Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Buddhist Peace Fellowship of Tampa Bay Chapter

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship is an international organization that is dedicated to applying Buddhist teachings to public issues. BPF was founded in 1978, and now has chapters in 29 states and 11 countries.

The mission of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship is to serve as a catalyst and agent for socially engaged Buddhism. Our aim is to help alleviate suffering that manifests in individuals, relationships, institutions, and social systems. BPF's programs, publications, and practice groups link Buddhist teachings of wisdom and compassion with progressive social change. Buddhist Peace Fellowship Tampa Bay chapter began meeting in June 2003.

BPF-Tampa Bay is an ecumenical organization. Our members have diverse experiences with social activism and Buddhist practice. We welcome participation by Buddhists of all traditions, and seek to cooperate with other groups that share our goals. Interested non-Buddhists are always welcome.

We share the mission of the national Buddhist Peace Fellowship and are working on specific local projects. We currently have members who are active in local prison meditation projects, and peace and political grassroots movements.

We want to share our collective voice through the practice of spiritual non-violence in words, thoughts and actions. We hope to offer ways that all Buddhists can work together towards common goals, as well as resources for those interested in Buddhist practice, traditions and local groups.

Our Tampa Bay group has adopted a statement of purpose similar to that of the national BPF organization:

Our practice of contemplation and social action is guided by our intentions to:

* Recognize the interdependence of all beings
* Meet suffering directly and with compassion
* Appreciate the importance of not clinging to views and outcomes
* Work with Buddhists from all traditions
* Connect individual and social transformation
* Practice nonviolence
* Use participatory decision-making techniques
* Protect and extend human rights
* Support gender and racial equality, and challenge all forms of unjust discrimination
* Work for economic justice and the end of poverty
* Work for a sustainable environment and
* Work for peace


The Buddhist Peace Fellowship of Tampa Bay will show a movie at 7:30 PM on July 28, 2008 and have a short discussion afterwards. We will have popcorn and snacks at no cost. This is a totally free event for education and consciousness raising. It will be held in the Church Hall. Everyone is welcome!

When: Monday evening, July 28 at 7:30 pm.

Where: Chinese Community Church
            4600 78th Ave., N.
            Pinellas Park, FL 33781 

Contact Person: Tom: 727-455-1056

Peace Is Every Step-Meditation In Action: The Life and Work of Thich Nhat Hahn 

Below is what one reviewer, Patrick Goonan, wrote: 

This is a very well done portrait of Thich Nhat Hanh. The most important and engaging aspect of this production is that is conveys Thich Nhat Hanh's personality and soul. This is what I find to be the most transformational aspect of his Being. To bring this forth so beautifully, constitutes art. 

While the documentary covers some highlights from the Vietnam period, the underlying message is really about finding peace in yourself and sharing this in your sphere of influence. Part of this message is that everything and everyone is interdependent, Thich Nhat Hanh refers to this as "interbeing." In other words, love and happiness by its very nature is intersubjective and individual happiness apart from others is an illusion.
The film also portrays Plum Village, which is Thich Nhat Hanh's headquarters in France. This is a worldwide retreat center and monastery and the film gives a feel for the day-to-day life of Thich Nhat Hanh. 

What I really value here is the portrayal of the inner life of a world famous leader and peace activist. It conveys the power of love and non-violence that is embodies in this gentle and humble man. 

The film is also appropriate for younger people. While there are vignettes of Vietnam, there were no violent scenes. I think this makes the film ideal for kids 10 and older. Thich Nhat Hanh is a great example of the power of vulnerability, sensitivity and gentle persistence coming from a grounded and loving place. I believe this is a very worthwhile message to convey to our youth and the film length at less than an hour is idea for classroom environments.