using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Winter 2008
47 winter 2 00 8 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly reasons. There’s no single reason, but it seems to me their reasons tend to be profound and important. Yet, they are very interested in retaining their individuality rather than just becoming a certain Buddhist identity. That’s one of the more interesting phenomena occurring right now. rod meade Sperry: Not just an interesting phenomenon, but a beautiful phenomenon. norman FiScher: When the dharma is allowed to flower and express itself in so many different ways, it becomes something more people realize they can enter into. It’s not just for holy people. It’s for regular people like me, or irregular people like me. iriS BriLLiant: But I have to say that the Buddhist community is not quite as inclusive as it could be, and this is a big concern for me. The feminist analysis of things is to constantly ask yourself who is being left out and how can we do something to be more inclusive. That analysis can always be used in the sangha. Perhaps because of the legacy of Buddhism in the West starting out as part of various intellectual movements and because of the interest of white middle-class people in the East, Buddhism in America has a lot of bourgeois connota- tions. The retreats I go on are not diverse. They are domi- nated by white, middle-class, heterosexual people. One of the problems is affordability and access. In con- trast, a place like the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland is a wonderful resource. They have sitting groups designated for queer people or people of color. That’s a very important direction. I’d like to see a Buddhism that doesn’t just shy away from questions of institutional oppression and privilege. Buddhist meditation could be a really important resource for people interested in taking down those forms of systematic oppression. It’s sad for me to go on retreats and see how exclusive they are—mostly because they’re so expensive but also just because of the connotations of Buddhism being for privileged white people. Meditation is seen as a luxury, something for people who have a lot of free time. A lot of changes need to be made for Buddhist practice to really be open to everybody. rod meade Sperry: There are young people retreats and people of color retreats and queer retreats, and that’s certainly not a bad thing, but it sometimes misses the point. If you’re a young person and your best bet is to join a retreat like that, which means that the practice community doesn’t really include you, it’s like being relegated to the kids’ table at a family function. It’s nice, but it’s also sort of dismissive. What do you do when you’re sent off to the kids’ table? You either sneak off with the other kids and go play, or you find that one cool uncle who will chat you up. What dharma centers need are more cool uncles, more people who will automatically bring younger voices into the everyday life of their sangha. Buddhadharma: But isn’t a queer or people of color or youth retreat a step in that direction? rod meade Sperry: It’s arguable that it is, but it’s also arguable that it isn’t. Some people have said that sanghas that hold these retreats may not make inclusion an integral part of the way they function. iriS BriLLiant: I disagree that having retreats based on social identities is not helpful, because that’s one of the only ways in which some people can jump into the practice and feel safe and comfortable. If you go into a room full of people who don’t look like you, and you’re supposed to be going into a deep, vulnerable, and kind of frightening practice, especially if you’ve never done it before, you’re much less likely to come back. These special retreats say that this practice does not ignore that there are fundamental differences between us and that there is racism and sexism. Otherwise, it will just con- tinue to be a middle-class white movement. rod meade Sperry: What’s lacking to my mind is the follow-up that leads to the actual evolution of the community itself. Sumi Loundon Kim: To me that gets to the nature of the whole retreat thing altogether, as opposed to the development of real sangha. I have a beef about the whole dharma scene being so meditation-oriented and retreat- and program-oriented. As a mother of young children, I have no time for retreats, or even to go for a little sitting at the local temple. There’s a pretty strongly antisocial or nonsocial component to dharma centers in general. I don’t understand how anybody—including the Socially engaged Buddhism will be a strong driving force for younger people. Practice is being used not only as a way to become more centered but as a tool to become a more grounded activist. —Iris Brilliant TaTToodesignByTashimannox,www.inKessenTiaL.comwww.russmorris.com