Developing Trans*Competence: A Guide for Meditation and Retreat Centers

We are thrilled to announce the release of Developing Trans*Competence: A Short Guide to Improving Transgender Experiences at Meditation and Retreat Centers. Written and edited by a group of transgender Buddhists from across the United States and a few of our committed allies, the guide offers a vision for sangha spaces that are fully welcoming to transgender practitioners. By breaking down common problems faced by trans* folks when visiting spiritual centers, the guide offers a deeper understanding of trans* people’s experiences as well as structural solutions that can be implemented in a sangha.

This guide is steeped in our personal practices and our experiences with the dharma. As Buddhists, when we practice kind awareness, or mindfulness, we practice being intimate with what we encounter in each moment, on both the internal and interpersonal levels.

In order to fully do this in an organized practice setting, one must feel safe and at ease, and be able to be vulnerable. To create these conditions, sanghas must actively work to undo subtle and explicit oppression. Developing Trans*Competence is a tool to be used to make Buddhist spaces safer, more just, and more accessible to trans* practitioners.

With gratitude,

Audrey Renson, Chance Krempasky, and Finn Schubert

“And how does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? By the repeated and frequent practice of meditation .

And how does one, in protecting others, protect oneself? By patience and forbearance, by a non-violent and harmless life, by loving kindness and compassion.”

-From the Satipatthana Samyutta, No. 19

High-Resolution Download

Download the digital guide, for use on computers, tablets, or e-readers (PDF)

Download the printable booklet version (PDF)

To print, open in any PDF viewer (Acrobat, Preview etc.). Set to print double sided, and select “Flip on short edge.” Keep in order and fold when printed.

Order Professionally Printed Copies

Smaller File Sizes

The below files are the same as above, but with smaller file sizes (lower resolution), so that they are easier to email or to download on slower connections.

Download the digital guide, for use on computers, tablets, or e-readers (PDF)

Download the printable booklet version (PDF)

To print, open in any PDF viewer (Acrobat, Preview etc.). Set to print double sided, and select “Flip on short edge.” Keep in order and fold when printed.Download file for reading on computer

One thought on “Developing Trans*Competence: A Guide for Meditation and Retreat Centers

  1. I’ve been arguing this sediment from the beginning of my Dharma practice. I’m not even apart of the LGBT community (other than friends). I’m a straight male.

    It’s laughable to be in these ‘progressive’ Sangha communities and then on retreats go back to the 1950’s style of sectioning us based on gender. It’s not that I want or don’t want to hangout in the females dorm or be around old men or non-conforming genders. It’s only very apparent in the daily run of the centers that our gender population is more diverse than other religious institutions (open about it) and we should be the first to open our hearts and minds to support everyone being shunned by larger societies, in whatever way they see fit. It irritates me to think that when Sanghas in lots of our Dharma centers have straight people as the minority and then they go on retreats and neglect for the most part LGBTs and segregate based on arbitrary ideals of archaic societal views that don’t mean anything.

    I’m all in support of your mission and hope it gets adapted into all Dharma centers because this is something that if any religious organization would adopt it would be and should be the Buddhists.

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