Dalai Lama in hot water over “sexist” comments – again

Dalai lama bbc interview sept 2015

In May the Dalai Lama told the UK’s Sunday Times that he might come back as a “mischievous blonde woman” adding that “then her face must be very attractive” or “nobody pay much attention.”That didn't seem to upset too many people, but a fellow Patheos blogger picked it up, calling the Dalai Lama sexist, and I followed up with some context, opening the incident up for conversation with readers.I also inserted a (non-scientific) poll asking readers if they felt his comments were outrageous … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama’s ‘Sexist’ Snafu?

Tenzin Gyatso - 14th Dalai Lama

Over the weekend, the Dalai Lama spoke about his prospects for reincarnation, telling the UK's Sunday Times that he may come back as a “mischievous blonde woman" adding that “then her face must be very attractive” or “nobody pay much attention.”Fellow Patheos writer Elizabeth Scalia responds: Got that? The Dalai Lama says if a woman isn’t pretty, no one will pay attention to her. Her looks are her passport to credibility. And no one is screaming of fainting about it. This on her Catholi … [Read more...]

Remembering Kindness: Happy (all) Mothers Day

yum chenmo, great mother

Throughout the day I've seen messages of gratitude, comfort, and joy, as well as discontent, despair, and derision. All over a holiday dedicated to mothers.Granted, these feelings all come from authentic experiences and true hearts. Yet the effort to expand our celebration of motherhood seems to me far wiser than either blindly praising an exclusive 'in-crowd' of nuclear families, an ideal of a bygone era, or turning one's back on it all.Today at the Unitarian Universalist fellowship I at … [Read more...]

In supporting same-sex marriage, Buddhists are #1 (sort of)

buddhists and unitarian universalists at a gay pride parade

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments about gay marriage, and so, in a timely update on the climate of same-sex marriage acceptance across religions, the Public Religion Research Institute posted an article last week creatively titled Attitudes on Same-sex Marriage by Religious Affiliation and Denominational Family.The outcome of the study was that, "The most supportive major religious groups are Buddhists (84 percent), Jews (77 percent), and Americans who select “Other religion” (75 percen … [Read more...]

Book Review: “The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender”

The Way of Tenderness Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender- closeup

THIS IS A BOOK THAT CAN TEACH US ALL.These words grace the back cover of The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender.And Tanya McGinnity of Full Contact Enlightenment put it equally well when she wrote:"This book by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is essential reading for all Buddhists. Essential."Both statements are absolutely true.As are the several lines of advanced praise in the book's opening pages, from American Buddhist greats including Jan Willis, author … [Read more...]

Intersections of Gender, Identity, and Buddhism: an interview with LGBTIQ meditation teacher La Sarmiento

La Sarmiento LGBTIQ Buddhist teacher

Today I am delighted to introduce readers to La Sarmiento, a long time Vipassana meditator and teacher who will be co-leading a retreat at the Garrison Institute called “Embodying Presence in Our Lives: A Mindfulness Meditation Weekend for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer Communities”  in April along with fellow teachers Madeline Klyne, Eric Kolvig, PhD, and Jacoby Ballard.Many thanks to Sam Mowe of the Garrison Institute for connecting us and to La for taking the time … [Read more...]

Ajahn Brahm’s Gender Equality in Buddhism petition nears 5000 signatures

ajahn brahm talk on women UNDV

As per a request on twitter, I'm reposting this with the hopes of driving the petition over 5000 (it needs just 239 more as of now): In May, Ajahn Brahm, one of the world's best known Theravadin monks, was scheduled to give a talk on gender equality (and lack thereof) in Buddhism in Vietnam at the annual UN Day of Vesak conference. However, at the last minute his talk was canceled. Here Ajahn Brahm talks about why:Now you can sign a petition, launched today in the UK, asking the UNDV … [Read more...]

Trans*Buddhism, an interview with the creators of transbuddhists.org

trans-Buddhist QandA

I am honored this month to share an interview with the creators of transbuddhists.org and a guide to trans*competence (links below). Please read on and visit their website to find out more about how you can make Buddhism more inclusive.Who counts as "trans*" and why is it important for Buddhists today to understand the term?We use trans* ("trans" or "trans-star") as an umbrella term to describe anyone who's had an experience of their internal understanding of their gender not matching the … [Read more...]