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Practice in Transformation Action: Bay Area training program

Practice in Transformation 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 ...

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 ...

ACTION ALERT: This Workers’ Center Was Told To Cut Ties With Marriage Equality Allies, Or Lose $75,000. Show Them They Did The Right Thing.

ACTION ALERT: This Workers’ Center Was Told To Cut Ties With Marriage Equality Allies, Or Lose $75,000. Show Them They Did The Right Thing.

"In this place, everyone is welcome." These were the words of Romeo Sosa, the Executive Director of VOZ this week, in front of the small trailer in southeast Portland, Oregon, wher ...

Systemic Youth Suffering: The Third Noble Truth and the Possibility of Collective Liberation

Systemic Youth Suffering: The Third Noble Truth and the Possibility of Collective Liberation

[TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains information that may be disturbing to survivors of sexual assault.]   “For Warmth” by Thich Nhat Hanh (from Zen Poems)   I hold my fa ...

Ouch! Systemic Suffering and The Third Noble Truth

Ouch! Systemic Suffering and The Third Noble Truth

“Great is the matter of birth and death, quickly passing, passing, gone. Awake, awake, each one, awake. Don’t waste this life.” This is the message written on the Han, a wooden ins ...

Hoping To Survive In Gaza

Hoping To Survive In Gaza

“I don't know what else to say. I think we are going to die. It makes me sad that I cannot protect the child I made, I can't protect him from these missiles. I just can't. I don't ...

Interview: Lizandra Vidal, Ayiti Yoga

Interview: Lizandra Vidal, Ayiti Yoga

Lizandra Vidal and I did our yoga teacher training together back in 2011, in Washington, DC. I'm very excited to have reconnected with her and learn what she's up to — teaching yog ...

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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Call For Submissions: Decolonizing Our Sanghas

In the words of Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, "Buddhism, with its non-theistic framework, grounds its ethics not on the notion of obedience, but on that of harmony." On the individual level, the teetotaling Fifth Precept of Buddhism, a training to abstain from taking intoxicants, is meant not in a moralizing way, but as a practice to help us avoid unnecessary disturbances and disharmony of the mind. “Intoxicants are ...

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The No-Self of Identity Politics

It's a kind of Buddhist-feminist koan: if the personal is political, and the personal (self) is also illusory, are politics illusory, too? Addressing a recent conference of engaged Buddhists and liberation theologians, professor of theology Dr. Melanie Harris candidly recalled how her encounters with Buddhadharma initially challenged her womanist framework — Black feminism that centers race, class, and gend ...

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Welcome to Sex, Gender, Power Month on TWM

It sounds simple enough: I undertake the training to abstain from sexual misconduct.  We might think we know what the Third Precept on sexual misconduct looks like on an interpersonal level.  But how do we see systemic forms of sexist power and gender oppression affecting our societies on a broad scale? We are excited to take this month, as part of our year-long Buddhist social justice curriculum, The Syste ...

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Ananda Come Home…

I have always been fond of Ananda. Probably fonder of him than I am of the Buddha. I think of the two of them as a kind of Frodo Baggins/ Samwise Gangee buddy team. Frodo may have been the ring bearer, with all of the fame and gravitas that comes with the title, but he couldn’t have done any of it without his trusty Sam. Likewise the Buddha. Gotama may have been the millionth incarnation of greatness but wi ...

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Preview: BPF Interviews the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (VIDEO)

(Full-length video coming soon.) We were honored to receive a recent visit from the Secretariat of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), Mr. Somboon Chungprempree.  INEB is a powerhouse umbrella group based in Asia, helping to organize socially engaged Buddhists around human rights, alternative education, women and gender struggles, Buddhist youth empowerment, inter-faith dialogue, environm ...

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