Queer Dharma Circle is a place for people to heal and grow, connect with nature, open up to love and recovery, and face the world with courage. Located at Bird Hill Farm in the town of Ware, central Massachusetts.
Queer Dharma Circle is a collective of dharma punks and radical faeries, mother earth lovers, yogis and recovery rogues, peaceniks and rabble rousers, artists and musicians, transfolk, drag kings and queens. We are recovering from mindless domination, growing the conscious resistence movement in America.
Queer Dharma Circle began on Winter Solstice 2016 as the impossible dream of two friends, Vance and Shaun, for a place of radical refuge for queers all colours, genders, abilities and spiritualities. This dream soon became a reality at Bird Hill Farm in Ware, MA. Sometimes your wildest dreams do come true.
QDC is an alcohol, drug and smoke-free space. Please respect our request for abstinance while at the farm.
Guides for Spiritual Life at Queer Dharma Circle
Ground Rules for Queer Dharma Circle
Respect for diverse identities and spiritualities in the Circle: Queer Dharma Circle strives to create a refuge that is both a safe and a courageous space for honest communication.
Safe, sane and consensual are the basic ground rules for expression of one’s sexuality in the context of the Circle.
Guides for Practice in the Circle
Jouissance and Lila
Jouissance (per Lacan) is an exuberance of life; an enjoyment of life beyond the pleasure principle. Thus Queer Jouissance, as a spiritual principle, is an exuberance of queer embodiment and culture, an enjoyment of queer expression beyond the pleasure principle towards spiritual empowerment.
Lila is Creative Play; Lila is a way of describing all reality, the cosmos, as the outcome of creative play. (see Sri Aurobindo: The Synthesis of Yoga).
Liberation: compassion, non-judgement and mutual acceptance.
Practices: All practices integrate connection with the natural beauty of the Farm and surrounding environs.
Music & Chant
Queer Dharma Circle Organizatoinal Form:
It’s time for a new model of sangha: the encuentro. Taken from the autonomist and horizontalist movements found in the Zapatista, Argentine, Occupy and Indignados movements, the encuentro is a form of self-organized community. There are no leaders, no teachers, no organizers, no priests, monks, lamas or gurus. It’s a peer-organized group that decides what they will discuss and how they will carry out their own agenda. I pioneered this style of dharma organization with Meta Buddhist Inquiry, also known as XPostNon. We had been meeting for over a year in a small group, bringing forward our deepest concerns, fears, hopes and joys, discussing all our doubts, objections, questions and aspirations regrading dharma and practice. There is no lineage, no specified practice. There is only an open question: what concerns us about the dharma?
Marina Sitrin, author of Everyday Revolutions, defines encuentro as “a reflection: reflecting on what we’ve experienced, what we learned; creating new theory about what we experienced.” She defines it further in Occupying Language, her primer on the ideology of the horizontalist movements of Latin America and the Occupy movement:
Encuentro means a coming together, generally with horizontal relational forms, but unlike an assembly, an encuentro does not need to have the desired end of a discussion or consensus; it is the gathering, the process, that is the goal. The reason for the encuentro is the coming together…The Zapatista concept of “un mundo donde quepan muchos mundos (one world in which many words fit) has also been brought into the meaning of encuentro, so that rather than being thought of as a place to make a single, unifying program, a gathering is instead a place where all can come together with all of our differences and diversity. (Sitrin: Occupying Language).