This has been a long time coming. In the summer of 2019, I put out a call for the serious consideration of Buddhist Anarchism to commence in Spring 2020, which I called ‘Declaring a Buddhist Spring’. In January through March 2020, the Pandemic hit the world stage, and the proposed discussion was temporarily sidelined. There seemed to be almost no need to discuss it because the Pandemic and lockdowns had a parallel effect on Buddhist hierarchies and organizations. No one could go to Buddhist meditation centers, and many of them closed, some temporarily, some permanently. Instead, people met online. Zoom became our new global shrine rooms, and in the functional horizontality of Zoom, everyone suddenly became much more equally empowered than before the Pandemic. The hierarchy and power structure of Buddhism was flattened or even eliminated by the virus in many places.
But in December 2020 (unbeknownst to me), Bhante Sujato, a great Theravada teacher and translator, put out a video discussing his views on Buddhist Anarchism. That video is posted below:
I came across it 18 months later in June 2022 on a new Reddit site, r/radicalbuddhism, which also posted this photo of Bhante Akaliko, who is apparently becoming more open about his own anarchist leanings.
In July 2021, I recorded an interview with Dean from Portland, Oregon on Buddhist Anarchism, Waiting for Gudo: on the Possibilities for Buddhist Anarchism. Dean was researching Anarchism in the Chan/Zen tradition. We have to pick up that thread again with another interview, there was so much we didn’t get to cover the first time.
This rhizome is slowly growing on its own but there’s no harm in giving it some occasional fertilizer.