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Shut It Down: Reclaiming the Radical Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shut It Down: Reclaiming the Radical Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The real Martin Luther King Jr. was angry about injustice, radical in his politics and militant in his tactics. Kazu Haga, dharma practitioner and Kingian nonviolence teacher, expl ...

Buddha + Black Lives Matter: A Racial Justice Reflection Toolkit

Buddha + Black Lives Matter: A Racial Justice Reflection Toolkit

Tired of pseudo-spiritual derails from #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter? Want concrete ideas for sparking racial justice conversation in your sangha? Want the best recent Buddh ...

Social Justice and the 4 Noble Truths: 2014 Roundup

Social Justice and the 4 Noble Truths: 2014 Roundup

The System Stinks 2014: Social Justice and the Four Noble Truths Contributors (clockwise from top left): Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Mushim Ikeda, Hozan Alan Senauke, Funie Hsu, Fa ...

Buddhist Blockade Against Police Militarization [VIDEO]

Buddhist Blockade Against Police Militarization [VIDEO]

Buddhist Peace Fellowship used the peacefulness of our sitting meditation posture to interrupt the flow of foot traffic at the downtown Oakland Marriott Hotel, which was hosting Ur ...

Joanna Macy & Sulak Sivaraksa: In Conversation at BPF’s National Gathering

Joanna Macy & Sulak Sivaraksa: In Conversation at BPF’s National Gathering

BPF's National Gathering was one of the jewels of 2014, an unprecedented convening of Buddhist activists from across the US. In our Keynote Event, BPF elders Joanna Macy and Ajahn ...

Which Side Are You On?

Which Side Are You On?

As terrible as the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions have been, they are serving the purpose of waking up a lot of people who have been oblivious to or in denial o ...

Being Mindful of Race, Some Resources From Ruth King

Being Mindful of Race, Some Resources From Ruth King

Want to know how you can be more mindful around race and racism? Here's a helpful list of resources from dharma teacher Ruth King. ...

Hunting Confucian Cowboys (Part I)

While visiting my childhood New Jersey home in my late twenties, I ask about a Chinese scroll hanging on the wall. It has been there as long as I can remember but reading it is not an option for me. It is a qilu poem written over seven centuries ago by an ancestor, Gong Guang-Chuan, and passed down. My father translates Gong’s “advice to the Liu family”: Stay on course crossing borders. Uphold ethics where ...

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The Heterosexuality of Silent Retreat

I once rather directly asked one of my Theravada meditation teachers why men and women had to be separated for the duration of our silent laypersons' retreat. Instinctively I understood the heterosexual nature of the practice before asking, but I wanted to hear the explanation. The response was of course that if men and women mixed during the course of a retreat—where the goal was to practice and appreciate ...

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Mindfulness of Gender Rising, Rising

Aside from my father, one of my early male role models was a high school art teacher. As a very artistically oriented child, I had some difficulty relating to the interests of my mostly-left-brained father. So the art and music departments of my high school became my favorite places, where I was accepted and strongly supported as an artist. Mr. Mich, an abbreviation for a longer Eastern European family name ...

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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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