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Taking a Stand and Sitting Still

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photo: Joshua Eaton

photo: Joshua Eaton

There’s some good stuff going on in the world of Socially Engaged Buddhism these days…. I want to pass these along to you:

  • Rev. Danny Fisher has made some big changes in his life — leaving his position as director of the University of the West Buddhist Chaplaincy Program, moving to Toronto with his wonderful wife Stephanie, and starting a new web venture: “Off the Cushion.” In its short existence, Off the Cushion has featured stories on Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi and the People’s Climate March, Cambodia’s social justice monks, and “Buddhism After Ferguson,” a podcast of an interview with Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s Dawn Haney (Director of Training & Development) and Katie Loncke (Director of Media and Action). Danny’s doing some innovative stuff on his new website… check it out!
  • Speaking of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, my old stomping grounds, have you been following their series on the Four Noble Truths? It’s been unfolding all this past year with a number of excellent writers and dharma teachers taking a look at the Four Noble Truths through the lens of social and environmental justice. One of my favorite authors of the series has been Funie Hsu, a former LA public school teacher and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Davis in the School of Education. Funie is focusing her four articles on how systemic violence plays out in students’ lives.
  • BPF is also sponsoring a call on November 3, 6 pm (PDT), on “How Does you Dharma Practice Support Your Social Justice Work in the World?” I’ll be speaking on the call, as well as The Revolution Starts At Home author Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and East Bay Meditation Center sangha leader Max Airborne. The call is for BPF members — you can become one and support this great organization on this page.
  • And finally, you may want to join up with Sangha in the Streets, a Facebook group I started back in 2011 during the Occupy Movement as a way for contemplative practitioners to find each other and organize “public displays of practice” as part of larger protests. Since that time, it’s been a way to stay connected and has recently become more active around the People’s Climate March and Ferguson, MO.

In the end, it’s all about staying connected and staying present….









About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

One response »

  1. Yayyy!! It’s a great time for liberation organizing and the-spiritual-is-political types of efforts. Thanks for your amazing contributions on many fronts, Maia, especially helping folks like me stay positive and stay in the know.


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