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Apply Now! Block, Build, Be Retreat 2017

Apply Now! Block, Build, Be Retreat 2017

Go deeper into BPF's unique ecology of spirituality and social justice, in our 2nd annual Block, Build, Be leadership retreat: blocking harm and oppression, building new worlds, an ...

Make Meetings a Refuge

Make Meetings a Refuge

"Those might be the nicest things people have ever said to me," a BPF board member reflected sincerely as we closed our yearly board and staff retreat with a circle of appreciation ...

Refuge in the Truth of Change: Session 2 of Refuge & Resistance

Refuge in the Truth of Change: Session 2 of Refuge & Resistance

How can we find a sense of refuge in a world that keeps on changing? What does it mean to both accept the truth of change, and contribute to shaping change? And how can refuge supp ...

When MLK Jr. Rejected “Obnoxious Peace”

When MLK Jr. Rejected “Obnoxious Peace”

As an organization with "Peace" in our name, we are often misunderstood. On MLK Day, let's clarify some things. ...

Safety, Sanctuary, Refuge: Session 1 of Refuge & Resistance

Safety, Sanctuary, Refuge: Session 1 of Refuge & Resistance

What do the Three Jewels of refuge look like in today's political world, as people become more desperate for safety? ...

Start the New Year with Refuge & Resistance

Start the New Year with Refuge & Resistance

All beings deserve refuge, but oppression requires resistance. Can we do both? Welcome to our January 2017 series, brand-new from BPF. ...

Surviving Auschwitz, Resisting Trump, Staying Open

Surviving Auschwitz, Resisting Trump, Staying Open

This week visiting home, I'm pulled to revisit some family papers. Today, under Trump's ascendancy, I am the exact same age as my grandfather was in Austria, when Hitler rose to po ...

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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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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