The morning after:
We're still tallying up some last minute checks received or promised ... but it looks like together we've raised a grand total of $36,735 to launch The System Stinks!
We're so grateful for everyone who helped us reach this goal, and we can't wait to work together with you to make The System Stinks a great set of dialogues in 2013.
If you missed your chance to contribute and want to support this work or get The System Stinks curriculum - you can still contribute!
Visit our website: http://www.buddhistpeacefellowship.org/give-wha...
Update 11/14: WE DID IT! With 24 hours left, we've raised $32,975 to launch The System Stinks in 2013!
We're thrilled to announce that we've raised $4,185 in the past 3 days, which means we've more than matched our generous donor's offer to contribute $5,000 if we could raise $2,500! We're working to get that matching donation showing up in the thermometer (add $5,000 to whatever you see and you'll know where we're at!)
While we've reached our goal, we'd love to see a few more people contribute to The System Stinks. Especially at the $30+ level - we want folks to have the full curriculum to study with us! Can we make it $35,000? Help us make The System Stinks even more rad with your last minute donation!
Update 11/13: We've raised $1600 over the past two days (as of 5:23 PST). ALL OF THAT GETS TRIPLED!
We're working on adding the matching donation to the thermometer ... but by our calculations, we can add another $3200 to our current campaign total which (as of 5:23 PST) puts us at $28,590. WHAT?!? Just $1,410 to go! With the matching funding still in effect, that means we need another $470 in donations in the next 55 hours. Can we get it done? Can you help?
Update 11/12: We're almost there! Amazing!!!
All donations this week get TRIPLED!
We're overjoyed at the support this campaign has brought out from BPF friends near and far. As of this morning, we have another donor who wants to match your donation $2-for-$1! So your $5 turns into $15. A gift of $100 becomes $300. The donor will match your gifts up to a total of $5,000 - so donations of $2,500 from the rest of us means we will reach our goal of $30,000!
Because of your beautiful support, we're coming strong through the home stretch toward our goal. As thank-you, from now until Thursday's finish line we're excited to offer an exclusive 90-minute video with Joanna Macy, Ven. Pannavati Bhikkhuni, and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi when you offer any contribution $5 or above. The 30-minute version of the video will be freely available on Turning Wheel Media in coming weeks; meanwhile, for the next 4 days, for any contribution $5 and above we will email you a password to the longer video.
(Photo credit Aneeta Mitha)
Update 11/5: YEAH!!! We've crossed $10,000! Which means $20,000 thanks to a generous supporter! More good news: For the next week, everyone who contributes to BPF's campaign at $30 or more will be entered to win one of 10 slots for a group phone call with a wonderful Buddhist leader — Joanna Macy, Bhante Buddharakkhita, Roshi Joan Halifax, or Hozan Alan Senauke. Spread the word to folks you know who would like to get in on this!
Update 11/1: Exciting news! If we raise $10,000 by next Friday, November 9th, one of our supporters will match it with another $10,000! Amazing and humbling. We're currently over $8,000 toward our goal, so together we know we can make it! Chip in and share with friends, family, sangha, and community: supporting compassionate grassroots trainings for our precious, fragile world.
Buddhists & Friends Think Personal, Political, & Planetary
Breath by breath, we learn to find peace in the present moment.
And we also dream big.
Imagine a world in which thousands of people trained in both political transformation and Buddhist practice are helping the arc of history bend toward liberation.
Protecting the planet.
Ending war and violence.
Healing racism and gender oppression.
Creating classless, democratic societies that meet everyone's basic needs.
And doing it with joy, equanimity, and creativity.
Imagine us working together as political Buddhists and other spiritual activists, in tandem, in alliance with each other.
Help make it happen by donating to The System Stinks today!
Who is BPF?
We're the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. We've been around for a while — going on 35 years! — connecting dharma with social justice, and social justice with dharma. From Turning Wheel magazine (now online!) to our hands-on training programs, we have long offered a place to bring Buddhist teachings into conversation with the larger world.
Katie Loncke & Dawn Haney are grateful to walk a political and spiritual path as Co-Directors of BPF. We love connecting 5000+ political Buddhists to each other and to powerful tools that help us all transform the world — and ourselves.
What do Buddhists want to talk about?
We need to talk. As Buddhists who care about politics, we need to find each other, learn about one another, and start to discover what role engaged and political Buddhists can play in today's world.
Watch the video and get a small taste of some of the topics that engaged Buddhists are eager to discuss. In 2013, with your help, we at BPF will create a 12-month dialogue and crowdsourced curriculum — hosted online via Turning Wheel Media, with options to participate by phone and in face-to-face, self-organized local study groups.
We will be digging in to big questions with themes like:
Getting Real About Nonviolence
Theft of Land, Theft of Culture
The Lies That Build Empire
Decolonizing Our Sanghas
Learning from spiritual teachers, seasoned activists, and one another, we can study history, examine current conditions, and weave our personal stories of political and spiritual awakening in ways that lovingly and fiercely challenge, rather than simply nice-ify, the status quo.
It's the System that Stinks
We're calling the program "The System Stinks" after a favorite protest sign of one of BPF's founders, Robert Aiken Roshi. If the whole system stinks, we need to identify what causes the smell and neutralize it at the source. A systemic problem requires a systemic solution. As political Buddhists, we need to step up our game, get together, and get much more strategic about working hand-in-hand for liberation.
However we define "The System," we are it and it is us — there is no separation. All the more reason to find out, as the Buddha did, the roots of our systemic problems and the path to collective liberation. If we don't try, who will?
