SEATTLE—The North American Buddhist Alliance (NABA) has announced a gathering to take place before the upcoming Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto on 31 October from 10am–5pm. The aim of the program, “On Inclusion!” is to bring together Buddhists from across North America from diverse backgrounds to discuss issues of inclusion.
NABA, non-profit organization formed in 2015 to act as an information hub for Buddhist communities across North America, has focused heavily on issues of race, justice, inclusion, and diversity, featuring monthly live call-in discussions for people of color for racial justice as well as for allies committed to the same cause. Their mission includes the aim to “foster inclusive and equitable collaboration, communication, and interaction among Buddhists and Buddhist groups.” (NABA)
In their invitation to the Toronto gathering, they write:
According to Mahayana texts, humanity experiences some eras more uplifting than others. From the age of enlightenment to the age of spiritual deepening, the age of religious institutions and their brick and mortar to the age of conflict, it should be obvious that we in this hemisphere are currently at the epitome of polarization, contention, and constant squabbles.
While it’s difficult to push back the tidal wave of an era, we must diffuse tsunamis of explosives, toxicity, and harm against the other. Not to mention as Buddhists, we know that our good works now will shape a better future for those to come.
It seems our sacred calling now to transform divisions into inclusions — be it race, gender, religion, or other causes for divisiveness. This gathering offers a reflection, ultimately on examining the false-self erecting walls of spite, the oppositions between us and them, you and me. This blessed opportunity offers up a collective expression of Buddhists who live out the Dharmas of interdependence and interrelatedness.
North American Buddhist Alliance and participating Buddhist teachers and leaders, including at least Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Reverend Toshikazu Kenjitsu Nakagaki, Reverend Bup Hee, and others, invite Buddhists across the region to manifest inclusivity through courage, compassion, and wisdom on October 31st!
Register before September 11 for a limited number of complementary tickets at: shorturl.at/djmUY
The Parliament of the World’s Religions will follow in Toronto from 1–7 November and includes Buddhist leaders His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa, Karma Lekshe Tsomo, and historian of religions Karen Armstrong, whose book on the Buddha was a New York Times Best Seller. The parliament carries on a tradition dating to the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago of fostering a global dialogue among faith traditions.
10/31 On Inclusion! NABA’s 2018 Buddhist Intrafaith Gathering (North American Buddhist Alliance)