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Open Call for Proposals: BPF 2014 Gathering

Open Call For Proposals:

BPF 2014 Gathering

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Dear Friends,

Wisdom. Awareness. Action. Together!

For the first time since 2006, Buddhist Peace Fellowship will host a national gathering, meeting face to face to deepen our practice in social justice and spiritual awakening. The gathering, headlined by Sulak Sivaraksa and Joanna Macy as our Friday night keynote speakers, will take place on August 29–31, 2014 at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California and will include:

  • Hands-on training in nonviolent direct action
  • Dharma practice & collective healing strategies
  • Dialogues on climate justice, anti-racist organizing, economic inequality, and more
  • Community with wonderful political Buddhists & friends

You are part of our community, and we are inviting proposals for panels, discussions, arts / theater, practice-sessions and whatever else might inspire you. Program slots are 1.5 – 2 hours, and proposals receiving top consideration should fit into one of the four themes of the gathering:

  • Dharma for the People (Topics might include transcending McMindfulness, healing for activists, dharma practice periods, etc.)
  • The Dukkha & Mudita of Anti-Oppression (Topics might include the challenges and joys of anti-racist, anti-sexist, disabilities justice work, in and out of sangha)
  • Interbeing and Earth Justice (Topics might include earth connection, climate justice, animal rights, food justice, etc.)
  • Off the Cushion (Topics might include nonviolent direct action trainings, activist toolkits)

Please send your proposals by May 30, 2014 to proposals@bpf.org. In your proposal, please include a title, a brief summary of what you plan to offer, the theme it fits in, any special presentation needs (A/V, room setup, etc), and learning styles you plan to engage (experiential, verbal, tactile, etc). As part of your proposal, please also submit (if you haven’t already) our “Mandala Form.”

We will finalize the program by mid-June and let you know by email if we are able to include your proposal.

Thank you for contributing your gifts and skills to community!

Comments (6)

  • John Allan

    A view from afar. Seems strange to me that a national or even international gathering would be held in such a small venue. Limit of 120 people – crazy in such a big country.
    it’s not a ‘meditation retreat’ so don’t use a ‘meditation’ center. Westerners and Buddhists in general need to overcome the 20th cent ideology of the meditation ‘retreat’ as a primary vector of promoting/sharing dhamma. It’s a major reason for the individualistic approach of much mainstream Buddhism that BPF seems to be trying to move people beyond…..advances and intensives are more in line with dhamma that ‘retreating’

    TOPICS. I don’t see anything directly referencing antiwar in suggested topics. If USA Buddhists now see that acting against war and militarism is a bridge too far, how about joining with GUN law reform activists and work to overturn the clear misreading of your constitution that pro-gun lobby uses to put gun violence into what seems to be EVERY American neighborhood. From Australia the daily litany of gun violence on US news feeds looks like HELL ON EARTH.
    Dear Dharma friends in the US – seems to me that the ‘right to bear arms’ lunacy that has flooded your country with weapons is the military industrial complex right in everyone’s backyard. Make no mistake, this gun fetish links directly to US state and private enterprise militarism which is one reason so much money and ‘right’ leaning political power is directed to not only preserve but advance the status quo of US gun worship.

    John Allan

  • Katie Loncke

    Hi John, thanks for weighing in from across the globe! Perspectives from “afar” can be very helpful.

    On the size of the Gathering, we’re operating from the belief that small is beautiful, and the quality of the interactions and engagement at the Gathering will be what makes it special. Not everyone will be able to make it to Oakland this time around, but it felt important to create some space for at least *some* face-to-face interactions with all the amazing BPFers we’ve been getting to know through Turning Wheel Media! Plus, friday night’s keynote event will be able to accommodate many more people, which will be a lot of fun and quite an experience unto itself. (I can’t wait to see Joanna and Sulak in conversation. :)

    On holding the event at a meditation center, we definitely looked into other types of venues, and found that East Bay Meditation Center is the place that floats our boat the most right now. The visionary stuff they’re doing there, centering sangha around diversity, social justice, and accessibility, is really unusual and deep, and very much aligned with our values. So for us it’s also about offering BPFers the opportunity to get to know EBMC and the wonderful work they are doing. It’s not just a commodity, a venue, measurable in scale, but a mutually nourishing relationship that we value.

