be a lie to pretend that we don't have any stinky non-functional systems ourselves! When we closed our physical office in December 2011 there were a lot of changes in our infrastructure, some of which we are still sorting out! For instance, our phone number now goes straight to a Google inbox, and we do our best to pick up those message ...

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Rising Up to End Sexual Abuse in Buddhist Communities

Video Transcript Happy Valentine's Day BPFers! I'm heading out today to join up with One Billion Rising, a movement to recognize that over 1 billion women and girls will be sexually abused in their lifetimes, and it's going to take at least 1 billion of us to rise up together to make a revolution to end this violence. [Video clip of Dawn dancing to One Billion Rising's song, "Break the Chain" - if you aren' ...

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Climate Hawks and Enviro-Drones: Greenwashing Imperialism?

In addition to our War on Drugs and War on Terror, we now have a War on Climate Change. BPFers with interests in anti-militarization and environmental issues will want to read Turtles and Tomahawk Missiles, Together at Last? War is Not the Answer to Climate Change by Cyril Mychalejko. Some environmental groups have embraced militarized language and weaponry as the most skillful means to care for our world. ...

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Loneliness Stinks. Studying Together Can Help

It can be lonely out there for political activists grounded in a spiritual practice that sometimes gets pigeonholed as too “woo” for revolutionaries. Also lonely are we spiritual seekers who find the meditation cushion just isn’t enough for the liberation of all beings. That’s why it’s so refreshing to find those spaces where, those people with whom, we can bring our fuller selves. This year, as part of The ...

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It Started with 31

In March of 1979, the very first Buddhist Peace Fellowship newsletter made it's way into people's mailboxes. We're incredibly indebted to these 31 activists committed to Buddhism who started this venture of Buddhist Peace Fellowship. While membership started small, the founders were sure that with a bit of outreach, Buddhist Peace Fellowship was "likely to grow like kudzu." Add your name to the list of peop ...

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In the midst of tragedies, suffering and grief how do we find peace?

Late last night (or really, early this morning), I found myself still scanning through news stories and pictures of the tragedy in Newton, CT yesterday. I felt helpless in the face of so much pain, and could feel myself slipping into what my friend Rachel describes as the "numbing distraction" of online surfing. I knew practice offered other options to me, but at 2am a numbed engagement was the best I could ...

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What’s Your Buddhist Superpower?

As Buddhists, we bring some Sensory Superpowers to our political work in the world. We taste an orange, and also taste the soil it grew in, the polluted rain that drenched it, the migrant farm worker who picked it, and all the other causes and conditions that put this orange in our mouth. We see old age, sickness, death – and we turn toward this suffering with broke-open hearts and the salve of Kwan Yin’s c ...

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What are the Bodhisattva Precepts? And other Frequently Asked Questions

We've been talking about the Bodhisattva Precepts, a set of 10 guidelines that have been passed down for centuries. We're feeling indebted to our many spiritual friends and dharma guardians who have kept these fresh and living over 2600 years. But what are the Bodhisattva Precepts? Are they like the Ten Commandments? If I take them, do I have to get rid of my leather shoes? If I take a dharma name, does it ...

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What’s in a Dharma Name?

As part of this month's exploration of Debt, we're paying attention to the wholesome debts we owe, including debts to our dharma lineage! Today's installment: What does it mean to receive a dharma name? How does this connect us with our lineages - both spiritual and political - in new ways? ----- At the Bodhisattva Precepts ceremony I recently participated in, the 16 participants each accepted the 10 Bodhis ...

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