8 June 2011
Winter and Spring (and now Summer)have been productive here at Clear View Project. Because you have supported us – either recently or in the past – I want to talk about our accomplishments this year, and ask for your continuing support so that we can maintain our engaged Buddhism work in Asia and the United States. If you have already mailed in a donation, thanks so much.
In April Clear View hosted senior Saffron Revolution monk U Pyinya Zawta in the Bay Area. U Pyinya Zawta is Executive Director in Exile of the All Burma Monks’ Alliance. He gave talks at Berkeley Zen Center, UC Berkeley, and the Metta Center for Nonviolence, as well as co-leading a daylong retreat at Spirit Rock with Tempel Smith and myself. Many thanks to Clear View’s Margaret Howe for organizing and Kenneth Wong for first-class translation.
Last summer, along with exiled monks U Gawsita and U Agga, U Pyinya Zawta founded the Metta Parami Monastery in Brooklyn, NY, where he practices and serves his community in the U.S. and Burma.
Our Adopt a Monk from the Saffron Revolution program continues letter writing and emergency funding for more than 250 monks and nuns in Burma’s prisons and in exile throughout the world. So far this year we have helped raise more than $4000 towards their support, with additional funds in the pipeline.
Burma’s jewel-like Inle Lake, in Shan State, is dying from an overload of pesticides, sewage, and unsustainable agriculture. This threatens not just the lake, but the health and livelihood of more than 70,000 people who live by its shores. Clear View, with primary support from Dharma Gaia Trust, is helping to fund Burma’s Buddhist Youth Empowerment Project’s (BYEP) Inle Lake Watershed Rehabilitation Program. We have just transferred $5000 in support to BYEP. Project leadership is based in Burma, involving good friends from International Network of Engaged Buddhist circles.
I returned to India in March, following up on work last winter with Dalit Buddhist youth at Nagaloka, a remarkable school and training center in Nagpur. With more time this year, I taught about issues of gender – how gender roles and caste discrimination manifest in India, affecting young Dalit women and men, and how Buddhist teachings can be used as a tool for gender and caste liberation.
Clear View has made a commitment to continue teaching annually at Nagaloka each, working with young engaged Buddhists from all over India. We were able to bring over $1500 on this trip for direct support of Nagaloka students. And we are about to transfer another $1500 in the next few weeks. It costs roughly $300 for each student’s 10-month training. They return to their villages and towns as dharma teachers and community organizers, tied in to a national network of Buddhist activists. Your support for these wonderful young people is deeply appreciated.On the heels of teaching at Nagaloka, I joined INEB’s Think Sangha in Mumbai, continuing on to Dalit communities in Nagpur and Tibetan settlements and Indian groups in North India at the edge of the Himalayas. Think Sangha is a diverse group of Buddhist social analysts – old friends, dharma teachers, and community organizers from Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, India, Japan, Australia, and the U.S. Our purpose was to investigate and reflect about our experience and vision of engaged Buddhist communities in India and in our own centers and communities at home. This was a wonderful and harmonious journey, and from the richness of our experience we left with perhaps more questions than we had arrived with. I have written about this on the new Clear View blog <clearviewblog.org> and there will be more reflections to come.
|Students at Nagaloka in Nagpur
Early this year my friend Jarvis Masters – writer, practitioner, and innocent man on California’s Death Row – had a set of evidentiary hearings at Marin County courthouse. His lawyers skillfully deconstructed the case that led to Jarvis’s 1990 conviction. I tracked these hearings on the Clear View blog, and they are still there, available to read. The outcome of these hearings is not yet conclusive, but I feel that groundwork is well-established for a new trial and Jarvis’s long-awaited return to our community.
Clear View Project continues as the sponsoring organization for the meditation group at FCI-Dublin, a federal prison for women forty minutes from Berkeley. For thirteen years I have coordinated and been part of a team that meets weekly with a highly-diverse group of twenty-five women in the prison. Over these years our team has seen lives change inside and outside the prison bars.
The Bodhisattva’s Embrace
My book The Bodhisattva’s Embrace: Dispatches From Engaged Buddhism’s Front Lines – from Clear View Press, has been out for eight months, and is selling slowly but steadily, with the help of excellent reviews inTurning Wheel, Tricycle, Inquiring Mind, and Seeds of Peace. Joanna Macy says this about the book:
For friends and followers of the Dharma, this collection illumines the promise of our practice and its relevance to our world today. Shorn of sentimentality and electric with caring, Alan Senauke is a trustworthy guide. His essays serve me both as reports from the field and inspirational reading.
You can purchase a copy for $15 (plus postage) from the Clear View website www.clearviewproject.org or from Amazon.com. We will gladly send a signed copy to any donor who sends Clear View a donation of $200 or more.
What We Need
Our work is only possible with your generosity and support. Overhead and administrative costs are minimal. Our commitment is to work for those who are most oppressed at home and around the world. We are limited only by time and money. You can make a difference.
Please put a check in the enclosed envelope today. We are also able to accept gifts of stock or designated program funds from foundations, and can help you work out the details.We are always grateful for your friendship. Let us know if you have any suggestions or questions. Stay in touch.
Warmly, in peace,
Clear View Project is an affiliate of Buddhist Peace Fellowship, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Clear View is working under BPF’s fiscal sponsorship. Your donations to Clear View Project are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.