Queer Dharma Circle, in one of its manifestations, blends Buddhist and Yoga Dharma with Radical Faerie queer culture and ecological spirituality.
MAGICAL: Using the tactile and sensual materials of the earth, we practice ritual connection with the Earth and with each other.
Summer workshop: Masque and Magic. Materials are shaped into masque, and with music and masque we transcend the smallness of self to dance in a magical world.
From the Yoga and Hindu traditions, we cultivate an awakening around gender and sexuality. The Yoga-Hindu tradition has always elevated feminine deities (Devi) and bi-gendered deities (Shiva/Shakti) and feminine cosmology. It has openly honored sexuality and homosexuality in sacred art. It has always recognized Third Gender persons (trityapakriti) and provides a sacred and communal role for Third Gender persons. So in our practice, we also cultivate the feminine and gender non-conformity.
Buddhism has always recognized the suffering of race, caste and class. The early Buddhist sangha was an attempt to establish a new social architecture that does not privilege racial, caste or class divisions and hierarchy. So in our practice we investigate racialized identities: whiteness and blackness and ‘otherness’. We work with undoing white conditioning, gaining insight into the tensions and gifts of difference in color, culture, language and ethnicity. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar is one of our foundational teachers who taught Buddhism as a path to end racism, caste and class oppression.
For those of us who are Westerners, we strive to understand the Asian roots of Buddhism and Yoga practice and honor that legacy.
For those of us who are labeled ‘white’, we work with Ruth King’s Mindful of Race practice. Through White Awake we recognize that white supremacy is a feature of capitalist civilization situated in a particular historical period; we were not always ‘white’. We practice connecting with our ancestral heritage, our Roots Deeper than Whiteness. Likewise, we recognize the white colonialist legacy that has enslaved, slaughtered and displaced the indigenous peoples of Africa, Asia and the Americas. Through Unsettling America, we work to Unsettle Ourselves.
Both Yoga and Buddhist cultural legacies have recognized and honored different embodiment: deities in animal embodiments (Ganesha, Hanuman), sacred healing in plant embodiments (Ayurveda, Bodhi Tree), and our connectedness to all forms of living embodiment in the process of evolution (karma/rebirth).
Radical Faerie culture is the only living spiritual tradition that valorizes and cultivates the spirituality of queer people. While other religions ‘recognize’ or ‘allow’ queer people, the Radical Faeries are the only living tradition that actually understands what it is about being ‘queer’ that is ‘spiritual’ and centralizes that experience.
While queer culture has valorized queer gender and sexuality, it has often oppressed other forms of embodiment: the elderly, the voluptuous, and the differently-abled. Queer Dharma valorizes elder wisdom, voluptuous beauty and differently-abled embodiments.
Finally, through ecological spiritual practice, we recognize and honor Gaia as our living earth body. We awaken through knowledge and practice of deep ecology, systems theory, and eco-spirituality. On the Farm and in our political practice, we work toward the regeneration of the biosphere to end the ecological harm that privileges one species, human beings, over all other living species.
MAGICAL REALISM is the alchemical transformation of self and society through shared cultural practice and conscious awakening in all forms of embodiment.