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Buddhadharma : Summer 2016
summer 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 61 Here, to forget the self means relaxing the grasp of whiteness. As we do so, we come to see how we are involved in creating bodies and minds that are racialized, separate, and oppressed, and we realize how we are invested in that separation. We see the suffering, the grasping of identity and privilege that causes that suffering, the release that ends it, and the path to that release. When this inheritance is witnessed, we begin to disengage from the karma of oppression. Slowly we are freed from previously unconscious thoughts; others are spared our unconscious actions. We come to realize that resisting being intimate with race leaves us dependent on white supremacy’s projections of bodies and minds. No longer resisting intimacy with race begins to wake us up to this dependency, freeing our humanness. Our devotion to intimacy exposes violence and proves love as liberation to be the truest embodiment of race in our world. When this happens, the very direction of the mind’s flow shifts. Instead of unconsciously superimposing inherited, racial- ized notions onto people, our minds open to a fuller breadth of humanity. No longer attempting to conquer life with our karma, what we are in each moment emerges as the myriad things, the myriad beings, the myriad things of any one being. Allowing one’s being to arise as the whole of unimpeded dif- ference is liberation; abstracting a whole to impede difference is supremacy. Though racialized conditioning will certainly still arise with liberation, the mind is less inclined to grasp that condition- ing as the foundation of reality. Early on, liberation might appear as if “bodies and minds drop away,” but deeper intimacy with liberation reveals bodies and minds being freed into wholeness— a totality that includes the one, felt as love, and the many, felt as joy. It is from this wholeness that we are able to love ourselves completely while working diligently to end white supremacy. It is also from this wholeness that we understand that our privileged position demands the lack of someone else’s freedom. This ceases to be an inheritance we can tolerate, and we start living love’s urgency to end all that sustains this great harm. But make no mistake—even if we no longer identify with or existentially depend upon whiteness, we cannot be released from this privileged and entitled societal position without an end to white supremacy for all. As long as we are identified as white, current societal biases and practices work in our favor and against the lives of people of color. In our deepening realization, it can become very difficult as we thoroughly feel the grief and sorrow of this setup while also seeing that we cannot quickly fix the problem. It becomes clear over time that our freedom from the spiritual blindness of white privilege is dependent on every last human’s liberation from ideological white supremacy. courtesyoFtheartist ➤ continued page 84