To create inclusive communities, we have to start being honest about where we’re at and what we’re struggling with. A lot of white practitioners want something to do that isn’t that. Because that’s the hardest—and also the most critical—thing to do for those conversations with one another to happen.
– Lama Rod Owens
Social and Political Activism is not for every Buddhist, but white Buddhists raising their own awareness of our race and privilege is critical in creating a more diverse and inclusive sangha. For our white sangha members - where are you on the journey towards self-awareness? Have you read any books on white privilege or fragility? Have you taken any “race challenges” online? Have you broached the race conversation at all, with anyone? What’s your next step, or what’s your first?
Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Regarding this conversation about diversity and inclusivity, what am I not seeing?
San Francisco Buddhist Center’s EDJI blog/newsletter
Summer Reading Circles on Race
Definitions of Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion (from Colorado State University)
June 22 - Using a framework of interconnectedness, members of the San Francisco Green Sangha will talk about different ways in which we can counteract the climate destruction.
civilization will be destroyed. This turnaround takes enlightenment, awakening. The
Buddha attained individual awakening. Now we need a collective enlightenment to
stop this course of destruction. Civilization is going to end if we continue to drown in
the competition for power, fame, sex, and profit. – Thich Nhat Hanh
Food Not Bombs: https://sffnb.org/
For different kinds of actions, including divestment: https://oneearthsangha.org/domains/action/
To reduce plastics: https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/get-involved/what-you-can-do/
Divestment: https://greenfaith.org/take-action/divest-and-invest-now/ and https://gofossilfree.org/not-a-penny-more/
Climate News and ways to engage: https://www.nottoolateclimate.com/
Beings are numberless/ the bodhisattva vows to save them all. We can’t fix Samsara BUT we are also dedicated to relieving suffering—AND we must also care for ourselves so we can continue to work in the ways we feel are most vital and helpful. So that’s a creative tension. As Buddhists this is part of our practice.
What kind of relationship, if any, do you see between your Buddhist practice and engagement in social and/or environmental justice issues?
Consider taking on a green precept for the month of July, such as using less plastic, using more sustainable ways of transportation, or divesting from fossil fuels.
The deed develops into habit
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and it’s ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.