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Tapping the 4th Precept for words the heart wants to hear

[TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains information that may be disturbing to survivors of sexual assault.] The week before I got married, my fiancé and I were writing and rehearsing the things we were going to say to one another to cement our commitments -- specifically, our wedding vows. We also started practicing using the words “husband” and “wife,” noticing how new and strange these words felt on our lips ...

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How We Caused (and perpetuate) the African Homophobia we now Decry

How We Caused (and perpetuate) the African Homophobia we now Decry   [divide style="2"] Transcript forthcoming — TWM apologizes for the delay and thanks you for your patience!  [divide style="3"] Faith Adiele is the author of Meeting Faith (W.W. Norton), a memoir about becoming Thailand’s first black Buddhist nun, which won the PEN Beyond Margins Award for Best Memoir. She is the writer / narrator / su ...

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Ouch! Systemic Suffering and the Second Noble Truth

[Editor's Note: If you, like us, are thirsting for more socially grounded perspectives on Dharma, you can help Zenju get her beautiful, boldly peaceful meditation center, Still Breathing, up and running in East Oakland, California.] Zenju at the opening ceremony of Still Breathing Meditation Center. Watch their video and support this brand-new sangha space here! [divide] artwork by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel Ouc ...

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The Dukkha of Loving Others: Homophobia In Africa

  The Dukkha of Loving Others: Homophobia in Africa [divide style="2"] Now this, monks, is the Noble Truth of dukkha: … death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are dukkha; association with the unbeloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. —Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion [divide style="2"] Last m ...

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Where is Your Bodhi Tree?

When Siddhartha sat under the Bodhi Tree, he was protesting the conundrum of sickness, old age and death. Having been protected his whole life from such things, they appeared as options or solvable problems, not unavoidable outcomes. As an activist sits in silence in front of the riot police, he sat down refusing to move until the answer was delivered. This cornerstone protest was a dazzling success. Siddha ...

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Awakening in Service and Action: A Study Retreat on Socially Engaged Buddhism

Awakening in Service and Action: A Study Retreat on Socially Engaged Buddhism With David Loy & Donald Rothberg Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA April 17-23, 2014 More information About the Teachers Donald Rothberg: "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 ...

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Ouch!!! : Suffering, Systemic Oppression, and the Four Noble Truths

artwork by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel   Ouch! – A Four Part Essay Series on the Suffering of Systemic Oppression and the Four Noble Truths by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel   Introduction to the Series When I entered the path of Dharma someone asked, "Did you come to Buddhism because of your suffering? I responded, "No." He looked at me as if I were lying. Somewhere deep in my heart I felt he was saying that I ...

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5 Big Problems With Compassion-Baiting

Unfortunately, we spiritual-progressive types, including but not limited to dharma heads, seem to be particularly prone to something I call compassion-baiting. General compassion-baiting sounds something like: Try having more compassion. If you did, you'd see things my way.   And in social justice situations, specifically, compassion-baiting often sounds like: You're more upset / loud / angry about soc ...

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