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Buddhadharma : Fall 2016
fall 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 11 first thoughts something is deeply Wrong Pema Chödrön speaks out about racist violence against Blacks in America. It has finally really gotten through to me how dangerous it is to be black in Amer- ica, especially for black men. It feels like Emmett Till all over again. Even in the case of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a private citizen, I wonder, “How could it be that George Zimmerman was not convicted of any crime?” As this systemic oppression is seen over and over again in full sight with no justice, it is not surprising that there will be violent reactions such as the tragic shoot- ing of twelve innocent police in Dallas. QR If parents of black children have to teach them how to behave with police so they won’t get killed, there is something wrong with this picture. This situation is deeply disturbing to most Americans, including most police officers. In the U.S., racial injustice has been going on since the days of slavery. But what is different now is that the videos of the murders are there for all to see, and white people can no longer ignore what is going on. I am one of them. I don’t know what the solutions are. In fact, anything I would come up with I am already hearing from Black Lives Matter, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, and others, but there has got to be a way for us to move toward justice for all these victims of endemic racism. The root problem is fear and hatred and how this escalates, which is where my kind of teachings could be useful. I am commit- ted to continue to help where I can. FROM A FACEBOOK POST, JuLy 11 hello, mom and dad! For Sister Dang Nghiem, practice means learning to meet her parents—inside herself. The other day an elder sister told me, “My young sister, your eyes still look sad. I know you practice quite well, but your eyes are still looking so sad.” I have the eyes of my mother. My mother had very sad eyes. With good practice, slowly I see my eyes change, and my eyes look more like my grandmoth- er’s eyes. They are calmer, more peaceful, but sometimes still sad. When we know that it is a repeating pattern, a fractal, then we know that whatever sadness or anger, joy or talent, unskillfulness or suffering we have came from our ancestors. We are all Details from Bernard Faure’s multivolume Gods of Medieval Japan (Hawaii 2016), reviewed on page 81