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“We’ve Been Here All Along” – Love for Asian American Buddhists

“We’ve Been Here All Along” – Love for Asian American Buddhists

BPF Board member Funie Hsu's latest article on white domination in Western dharma has generated a flurry of defensiveness, as well as some powerful support. Read for yourself, shar ...

BPF Reportback from Standing Rock: December 7th

BPF Reportback from Standing Rock: December 7th

Standing Rock is one of the most significant movements of our time, and the opportunity to go there has been a tremendous gift. Join BPF on Wednesday, December 7th for an online re ...

Waking Up After the Election

Waking Up After the Election

Waking up today, I knew there would be work to do. Electing the president of US Empire is always only one step in our political process – "choosing the terrain on which we want to ...

Stand with Standing Rock: A Buddhist Statement of Support

Stand with Standing Rock: A Buddhist Statement of Support

A Buddhist Statement of Support for the Standing Rock action and Water is Life Protectors October 2016 In order to preserve life and sacred land and water on Mother Earth, we pract ...

ACTION ALERT: Buddhists Stand with Larung Gar, Tibet

ACTION ALERT: Buddhists Stand with Larung Gar, Tibet

One of the world's largest Buddhist studies institutes is under threat. Can you join BPF and #StandWithLarungGar? ...

“Mindfulness” and “Happiness” are a distraction. Shouldn’t we be speaking about Refuge?

“Mindfulness” and “Happiness” are a distraction. Shouldn’t we be speaking about Refuge?

What is refuge? Where and when do we encounter refuge? Who or what creates space for refuge? ...

10 Forms of Healing and Resistance in the Face of Police Violence

10 Forms of Healing and Resistance in the Face of Police Violence

Feeling overwhelmed with all the police violence in the news? Looking for Buddhists who share your commitment to resisting structural racism? Check out these resources and share wh ...

“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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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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