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What’s My Role in the Revolution?

What’s My Role in the Revolution?

Have you ever wondered if you're doing enough, or doing the right things, to create true social and spiritual transformation? If so, it might be time to re-visit your role in the r ...

Rest in Power Aaron Lee, the Angry Asian Buddhist

Rest in Power Aaron Lee, the Angry Asian Buddhist

Aaron Lee, author of the blog Angry Asian Buddhist, died Saturday after a battle with cancer. He was 34. BPF reflects on all we've learned, and continue to learn, from Arun’s clear ...

To Liberate All Beings from the Dukkha of Deportation

To Liberate All Beings from the Dukkha of Deportation

Last year, on November 8, a member of my chosen family deported himself to Mexico. Rodolfo's courage in fighting for migrant justice reminds me of the first vow of the Bodhisattva ...

Emergency Teach-In: Buddhists Wage Peace in Korea

Emergency Teach-In: Buddhists Wage Peace in Korea

You might have heard Trump’s “fire and fury” dick-swinging toward North Korea, risking nuclear escalation. Did you also know that Won Buddhists are playing a major role for peace o ...

A New Story of Us: Storytelling, Movement Building & the 4th Noble Truth

A New Story of Us: Storytelling, Movement Building & the 4th Noble Truth

Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a ...

A Song to Stop Urban Shield

A Song to Stop Urban Shield

The 1999 WTO protests in Seattle marked the beginning of what has become a rapid militarization of U.S. police departments all across the country. BPFers in the Bay Area decided to ...

When You Picture U.S. Buddhists, Do You Think Of Me?

When You Picture U.S. Buddhists, Do You Think Of Me?

Re-visibilizing Asian Americans in Buddhism is a precious opportunity. It can mean opening up, anchoring in hard historical truths, and bearing witness to an array of stories, voic ...

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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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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