Gay Pride means many different things to different people, but for some, it is a way to bear witness to the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people, and seek a more just and fair society.  So, I was very pleased to receive a message today, that members of the Pittsburgh Buddhist community will be participating in Pittsburgh Pride.

Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Buddha took the outrageous step of ordaining women into the fledgling order of monks. For that bold move, we are eternally grateful! Buddhism has continued to be a leader in social change. Inequality and injustice fed by ignorance and hate can be found lurking in the dark of even the most generous and kind person. Sitting quietly, we shine a light on these dark recesses of our minds.

Sometimes, it is most appropriate to make a public statement of support of our desire for a just and peaceful world. We’ll be doing just that this Sunday by joining in the  Pride Pittsburgh walk supporting the rights of the LGBT communities.

The Rainbow Buddhist group has had a contingent in the Pride march before. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to be asked to carry the Buddha along the march route, and it was for me a reflective time. Not quite a walking meditation, but a reflective period none-the-less. I’m not sure if the broader Pittsburgh Buddhist community has participated before or not, but either way, it is exciting to see!

I’m especially touched by the wording here, as it suggests a Buddhist mind set. Here, we are talking about the Pittsburgh Pride walk instead of a Pride march. A walking meditation is a part of many Buddhist’s daily practice, and in this way brings their practice to Pride as well as takes Pride back into a daily practice. Walking, accurately describes the practical activity too, and suggests taking a slower pace, and using that time to be very present in the action of being a part of the whole experience.

Pride means many different things to different people, and people make the experience of Pride their own, bring to it, and taking away from it different things. I hope to see you at Pride, and may it be everything it can be for you.

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