photo of Ray Buckner

Ray Buckner

Ray Buckner is a PhD Student in Religious Studies at Northwestern University. His research examines sexual violence in American Buddhism and transgender experiences with Buddhism in the United States. Ray’s article, “Buddhist Teachers’ Responses to Sexual Violence: Epistemological Violence in American Buddhism” (2020), was published in The Journal of Global Buddhism. Ray’s article, “Zen in Distress: Theorizing Gender Dysphoria and Traumatic Remembrance within Sōtō Zen Meditation” (2020), was published in Religions.

Recent Articles

Finding Home on My Path of Transition

On the Transgender Day of Visibility, Ray Buckner shares his journey to find home on both the Buddhist path and the path of transition.

Phoebe Bridgers: Her Music as Meditation

Ray Buckner on how Grammy nominee Phoebe Bridgers’ music is a spiritual friend, a path forward into the unknown.

The Murder of George Floyd Must Be a Wake-Up Call for White Buddhists

In this commentary from Ray Buckner, they urge white Buddhists to see the call for the end of white supremacy as a Buddhist call to "make this life livable for all sentient beings."

The Undefended Heart

The way to helpful communication in difficult situations, says Ray Buckner, is by pausing, creating space, and listening to your body and mind.

Our Opportunity to Include All Genders in Buddhist Communities

As a trans practitioner, Ray Buckner has struggled to find a sense of belonging in Buddhist spaces. They offer suggestions for how we can better support sangha members of all genders.

Three Buddhas

How the Three Jewels Healed My Heart After Abuse

In the midst of an abusive relationship, Buddhist practitioner Ray Buckner says the three jewels were painfully absent from their life.

The Fleeting Feeling of Joy

A few months ago, I went out for a night of dancing in the Castro district of San Francisco. Gay men danced amongst queer women, who danced amongst gender-queers. Dancing in a circle, we sang along to the music of Adele, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga — music filled with words that encouraged us to love…

See Us Clearly: A Buddhist’s View of Transgender Visibility

In recognition of the International Transgender Day of Visibility, Ray Buckner shares a personal view of what it means to be Buddhist, gender-queer, and trans.

Healthy Desire: A Buddhist’s View of Mindfulness & Sex

Buddhist practitioner Ray Buckner shares how bringing mindfulness into sex helps us develop a healthier relationship with both ourselves and our partner, and deepens our connection between mind and body.

Countering Oppression by Cultivating Peace

What started as a mindful walk became a personal "disturbance of the peace." Ray Buckner on how taking a moment to pause can transform a negative situation.

Even a Broken Heart is Fundamentally Good

Buddhist practitioner Ray Buckner on the struggles of letting go after a relationship ends, and how being on the dharma path can help.