Reflections >> Buddhist Fellowship Retreat – Block Build Be

Here are some of my responses from debriefing this amazing experience – I met a birthday twin!! hahah

What’s one learning you’ll be taking with you?

Mind
All the learning about disability justice.
What LiZhen shared of her understanding on non-self and En’s specific focus on the heart sutra.

Heart
Work that Max Samir Amy Bea and Regent did throughout to model the path of Dharma in everyday presence and community building

Body
Appreciate Max and Bea working to get us outside. The sun and location – I was surprised by the grass under my feet and enjoyed how it looked and felt

More Politics, More Buddhism, or Same Balance?
Overall, would you have liked to see more political / action focus, more Buddhist / dharma focus, or about the same balance of both?

More Politics! More Buddhism! I Loved This Balance!

Buddha’s Dharma inherently political. He shared Dharma specifically because he found a means to eradicate caste. This is the primary reason it did not flourish in caste-locked spaces in what we call India and South Asia. It was too much a threat to Hindu hegemony. There is no need to frame Dharma as radical because it is inherently radical – we can certainly reclaim its radicality because through many generations it’s been coopted and sterilized.

Any thoughts you’d like to share on this?

I hope this framing is made central to this retreat. I hope we might all read Ambedkar’s the Buddha and his Dharma maybe as a book club and discuss it (whole text online and free)

Continued conversation on heritage Buddhist history and intersections with colonization that Katie briefly touched on would be important too – esp in knowing how to relate the Dharma respectfully as practitioners

An exercise to help us explicitly name our privileges. This positionality is crucial in walking the path of Dharma and especially an opportunity to model in group.

Group Composition
This retreat was majority self-identifying People of Color; included Buddhists and non-Buddhists; folks identifying as activists and not; a variety of personal and political identities; and included a mix of people from the Bay Area and throughout the U.S. How was your experience of the composition of the group for this retreat?

If there is Perfection this is it