Red State Vihara, Again

William B. Turner
3 min readJan 20
The Buddha

I keep thinking that I need to advertise Red State Vihara more than I do. I suck at self promotion.

I hate advertising. I am still not clear on whether any research shows that it works. I could look it up, but I don’t care that much, and I’m not sure I see how anyone could design a convincing way to study the question.

I really have a hard time believing, regardless, that anyone who can figure out how to watch YouTube videos does not also already know about Facebook and TikTok, yet those are the ads I see most commonly on YouTube.

I am on the Buddhist path mostly because i think the Buddha was right and the Christianity of my youth makes zero sense. These are my explicit reasons in the larger context of my suspicion that most people are wrong, or not right, most of the time, so doing what most people do is likely not the best bet.

But large groups of people sort of create their reality by sheer force of numbers. We are functionally a Chrisitan nation if only because nearly everyone defaults to some version of Christian belief for their moral theories and their world view, or so I gather from what they say.

My writing on Buddhism is a monument of sorts to the Buddhist path, one that is readily available the world over to anyone who can read English, which is much of the world, thanks to Christian colonization/invasions.

Red State Vihara will be even more of a monument to the Buddhist path. Less accessible for being a physical location that one must travel to, but it will obviously have a web site to publicize what is going on there.

It will have a large meditation hall as its central feature, wiht an altar of some sort, although I’m not big on altars. The practice is what matters on the Buddhist path in my mind. It will have a large kitchen and adjacent dining area where lots of people can cook and eat. It will have sleeping quarters, mostly dormitory like. Monks and nuns do not live luxurious lives. That is part of the point. The Buddha forbade them from sleeping on “high beds.” Monks and nuns have at least eight precepts, instead of the five lay people have, the Eighth being the precept that prohibits a “high or luxurious sleeping place.” It will have a library. It will have kutis, or small meditation huts, free standing concrete rooms with a raised platform for sleeping and small porch that anyone can use for long term meditation retreats. The point of a kuti is that anyone who is staying in one has nothing else to do but meditate actively, or sit with their own mind any other time. People spend months, sometimes years, living in kutis.

So, plan your stay in a kuti ;-). Two weeks is good to start with.

It will be an oasis of peace in a tumultous, often violent world.

You can help make it happen. The link to donate is here.

Thanks to everyone who has already donated.

William B. Turner

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.