In March this year, Sydney World Pride put a rainbow spotlight on our city to celebrate our diverse community and welcome LGBTQIA people from around the world.
BCNSW member, Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community, held a morning meditation and picnic at the Botanical Gardens to connect visiting and local queer Buddhists for spiritual friendship and community practice.
It was a gorgeously warm and sunny day. The gardens were pulsing with vitality and the harbour was sparkling in the sunshine. Over 30 people attended, including folks from all across the rainbow spectrum, with people from different cultural backgrounds, both locals and visitors from overseas.
Meditation on Love and Pride
Rainbodhi founder and BCNSW Board member, Bhante Akaliko, led the session, offering a rainbow pride loving kindness meditation. Speaking about this practice, he said:
LGBTQIA+ people often have complicated relationships with their bodies, sexuality and identities, including self-loathing and lack of self esteem. This is because society, religion and families have historically rejected, oppressed and stigmatised the parts of our self that make us queer and so we end up internalising this as self hatred. That’s why it’s so important for us to redress this through self acceptance and self love, so that we provide ourselves with the love we need to feel good and comfortable being our true authentic selves.
In this rainbow pride metta meditation, we honour our queer selves and celebrate our rainbow community. It begins by sending love to parts of ourselves that need it, extending that love to our rainbow family and allies and radiating love to all beings, even including those who oppress and harm LGBTQIA+ communities around the world. In this way we fill our mind with love purify our mind of hate so that we don’t harm other beings. Love is bigger and stronger than hate and love will always win.
After the meditation, attendees shared a picnic lunch, chatting and making new friends with other queer Buddhists. After the event, we made spontaneous visit to the Art Gallery of NSW whilst some folks went on to other events, including getting ready for the Mardi Gras parade nearby. It was a lovely day of queer celebration, friendship and spirituality.
Discover more about Rainbodhi
Find out more about Rainbodhi, including upcoming events and how you can connect with your queer Buddhist community on the website below. Rainbodhi also has inclusivity resources to help your Buddhist centre become more welcoming and supportive for LGBTQIA+ Buddhists.
Listen to a rainbow pride meditation in the video below: