“We have all experienced any number of joys and sorrows, and we are each searching for the same thing—to live freely and peacefully together, wherever we can, without harm and without a gripped heart. Our human challenge as racial beings is to ensure that all of us enjoy this safety and freedom.” - Ruth King, Mindful of Race
Our conditioning around racial identity deserves to be as much a focal point of our dharma practice as other forms of conditioning that contribute to suffering. Over the course of this peer-facilitated study group, we aim to investigate our racial identity as white people, to understand how race affects our relationships with ourselves and others, and to build our stamina and resilience for the task of confronting and dismantling racism. We also aspire to realize the potential of Buddhist practice and teaching to increase understanding, shift attitudes and behaviors, bring healing to our community, and support collective liberation and Beloved Community.
This study group is a six-part series during which we will apply contemplative and embodied practices to explore:
- Our racial identity as white people, and our reactions to being labeled white.
- The historical origins of whiteness.
- Present day dynamics of racism.
- The costs of racism for white people.
- Reclamation of the indigenous cultures and ethnic origins of our ancestors.
- The operation of racism in our sangha, our communities, and our organizations, and ways we can interrupt this karma.
The work for this group will include weekly homework of readings, videos and/or podcasts, and questions to consider prior to each meeting. In the meetings we will explore together our questions, thoughts, reactions, etc., to the materials and to related life experiences.
The study group will be facilitated by sangha members who have some experience exploring their racial identities as white people together, within the context of the sangha, but who are not experts or teachers. This is a peer-to-peer study group.
Registration is limited to 16 participants. This series is for practitioners who identify as white and who:
- Long to co-create a truly inclusive sanctuary that serves all people, without bias along differences of identity (racial or otherwise);
- Seek to wake up from the delusions of whiteness; and
- Can attend all six sessions.