The Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship is a coalition of Buddhists and like-minded individuals dedicated to serving as a proactive force for peace, social and economic justice, and a sustainable environment.
Founded in February 2003, WBPF is an independently operated Washington, D.C. area chapter of the national Buddhist Peace Fellowship, which formed in 1978. We are inspired and guided by the wisdom and compassion of the buddhadharma as well as contemporary nonviolent, progressive movements for social transformation. As the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh explains, "Peace is not simply the absence of violence; it is the cultivation of understanding, insight and compassion, combined with action." *
WBPF holds public meetings and sponsors a wide variety of talks, workshops, retreats and other programs with spiritual leaders, peace facilitators and experts in conflict resolution to help develop skills for the effective promotion of peaceful change. In addition, we work closely with other peace organizations to optimize mutual understanding and cooperative efforts. The WBPF website hosts a discussion forum and provides news, information and resources such as links to local dharma centers, notices of upcoming Buddhist teachings, peace events and links to other groups.
As an organization, we recognize the importance of individual contemplative practice and mindfulness as the foundation for inner peace to maintain a strong community of mutual support and fellowship for members. Further, we seek to encourage and nurture awareness among U.S. and world leaders as well as the public at large of dharma principles that show the way of peace, namely that all sentient beings are interconnected and interdependent. From such understanding, compassion for all beings naturally emerges along with the possibility of breaking the hold of a seemingly endless cycle of aggression, retribution and needless suffering.
Cofounders of WBPF:
Tara Brach, Ph.D. is the founder and senior teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and author of Radical Acceptance -- Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha (Bantam, 2003). tarabrach.com
Hugh Byrne, Ph.D. is a Buddhist contributing minister at Georgetown University and teaches courses on Buddhism and meditation at the Smithsonian Institution. hugh-byrne.com
*Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen master, scholar and peace activist whose concept of Engaged Buddhism [mindfulness plus social action] emerged from his experience during the Vietnam War, when he realized that "it is truly possible to live happily and free from hatred, even among people who hate us." plumvillage.org