BPF April Newsletter

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

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Cultivating Compassionate Action
April   2009
In This Issue
From President of BPF
What About AIG?
Adopt a Monk
Turning Wheel is Available


Ajahn. Sulak Sivaraksa
, one of the most prominent social thinkers,  
writers and socially engaged buddhists of our time, will be in the  Bay Area in a few weeks.  If you are interested, you can tune in, go  listen to his talk or meet him in person.  Also, his newly published  book "The Wisdom of Sustainability" will be available for purchase after his talks and on amazon.com.

Here is his program:

Thursday, April 23:
12:00 p.m.     KPFA 94.1 FM
Radio Interview with Kris Welch "Living Room"

7:30 p.m.     Wheeler Auditorium, UC Berkeley  - Talk "Revolutionary Love and Martial Non-Violence"

Friday, April 24:
7:30 p.m.  -  San Francisco Zen Center (300 Page St., SF) Talk -SFZC.org

Saturday, April 25:
10:15 a.m.     Berkeley Zen Center (1933 Russell St, Berkeley) -     
Dharma Talk and Q&A, followed by Book Signing.

_____________________

Maezumi Zen Institute Announces


RESIDENTIAL MINISTRY PROGRAM FOR LEADERSHIP 
IN SOCIALLY ENGAGED BUDDHISM & SPIRITUALITY
(endorsed and supported by BPF)


(Memorial altar for Maezumi Roshi)

Train for a vocation in socially engaged Buddhism and multi-faith spirituality in Zen Peacemakers.

Program supervised by Roshi Bernie Glassman & Sensei Paul Genki Kahn

Next Program start dates: May 29, 2009 and October 9, 2009.

For more information or to apply: 
www.zenpeacemakers.org/ministry orSeiki@zenpeacemakers.org or 413-367-2080, ext. 3#

For information about upcoming events, please visit:http://www.zenpeacemakers.org/events
To help provide scholarships for
talented candidates in need:www.zenpeacemakers.org/donate.






Teens at a meditation retreat

Dear Friends of BPF,

I'm happy to announce the continuation of the socially engaged retreat series for teens and young adults, which enjoyed the sponsorship of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship for many years.  

Our new organization MAYA Mindful Awareness for Young Adultswww.mayaretreats.org guides the development of this program in both California, Virginia, and soon beyond.  

We are grateful for the many years BPF supported these programs and the many youth, families and communities directly effected.  These retreats are opening a deep and powerful dharma door for younger practitioners.

Because of these retreats a half dozen teenagers are taking a year off before college to travel in Asia.  We will attend the INEB meeting in November, work with schools in Burma, and then meet with the Dr. Ambedkar community in India next winter and spring.  A new generation of Engaged Buddhists is on the rise!
  
May the tree BPF planted with these youth retreats continue to flourish.
 

Tempel Smith



From Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey
President of BPF

Dear Friends,

For thirty years, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship has catalyzed philosophy, strategy and action for justice rooted in the teachings of the Buddha. Our unique position as a pan-Buddhist organization has helped us play a pivotal role in making social engagement a central practice of the many streams of Western Buddhism. Through the cross-pollination of progressive teachings and ideas we have built strong bridges between young and elder, monastic and lay, and between people of various cultures throughout the greater Western sangha. The result is an organization uniquely in a position to mobilize people around the profound desire we all share for the liberation of all beings.

This year, our budget challenges have been great. Our transformation over the past few years has successfully resulted in a streamlined effort to build on our organizational strengths. We have scaled back operating costs and reduced staffing to a minimum while focusing the scope of our work to areas of highest priority. Still, the difficulty of fundraising during the economic crisis has meant that we are having to drastically reduce paid staff time this spring and is threatening to bring our programming to a halt. The situation is very sobering.

Nonetheless, we are striving to develop BPF as a more effective communication platform for the promotion of socially engaged Buddhism. We plan to transition the Turning Wheel magazine into the full-scale national journal it has long aspired to be. We are also developing a new web-presence that will enable us to serve as a dynamic hub of information, connection and mobilization for socially engaged Buddhists around the world. 

We truly need your help to keep the important work of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship alive during these difficult economic times. We have deep aspirations for our work this coming year and we simply will not be able to achieve them without your generous support. This spring we must raise $200,000 to cover the cost of these advancements along with the continued development of our own programmatic success.  We realize that to reach this goal requires the commitment of past, present, and future donors to the vision of BPF.  If 400 people donated $500 we would reach this goal. Regardless of how much you can contribute, know that we cherish each and every gift.

We invite you to DONATE with enthusiasm for the future of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.  Please contribute to help ensure the bold continuation of the socially engaged impulse of Buddhism in our times. 

Peace,
 
Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey
President, board of directors, BPF


___________________________________________________________
What About AIG? -Finance and Practice

By Chris Wilson
BPF board member



Public anger over the $170+ billion in taxpayer money spent to keep AIG afloat has been rising for months. It boiled over in mid-March, after AIG announced it paid $165 million in bonuses to the very employees whose recklessness led to such huge losses. 

In this country we are faced with what Buddhists call the three poisons: greed, aversion (including anger and hatred), and ignorance. We could say that the bankers' greed is obvious, or that their aversion shows in their neglect of ordinary people dealing with issues of money. Ultimately, the bankers' ignorance is shown in their absolute belief in the separation between themselves and others. Still, when we attribute all three poisons to the bankers, not only do we tend to forget that there is plenty of greed, anger and ignorance on our side, we neglect to see it is built into the system in which we conduct business.


So. should we, as Buddhists, allow ourselves to be angry about the AIG affair? After all, anger is one of the klesas or distortions of mind at the root of all suffering.  Anger is also a passion. (..read more)


Adopt a Monk  
in Burmese Prison

   
Clear View Project, headed by Rev. Hozan Alan Senauke, invites sanghas, Buddhist centers, and people of compassion to bring attention to the illegal  imprisonment of the monks and nuns in Burma.  We are deeply concerned that Buddhism itself is being eroded in Burma. There are also hundreds of other monks in exile or hiding who cannot return until their safety and ability to practice the dhamma is restored. 
 
Currently there are approximately 220 monks and 8 nuns imprisoned in Burma, almost all arrested after the 2007 Saffron Revolution. As monastics, their only possessions were their robe, begging bowl and their vows. In jail, they are stripped of robes and bowls, and are not allowed openly to follow their vows or the monastic code. 
 
Many of the monks have received lengthy prison sentences - up to 68 years. In prison, all monks and nuns are forcibly disrobed and most are tortured. Their sentences mean deprivation, humiliation, meager meals, and almost no medical care. To survive in prison, monks and nuns depend on their families to bring them food, medicine, money, and love. However, many are sent to remote prisons or labor camps far from families and friends.
 (...read more on how to participate)


Turning Wheel: The spring issue of Turning Wheel on Awareness and Sexual Engagement is available........





Check out our
NEW BPF E-STORE to purchase TURNING WHEEL Magazine and to purchaseGIFTS with BPF logo.

Join BPF in supporting compassionate action throughout the world.  Your gift will help us to continue our work of socially engaged dharma.


BPF VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
FOR MAILINGS INCLUDING SENDING TURNING WHEEL TO PRISONERS
EMAIL US AT MEMBERSHIP@BPF.ORG



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