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Make Black Friday Brown: Online Event to Resist Consumerism

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November 24, 2023 @ 9:00 am 11:00 am PST

Monastics Offer Mindful Alternative to Holiday Shopping Spree

A Culture of Resistance – join the monks and nuns for a moment of togetherness, joy and resistance. Let’s come together and support one another to resist the temptation to get more things, to re-establish our sense of sovereignty and belonging, and to remind ourselves that we are enough and that we do have more than enough conditions to be happy right here in this very moment.

On Black Friday, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday but also promoted in other countries, many people flock to stores for holiday sales, sometimes pushing and shoving one another to buy the latest electronic gadget or toy.

This rush to spend money is often depicted as a sign of a healthy economy and as an example of holiday spirit. But focusing so much energy and attention on consuming can also water seeds of craving, anger, and anxiety, leaving shoppers feeling empty despite having a carload of gifts to put under the tree. 

“The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption,” Thay writes in his book The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology.

“We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilizing ourselves with over-consumption is not the way.”


Last year, Brother Phap Dung shared that the topic of Black Friday came up during tea on a Lazy Day morning with other monastics at Deer Park Monastery in California, “and the conversation steered toward the culture of our consumerist society and how hard it is to resist it, even in the monastery.”

That’s when the community came up with the idea to offer an alternative to the day, an online mindfulness gathering we’re calling “Make Black Friday Brown,” or Brown Friday in reference to the color of the robes worn by monastics in the international Plum Village community. In Vietnam, brown is the color of the clothing worn by the peasants and country side folks, to represent a life of moderation and simplicity. 

Last year, hundreds of you joined us over Zoom in solidarity to peacefully resist this consumerist holiday. Thousands of you tuned in later to watch the replay.

We’re excited to bring this special event back again in 2023! Will you join us?

Please Note: Zoom client version 5.2 or higher is required – anyone joining a meeting on your account who does not have Zoom client version 5.2 or higher will be required to update to join the meeting or join through the web client.

Real-time translations will be offered in Spanish, French, and Vietnamese.

YouTube Alternative

The gathering is the spirit of togetherness, largely casual and spontaneous with a little touch of Dharma sharing, singing, and storytelling from monastics and other friends about their journey to the practice, including their experiences around owning and letting go. 

So please, dear friends, find a cozy place, bring a warm cup of tea, and join us for some moments of mindfulness and of having-enough-ness – at the low, low price of free!

One response to “Make Black Friday Brown: Online Event to Resist Consumerism”

  1. Dear Brothers:
    I love the new song Love is local and love is free. It is possible to post the lyrics here?>
    Thank you!

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