15th Annual Buddhist Festival in the Park
June 2, 2018
11 am to 4:30 pm
Colonel Summers Park
SE 17th and Taylor St, Portland, Oregon

Contact bpfportland@yahoo.com for more information.

Coming years: June 1, 2019; June 6, 2020.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Update Regarding Buddhist Festival in the Park

This festival will not be called "Change Your Mind Day" here in Portland.

Here is my letter to the Portland Buddhist Community:

It has come to my attention that there is good reason not to associate Portland's Buddhist Festival in the Park with Tricycle's Change Your Mind Day. Considering there already has been ambivalence from some of you over the name "Change Your Mind Day" and from others over Tricycle, this recent development tips the scale for those of us involved in the planning. With the growing strength of our connections to each other through the Northwest Dharma Association, we also feel we don't need the national connection via Tricycle.

We will still have our Buddhist Festival in the Park on June 3, and I am still looking for support from you in the planning. So far Oregon Buddhist Temple, Nichiren Buddhist Temple, and my group, Portland BPF, have indicated intent to help. We may conduct most of our planning via email. At this late date, I doubt we will change the format significantly.

I plan to write a letter to Tricycle explaining our withdrawal. Before I send it, and before I publish it on our web page I will share it with you and welcome your feedback. I hope those of you who feel strongly about this will want to co-sign it. Long story short: last year Tricycle began receiving funding from the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation. Recipients of funds are asked to distribute published works of Frederick P Lenz, once known as Zen Master Rama, a coercive cult leader with no affiliation to a particular Zen lineage. Since Tricycle gave no explicit directions regarding those materials, some of the planners last year simply recycled the books. This year, quite a few American Zen teachers sent a letter to Tricycle asking the magazine to sever the connection to the Lenz Foundation. The Zen teachers felt, as does Portland BPF, that such a connection lends undue legitimacy to Zen Master Rama. Personally I find it very disturbing that followers of this dead cult leader are remaking the 'brand' of their dubious teacher much the same way Rajneeshis are marketing Bhagwan Rajneesh as 'Osho'. Sadly, Tricycle's response to the American Zen teachers was dismissive, much the same way they responded to our concerns last year.

If any of you have concerns about severing the connection to Tricycle, please let me know. At first I intended to send a survey out asking how this would affect your participation, but considering the history of ambivalence, I was pretty sure about the response I'd get. Let me know if you have anything you'd like to say in the letter to Tricycle.