Buddhist Spring May 2020

May 2020: We Take Buddhism into Our Own Hands

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Buddhist institutions in the West are failing us on a massive scale. Buddhist organizations exploit their members for money, sex and power. Sanghas are designed to isolate and disempower members and turn them into passive consumers, and worse—naive victims. Because of these atrocities, Buddhist sanghas in the West are imploding and shedding members; most recently: Shambhala Int’l., Rigpa, NKT, FPMT, and Against the Stream.

One of the root causes of this exploitation is the organizational structure of Buddhist institutions. Lay sanghas are dominated by ordained and authorized teachers. These structures of domination deliberately silence and disempower sangha members. They prohibit sangha members from practicing autonomous governance and collective responsibility for the whole sangha.

WE DECLARE A BUDDHIST SPRING. WE THROW OFF THE SHACKLES OF HIERARCHY AND DOMINATION. WE TAKE BUDDHISM INTO OUR OWN HANDS.

In May 2020, we call upon practitioners of Buddhist dharma to embark on a month-long revolt against corrupt institutions and to initiate new models of sangha.

We call upon practitioners to engage in dialogue on the social structure of sangha, to investigate new forms of sangha that are autonomous, horizontal, decentralized and networked.

We call upon practitioners to organize sanghas where all members are empowered to learn, teach, share and mutually care for each other, without subjection to a hierarchy.

CALL TO ACTION: There are three ways to participate in the Buddhist Spring:

  1. Organize a Buddhist Spring Action in your local area. The idea is make the Buddhist Spring happen ‘local, everywhere.’
  2. Send a creation of your own to Buddhist Spring Submissions. We will collect these materials over the next year and make them available to everyone who participates as the creative fertilizer for action.
  3. SHARE AND SPREAD THE BUDDHIST SPRING EVERYWHERE, TO EVERYONE.

Join us on KEYBASE secure network to get help with organizing your Buddhist Spring event. To obtain an invitation to the secure KEYBASE planning group, please send an email request to engagedharma.net@gmail.com.

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