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Marginalized Bodies and Liberatory Inclusion: How to be a Dharma Freak
Dates: May 07, 2021 - May 09, 2021
Online Course

Instructor(s): Bee Scherer

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What can Buddhist practice offer those of us living on the margins because of our impairments, or because we experience the world in neurodiverse ways, or we are marginalized because of our bodies, skin, sex, gender, or sexuality? In this weekend retreat we will seek to be at home in our variable, atypical bodies and our different ways of being in the world in a Buddhist context. Sometimes, Buddhist contexts, as part of the wider culture, keep us in the margins. In our time together, we will seek to create a liberating space through practice and understanding.

Drawing on buddhadharma, dis/ability studies, and queer theory we will seek to understand: 

  • how our societies expect us to be, look, and function; 
  • the lived experience of marginalized bodies;
  • where there is discrimination and how liberatory inclusion is possible.

Through presentations, discussions, and guided meditations we will explore how to create (self-)acceptance and Buddhist spaces of belonging. And, we will explore how we can incorporate our physical and neurological diversity in our own practice of meditation, devotion, and social engagement.

As we work to become a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming; please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.

Online Study retreat: This study retreat will be hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform and closed captions are available. 

Our intention is to build sangha and provide meaningful virtual interactions with each other and with teachers in our online retreats. When registering for an online retreat, please plan to attend as many sessions as possible. The schedule of Zoom meetings for this retreat (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows

Friday, May 7

1:00 – 3:30 pm, Session 1: I am a Freak – Loving the Atypical Body 

7:00 – 7:30 pm, optional meditation (Zoom)

Saturday, May 8

8:00 – 8:30 am, optional meditation (Zoom)

9:30 am – 12:00 pm, Session 2: What’s Karma Got to Do with It? Buddhist Bullies and Buddies

1:00 – 3:30 pm, Session 3: Meditation: Love Pervading All 

7:00 – 7:30 pm, optional meditation (Zoom)

Sunday, May 9

8:00 – 8:30 am, optional meditation (Zoom)

9:30 am – 12:00 pm, Session 4: Woke and Awakening: Engaging All Buddhist Embodiments

Please check the time of the group meetings in your timezone here, and please note that sessions will not be recorded.

Registration fees for online study retreats are nonrefundable after the study retreat start date. Cancellations prior to the start date of the study retreat will incur a $25 admin fee. Thank you for your understanding.

  • Bee Scherer has been practicing for decades in the Sakya and Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and has served as a dharma teacher for fifteen years. A former professor of Religious and Gender Studies at Canterbury CCU, in the U.K., Bee now heads Buddhist Studies and Buddhist Spiritual Care at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Trained in a number of classical Buddhist languages, Bee has published widely in Buddhist Studies as well as gender and sexuality theory. Both as an academic and as a queer/non-binary/trans* & dis/ability advocate, Bee brings their unique perspective to Buddhist practice, embodiment and social engagement.

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