My Buddha Is Pink
MY BUDDHA IS PINK: Buddhism From a LGBTQI Perspective
By Richard Harrold
ISBN 978-1-896559-49-0 (softcover). 144 pages. 6 x 9
Just what does the Third Precept mean for the gay Buddhist? Is being gay a consequence for something we did in a “previous life?” What is meditation and how do you get started?
My Buddha Is Pink is a collection of essays designed to help gay practitioners follow the Buddha’s path without getting lost in dogma. As with other major religions of the world, there are portions of Buddhism that have persisted through the years that can come off as homophobic at worst, or at the minimum, restrictive toward the LGBTQ community. This book seeks to slice through the dogma and hone in on Buddhism’s basics to guide the solo practitioner on a skillful course toward a more fulfilling life.
Buddhism isn’t so much a religion, but rather a philosophy on how to live a life that brings more happiness and nurtures behavior that is harmless toward other living beings. It’s not a passive belief system, but one that allows a practitioner to be engaged with the world without being ensnared by the traps that surrounds our daily lives – deceit, self-absorption, and consumerism. It’s a doctrine that can help you understand your own greed, hatred, and delusion, which in turn helps you to identify these in others as well, so you can limit contact with them.
But more than anything, My Buddha Is Pink is a fun and lighthearted look at being a happy and healthy modern gay Buddhist in an environment where homophobia remains an issue.
Part I The Basics
1 Coming Out and Buddhism
2 Are They All Wicked Little Towns?
3 It’s a lay life
4 Four Noble Truths for gays
5 Three-Legged Stool
6 Five Precepts
7 Let’s Talk About Sex
Part II The Noble Eightfold Path
8 Right View
9 Right Intention
10 Right Speech
11 Right Action
12 Right Livelihood
13 Right Effort
14 Right Mindfulness
15 Right Concentration
Part III The Layperson’s Path to Peace
16 Developing a Meditation Practice
17 Reaping the Benefits of Your Meditation Practice
18 Beyond Breath: Meditations on Body and Death
19 Right and Wrong and the Pitfalls of Relativism
20 The Elements of Kamma
21 Buddhism for the modern homosexual and gender identity variant
About the Author
Richard Harrold has been practicing Buddhism for about 20 years, in the Thai Forest Theravada tradition. His blog, My Buddha Is Pink, which ran from 2009-2014, offered a pioneering gay Buddhist perspective for Western practitioners. The blog continues to have visitors and has accumulated nearly 200,000 pageviews since its launch. The essays here are based on that blog and his long practice, including five years under the guidance of Ajahn Khemasanto at Wat Dhammasala Forest Monastery in Perry, Michigan.
Listen to Richard interviewed by Ted Meissner on The Secular Buddhist podcast...
Listen to Richard interviewed by John Marszalek on the Queer Voices of the South podcast...
Reviewed in the 2022 issue of Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies...