Find something that needs help, and help it, then you work on yourself to make it a conscious act. As Gandhi said, “The act that you do may seem very insignificant but it is important that you do it.” Ram Dass
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. Maya Angelou
Gay Buddhist Fellowship (GBF) stands in solidarity with the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement to end the brutality of police violence toward black people, and systemic racist politics throughout our society. Racial prejudice is at the root of oppression, killing and lack of justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) which has existed for more than 400 years in the U.S. The most recent killings by white people of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, are but a few.
The principles upon which the Gay Buddhist Fellowship is founded require the development of self-awareness, a responsibility to educate ourselves, and a commitment to end suffering and the causes of suffering. The sangha understands that remaining passive is to be complicit with the ongoing violence, oppression, and injustice. Those of us who are white have a unique responsibility to not only educate ourselves and others, but to support reforms in the legal and other systems and processes which perpetuate the oppression of those not white. How we do this will differ for each person, depending on our skills and gifts.
As a Buddhist organization, GBF undertakes the study and practice of living with mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom toward all beings. We do not experience this as being weak or passive. On the contrary, Buddhism is a path of courage, discipline, and deep commitment to truth. Living with mindful awareness requires we first examine our own hearts and minds to become aware of unconscious internal biases and assumptions to avoid the very dynamics of division and objectification which we strive to end. Courage, compassion, and a commitment to truth are required to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings, and self-discipline is required to change, regardless of the guilt and shame we may feel in identifying our own racial prejudices. This is a practice of turning toward greed, hatred, and ignorance, in order to end the unnecessary suffering that they cause in ourselves and others. It is a path based on the disciplined application of moral principles of non-harm, development of community, and liberation for all beings — not just those who are privileged.
GBF feels a strong affinity for all oppressed BIPOC. It was Black Transgender demonstrators 51 years ago who were at the forefront of the Stonewall riots, and it is their activism that catalyzed the LGBTQ movement which continues to this day.
May All Beings Be Free From Suffering,
GBF Board of Directors