    On the anti-war, anti-militarism, and anti-gun tip: as you might know about Buddhist Peace Fellowship, we have a tradition of defining peace work very broadly: including, for example, the prison dharma programs that BPF was one of the first groups to start offering in the U.S. Specific anti-war work is clearly important (we would welcome any program proposals to the Gathering that bring a focus to antiwar effort), *and* we see it existing within an interconnected constellation of issues we are passionate about. For us, peace means ending war, and it also means ending domestic violence & rape culture; protecting ourselves and fellow beings from the harms of climate change; challenging economic exploitation, imperialism, and the structural violence of poverty; and so forth. More than enough to work on, for many lifetimes. And none of us can sustain the work alone; we need each other’s support and community. That’s why opportunities like the Gathering are precious to us.

    Thanks for sharing your passion about the gun control issue! I’m sure that many BPFers strongly agree with you. One of our recent BPF interns went on to a communications internship with the Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence. Secret Buddhists and BPFers, lurking and contributing to social justice efforts all over the place. :)

    metta and take good care,
    katie

  • John Allan

    Thanks for clarification re venue. Also, I am well aware of the constellation of others issues – matters of race, diversity, domestic violence, gender and economic issues; what could be called aspects of building a ‘culture of peace’. I have done my share of work at the ‘pointy’ end – 20 years working with ‘domestic violence’ perpetrators and victims, several years helping refugees inside and out of Australian Govt concentration camps (so- called ‘detention centers) , working with remote aboriginal communities, anti fracking action etc. etc. etc. – still running 3 weekly Dharma groups – for 15 years…and I am well connected – Both Joanna Macy and Achan Sulak have stayed at my home.

    However, as important as all these things are; programs and initiatives directly addressing war, militarism and gun violence – including the militarization of citizens with pro-gun ideologies need to always to be focused on. The primacy of the war on terror rhetoric seems to have sounded a death knell to much antiwar, anti militarism activism in the years following the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s face it, many will be plain scared to overtly talk out and criticize the military and war mentality of much of the Govt and big business sectors in the US. The industrial strength death dealing of war and militarism is a major engine that energizes many of the other important social issues that concern us. Remember we are a binocular species and need to keep one eye on all the matters proposed so far as topics for the BPF gathering. However the other eye needs to clearly see act against the depth to which the social fabric is corroded by War ideologies and activities, militarism and the religion of pro-gun, right to bear arm-ism. A suggestion for US gun public action. Follow the lead of catholic church and community activists in the highlands of New Guinea where gun violence is rampart. ( where they still burn ‘witches’ – in part spurned on by mad doctrines of U.S. fundamentalists ‘churches/cults” which assert the presence of a SPECIFIC demon for any social or psychological problem you care to name)
    The anti-gun ceremony – community members gather with guns , bows and arrows and other weapons. These are smashed up and put in a coffin and danced upon by a woman to symbolically destroy the weapons ‘spiritual’ or psychological power as well. http://vimeo.com/16804693 –see point 5 at 4 mins 29 secs into video.
    Cheers from Australia
    John Allan

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  • Shaun Bartone

    Will there be some kind of internet simulcast for the event in August? i will not be able to fly to Oakland CA from Halifax Nova Scotia because: 1) it’s too expensive; 2) it produces obscene amounts of CO2 emissions; 3) its a 2-day flight. I hope that I can tune in online and participate in some way. I especially want to hear your two keynote speakers: Macy and Sivarksa.

  • Dawn Haney

    Hi Shaun! We’re looking in to video options, especially for the keynote event. It’s more likely that we’re going to record it and post later here on Turning Wheel Media rather than do a live simulcast. Our venues aren’t set up with the broadband internet capacity to livestream well. We’ll keep folks posted about what we figure out as it gets closer!

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