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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 can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity." – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian writer ...

Systemic Youth Suffering: The Twelve-Fold Path of Social Transformation

Systemic Youth Suffering: The Twelve-Fold Path of Social Transformation

When it comes to the education of low-income students of color, mindfulness can easily mystify the structure of social oppression, shifting the analysis of school reform from the s ...

Towards Collective Liberation, or Why We Won’t Stop Talking About Racism

Towards Collective Liberation, or Why We Won’t Stop Talking About Racism

Race was a central theme at BPF’s National Gathering, with offerings like: The Invisible Majority: Will the Real Asian American Buddhist Please Stand Up? Revisiting the Middle Pass ...

BPF Goes Off The Cushion with Rev. Danny Fisher

BPF Goes Off The Cushion with Rev. Danny Fisher

Don't miss Episode #3 of Danny Fisher's new Buddhist podcast series, "Off the Cushion!" Danny asks BPF's Co-Directors Dawn Haney and Katie Loncke about issues of structural racism ...

Ouch! Systemic Suffering and the Fourth Noble Truth

Ouch! Systemic Suffering and the Fourth Noble Truth

We are constantly yearning for peace and harmony. Yet, the transformation requires us to destroy a life system that we depend upon — a system that is artificially bound together by ...

Embody Fierce Compassion: Buddhists at the People’s Climate March

Embody Fierce Compassion: Buddhists at the People’s Climate March

For many years, the two preoccupations of my life, “meditation practice” and “environmental science”, were two streams that ran parallel to each other. ...

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 ...

What’s Your Buddhist Superpower?

As Buddhists, we bring some Sensory Superpowers to our political work in the world. We taste an orange, and also taste the soil it grew in, the polluted rain that drenched it, the migrant farm worker who picked it, and all the other causes and conditions that put this orange in our mouth. We see old age, sickness, death – and we turn toward this suffering with broke-open hearts and the salve of Kwan Yin’s c ...

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What are the Bodhisattva Precepts? And other Frequently Asked Questions

We've been talking about the Bodhisattva Precepts, a set of 10 guidelines that have been passed down for centuries. We're feeling indebted to our many spiritual friends and dharma guardians who have kept these fresh and living over 2600 years. But what are the Bodhisattva Precepts? Are they like the Ten Commandments? If I take them, do I have to get rid of my leather shoes? If I take a dharma name, does it ...

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Remembering, Every Day

As the lives of young people in occupied Palestine and occupied Tibet continue to be extinguished (click the photos for more news coverage); as state powers continue erasing the cultures of occupied and indigenous people in the U.S. and the world over; and as transgender people like Brandy Martell continue to face deadly violence — in so many interconnected struggles, part of our work in the face of loss is ...

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What’s in a Dharma Name?

As part of this month's exploration of Debt, we're paying attention to the wholesome debts we owe, including debts to our dharma lineage! Today's installment: What does it mean to receive a dharma name? How does this connect us with our lineages - both spiritual and political - in new ways? ----- At the Bodhisattva Precepts ceremony I recently participated in, the 16 participants each accepted the 10 Bodhis ...

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Graeber On Debt and Violence

A few fellow BPFers have shared this video with us on our Facebook wall, and we wanted to bump it to the front page and ask what you might think about it.  An especially provocative point, that also speaks to why we at Buddhist Peace Fellowship are interested in a subject like debt: Normally, people do favors for one another; they feel in one other's debt in this very broad sense … But when we're talking ab ...

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Are Fast Food CEOs Indebted to Workers?

According to this infographic from Fast Food Forward (the group spearheading the current organizing campaign across fast food chains in New York City), the average fast food worker makes in a YEAR less than HALF of what a fast food CEO makes in a DAY. In addition to contributing to unconscionable wealth gaps, this industry-wide situation raises helpful questions about the intersections of Buddhist ethics an ...

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Indebted To These Wise Exes

  Okay, so this is not technically about debt. But it's an amazing instance of what my friend Richard Wright called "positive cultural rituals for un-coupling." And for that I feel a debt of gratitude! Via the brilliant, Buddhist-influenced writer Mahfam Malek. ...

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Deadly Debt: Microfinance Suicides

As unwholesome debt goes, the kind that drives debtors to suicide is some of the saddest and most infuriating. While there are multiple sides to every story, and certainly many cases of microlending that appear to have happy endings, it's crucial to pay attention to the stories of people severely damaged by the practice.  Make no mistake: despite the seasonal shine surrounding major microloan businesses lik ...

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Receiving the Bodhisattva Precepts

This past Sunday, 16 practitioners in East Bay Meditation Center's year-long Practice in Action program received the Bodhisattva Precepts from the most Ven. Suhita Dharma. As a set of ethical guidelines about how to relate to other beings, the Bodhisattva Precepts are particularly important to socially engaged Buddhists as we bring our Buddhist practice into the world. As one of the practitioners who receiv ...

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Debt: Wholesome and Unwholesome

Mostly when I think of debt, the crappy kind comes to mind.  The debt that exploits people, and leads to the exploitation of other beings and the earth.  Indentured servitude.  Tenant farming.  Structural Adjustment Programs.  Debilitating student loans.  Astronomical medical debt.  The sub-prime mortgage crisis.  And, more insidiously (to echo Charles' recent observations), the exploitative debt that we ac ...

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