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A Roundabout Defense of the “Mandala Form” for the BPF National Gathering

A Roundabout Defense of the “Mandala Form” for the BPF National Gathering

NOTE: The recent Eco-Dharma Conference & Retreat at the Wonderwell Mounatin Refuge in Springfield, NH, featured a panel sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. After a vide ...

Revisiting the Middle Passage Pilgrimage: Film Screening and Panel Discussion with Filmmaker and “Pilgrims”

Revisiting the Middle Passage Pilgrimage: Film Screening and Panel Discussion with Filmmaker and “Pilgrims”

Hosted by Buddhist Peace Fellowship and East Bay Meditation Center SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 2014. 7 - 9:30 PM East Bay Meditation Center, 285 17th St., Oakland, CA 94612 Join us for th ...

The Four Noble Truths in Our World:  Truth #3: The Cessation of the Suffering of Caste

The Four Noble Truths in Our World: Truth #3: The Cessation of the Suffering of Caste

Can we imagine a world without caste? In positive terms, a social expression of nibbana might be the realization of a society in which each member can find fulfillment and be compl ...

Long Retreat Scholarships Available for Young People and People of Color

Long Retreat Scholarships Available for Young People and People of Color

Spirit Rock Meditation Center is offering an unprecedented number of scholarships for people of color and young people to attend the month-long and 2-month retreats in early 2015. ...

“Memory Is Political”: Storytelling, Movement Building, and the Third Noble Truth

“Memory Is Political”: Storytelling, Movement Building, and the Third Noble Truth

The question of the usefulness or non-relevance of “the story” is one of the great “both / ands” of living a Buddhist life. And, all human stories, descending from the most cosmic ...

BPF Summer Gathering Schedule

BPF Summer Gathering Schedule

The BPF Summer Gathering will bring together Buddhists and activists from over 20 states and multiple countries, for dialogues, meditation, and training in nonviolent direct action ...

Practice in Transformative Action: Bay Area training program

Practice in Transformative Action: Bay Area training program

Mushim Ikeda, contributor to BPF's The System Stinks curriculum, is launching another year of the Practice in Transformative Action (PiTA 2) yearlong program at East Bay Meditation ...

Men’s Violence

by Steve Self If you want peace on earth, begin in your own country. If you want peace in your country, begin in your community. If you want peace in your community, begin in your family. If you want peace in your family, begin with yourself. If you want to be peaceful, begin with your own heart. - loosely from Confucius. As the author of the stunning article Hate Crimes: A Rape Every Minute, a Thousand Cor ...

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Third Gender (A Poem)

Third Gender   1   I remember when I turned my last skirt into a tablecloth because I only wanted to be one gender now and it was not girl. I remember when everything changed– I turned the tablecloth back into a skirt.   2   The red purse was the last present my mother ever gave me. I hid it under the bed and then I got sober and she went into a coma. It was easier to look like a girl wh ...

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Being Well-Adjusted is Not the Goal

Unexpected things happen in your brain when you’re on an extended silent meditation retreat. For example, sometimes I see issues about sexuality and body image rise in my mind. I’ve realized over time that what mindfulness helps with is practicing a new approach to the self, one that doesn’t surveil for conformity to dominant norms. In other posts I’ve called mindfulness a decolonization practice. Michel Fo ...

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Building Patriarchy on the Fields of Alaya

by Nancy Thompson I remember being in religious instruction in second grade and wondering whether Jesus had, in fact, died for my sins since everything was about men; he was a fisher of men, he redeemed man’s sins. I asked the teacher, who explained that women were included under the umbrella of “man.” I was not convinced. As I grew up, I became less convinced about the validity of much of what the Roman Ca ...

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“Bad Apples?” Buddhist Commodities and Power Relations

Power and Privilege In a letter recounting a sexually abusive relationship which involved a well-known Buddhist teacher and one of his female students, the following phrase was used. “You should have mentioned this privately.”   The teacher was rebuking the student for making the situation public. That phrase points directly to the problems inherent in many Buddhist sanghas in the “West” (for want of a ...

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Anti-Patriarchal Politics and Discernment: Discipline as Freedom

Duke Ching of Chi asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied, “Let the ruler be a ruler, minister be a minister, father be a father, son be a son.” The Duke said, “Excellent! Indeed, if the ruler is not a ruler, the ministers not ministers, fathers not fathers and sons not sons, even if I have food, how can I eat it?” —Confucius, Analects (Book 12, Chapter 11), 500 BCE Many Buddhists come from Conf ...

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Out-Organizing Patriarchy, or: Buddhist Strategies For Existing Politically In A Mini-dress

Feminism is about politics, not a one-size-fits-all uniform. —Janell Hobson, Ms. magazine writer, in Policing Feminism: Regulating the Bodies of Women of Color Some would say it's my fault, for wearing a dress like that to a political action. How do you expect to be taken seriously? (And, from certain older feminists): We fought to be seen as more than sex objects.  How can you throw away that progress? Und ...

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The Influence of Orientalism on US Buddhism

“The mercy of the West has been social revolution; the mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void.” —Gary Snyder, 1961 In contemplating Gary Snyder’s essay “Buddhist Anarchism” for my previous post on Turning Wheel Media, I came across the above phrase, which stuck out to me like a sore thumb. As an Asian American cultural critic and Buddhist practitioner, I have a finely tuned r ...

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What’s Wrong With Sex? A Buddhist Perspective

Scholar and Zen teacher David Loy looks at historical clues from the Buddha's time to ask: what's up with all this sex-negativity? As Buddhism infiltrates the West, one of the important and interesting points of contention is sexuality. Buddhism in Asia has been largely a cultural force for celibacy (among monastics) and sexual restraint, so how is Western Buddhism adapting to the sexual revolution? Today ma ...

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Revisiting Buddhist Anarchism

I’ve been revisiting Buddhist anarchism lately, the strain of socially engaged Buddhism that some foundational Buddhist Peace Fellowship movers and shakers were associated with in some form. Like any religion, Buddhism's tenets and teachings can be interpreted in many ways, including in the anti-state and anti-capitalist direction. In other posts I have indicated that some interpretations of Buddhism have l ...

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