Planting seeds for a new harvest of compassionate action
Over the years, Buddhist practice that works with external as well as internal conditions has gone from marginal to mainstream. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is all the rage these days; Buddhist meditation in prisons has flourished; Buddhists are active leaders in anti-death-penalty, animal rights, and environmental movements.
At the same time, we've noticed it can be easy for engaged Buddhism to get stuck at the level of the personal and local. How do we take that next step? How do we bring Buddhist political practice beyond the individual and into the collective, the systemic? The scale of stopping climate change, the scale of fostering international solidarity, the scale of transforming economics and eliminating the root causes of poverty?
Despite the higher visibility of engaged Buddhism these days, as political Buddhists it can still be lonely out there, in our sanghas and among other activists. Buddhist Peace Fellowship is one of those few, precious places where you can bring both your Buddhist and activist self, and explore how politics and dharma can support each other. A year-long conversation like "The System Stinks" will help develop a wider network of leaders with strong roots in dharma and collective action.
We need your help! What your generosity makes possible
Please donate generously today to help make The System Stinks dialogues happen in 2013.
A little goes a long ways at Buddhist Peace Fellowship. We are super light on infrastructure these days - our offices are in our bedrooms right now, so no expenses there! We're asking for help to cover the basics, including communication tools, dedicated coordination, and a commitment to share these conversations with people in prison.
Steady attention & loving coordination: A year long project with this big of scope requires steady attention and ongoing coordination of the a vast network of people contributing to this project as writers, teachers, donors, study group leaders, editors, tech support, and participants.
We'll use $23,000 for Katie and Dawn to each dedicate 10 hours per week to help hold the project together. Katie brings her amazing skills as an online media editor and community organizer who will help ensure content on Turning Wheel Media is brilliant, thoughtful, inspiring, and action-oriented. Dawn brings her expertise as a teacher, community builder, and communicator to help craft useful study guides and organizing tools that will support conversation online and in person.
For both Dawn & Katie, The System Stinks isn't just a job. It's a labor of love as we are buliding spaces to have the kinds of conversations we're yearning for as political Buddhists. Your donation helps ensure we can keep our focused attention on this project, so it can get the care and nurturing it needs to be of greatest benefit to all who participate! Not unlike nuns and monks with begging bowls, we rely on the generosity of others, and we deeply cherish each contribution.
The tools for communication: As we'll be hosting these conversations online and on the phone, we need the basic technical tools to be able to do that. We'll use $4,000 for Turning Wheel Media and the rest of the web site, tech support, and thank you gifts to people who contribute to the project as media makers, teachers, donors, and writers.
Sharing the dialogue with people in prison: While we will make many of the materials freely available online, not everyone has access to the internet. We get letters every week from our friends in prison who want information on Buddhist practice that they can apply to their lives on the inside. We will use $3,000 to get these materials and classic copies of Turning Wheel into the hands of people in prison who have requested them. We want to continue the history of not only sharing Buddhist materials with people in prison, but also lifting up their voices and perspectives as people whose lives are so directly impacted by the Prison Industrial Complex and other systems.
These are just the essentials to do this project well! And, like most nonprofit programs, this one will also include a lot of hours of unpaid work. With more funds, we'll be able to connect with a larger network of people, reach out to include folks who are newer to socially engaged Buddhism, and share BPF's resources more abundantly with the many contributors who will help make the project go.
Generosity cultivates more generosity
We treasure the opportunity to make offerings to you, our generous contributors! Check out the generously offered gifts available only by donating here to this campaign. BPF is a nonprofit organization, so the majority of your donation is tax deductible, minus the cost of mugs and such.
If you've read this far - you'll want join us in 2013 for the conversations! Everyone who donates at the $45 level or more ($30 for all the Broke Bodhisattvas out there!) will receive access to the full curriculum of The System Stinks - 6 downloadable themed readers and 12 monthly national phone calls.
We're making the contemporary writings solicited for The System Stinks freely available online at Turning Wheel Media. We want to help folks talk about these issues, regardless of ability to pay. When you donate, you'll get special, not otherwise available content including:
- curated content from Turning Wheel Media, so you can know which articles are most relevant to read
- classic, thought-provoking, diverse texts on political theory and Buddhist teachings, selected especially for our discussion
- practical study guides with an intro/overview to the topic, and provocative questions to discuss with other political Buddhists
- access to the national phone calls with prominent Buddhist teachers and political activists. It's a precious and rare opportunity to connect with other Buddhist activists to explore these big questions!
As a donor at the $45 level or greater ($30 for low-income folks), you'll also get a one-year membership to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship! If you are already a member, we'll be sure to extend your membership for a year beyond your current membership expiration date.
Even if these conversations aren't quite your thing, your donation at any level will help further the conversation about how Buddhist practices can offer not just personal liberation, but can also move us closer to collective liberation from suffering and oppression. If you have an inkling that the spiritual practices of Buddhism might be helpful to the social movements of our time, donate to The System Stinks and support others in exploring this intersection of Buddhism and activism.
Other ways you can help!
Whether you're able to contribute financially right now or not, there are lots of other ways to help!
Send the campaign link to your friends, family, activist groups, and sangha
Make an announcement about it at your next group meditation, temple service, or dharma study group
Post the campaign link on Facebook or Twitter
Download the flyer and post at your local meditation center, coffee shop, or activist workplace (find the flyer under the "Gallery" tab)
Indiegogo's share tools make it easy to spread the word online, and the more people get on board with the project now, the richer our dialogues will be in the new year. We can't wait to explore with you how The System Stinks and what we're going to do about it!
With endless gratitude for your support!
Katie, Dawn, Stephen, and everyone at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship