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Our Social Movements Need More Movement!

Our Social Movements Need More Movement!

A little over a week ago, I co-taught a workshop with Mushim Patricia Ikeda at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship's National Gathering entitled "Movement for Right Action: Yoga for Soci ...

Buddhists Blockade Hotel to Protest Police-Military Training

Buddhists Blockade Hotel to Protest Police-Military Training

Buddhist Peace Fellowship and allies decided to stage a group meditation blockading the doors of a Marriott Hotel in Oakland, California. The reason? Police violence and institutio ...

#3: In this Moment: When Suffering Ceases for Queer Africa

#3: In this Moment: When Suffering Ceases for Queer Africa

In my first video-essay, “The Dukkha of Loving Others: Homophobia in Africa,” I discussed how the recent rise in state-sponsored homophobia harms all Africans: those who identify a ...

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. ...

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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The Rootstrikers and Job One: A Buddhist Take On Getting Money Out of Politics

Rootstrikers (rootstrikers.org) recently held a conference in San Francisco that was webcast to a national audience. It was an incredibly well designed event dealing with the corrupting influence of money in politics. What came out most clearly at the conference was that getting money out of politics is Job One (my term) for anyone interested in social or environmental justice. To call it Job One means that ...

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Labor is Entitled to All it Produces

by Joshua Stephens I cut my teeth in as an activist, largely, among anarchists; a milieu in which it's taken as granted that labor is entitled to all it produces. Ironically, it was similarly assumed that all movement labor was volunteer. In other words -- labor had no value, and was thus entitled to nothing. This was true for significant contributions of time, and contributions of significant skill, alike. ...

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