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Health & Healing for Radical Buddhists

The Buddha woke up to the suffering of the world when faced with old age, sickness, and death. As practitioners, we are encouraged to view our own experiences of illness, aging, and impending death as dharma doors to enlightenment. At the same time, as Buddhist radicals, we know that oppression means these universal sufferings affect each of us differently. Health is intimate, but also systemic: it’s impossible to locate wellness solely within the individual person. Biologically, socially, and spiritually, health reveals our interconnected existence.

This August, we invite submissions that help us expand our ideas about health and healing beyond “the personal journey of healing” that too often dominates the mainstream spiritual narrative. What else does health mean to us?

Health means revolting against genocide and ecocide.

Health means abolishing prisons and policing, heteropatriarchy, and capitalism.

Health means controlling collectively the things we all need to survive and thrive.

Health means eviction-free zones.

Health means dismantling the profiteering systems that destroy our forests, poison our food, contaminate our air, and tamper with this planet, all while forcing poor people to bear the brunt.

Health means transforming our caregiving work to actively oppose racist, sexist, and ableist divisions of labor.

Health means organizing port strikes to stop the export and import of weapons.

Health means assembling teams of street medics and radical mental wellness collectives.

Health means controlling our own fertility, debunking the “obesity epidemic,” teaching body-positive and pro-queer sexuality, and deposing the ruling class.

It is not easy to live with a human mind and body, especially in a world filled with structural violence and oppression. And so, through compassion, we come to wish wellness for all beings. Not only wish for it, but fight for it — not individually, but together.

For the month of August at Turning Wheel Media, help us highlight issues of health and healing!  Submit your prose, poetry, photographs, interviews, video, audio, and multi-media work by July 18th to submissions@turningwheelmedia.org. We welcome submissions from Buddhist, spiritual, and secular perspectives, though we will usually prioritize work grounded in Buddhadharma.  We will also prioritize work with strong analysis of racism, gender and sexuality justice, ableism, capitalism / class war, and internationalism.  Please read our submission guidelines, and send in your work by the deadline of 18 July 2012!

With gratitude, toward the liberation of all beings,

Turning Wheel Media

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[Picket signs from a one-day strike by the California Nurses Association, 12 June 2012. Photo by katie loncke]

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© 2012 Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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