Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Just Another Dharma Bum: Buddhist Teacher Caitriona Reed

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Just Another Dharma Bum: Buddhist Teacher Caitriona Reed

Article excerpt

When you think of meditation, a few things might come to mind: peace, tranquility, struggling to sit cross-legged--but queer politics? For Buddhist teacher and male-to-female trans woman Caitriona Reed, it's all part of the dharma. And at Manzanita Village, a retreat center tucked away in the mountains two hours outside Los Angeles that she cofounded with her longtime partner, Buddhism has never been so queer.

At Manzanita, so named for the little apple trees that populate the property, you'll find traditional workshops like meditation and mindfulness, incorporating teachings of Zen and Vipassana practices. But you'll also find retreats for the politically minded, such as Sanctuary, a two-year training for activists, and Circles, an inclusive retreat for anyone questioning traditional gender roles.

Reed describes Manzanita Village's approach to Buddhism as "our own lineage, a nonlineage, a queer lineage." It resists definitions and boundaries, just like living queer is about living outside binaries of straight/gay and male/female, she says. As such, Manzanita Village is not advertised as an expressly LGBT retreat center. …

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