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Buddhadharma : Summer 2016
82 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 2 0 1 6 in Buddhist communities, anger is con- sidered bad, but anger is a part of the weather systems that move through our psyches. We have to make room for these emotions, and there are wise ways to do that. So we’ve got to engage with each other. White people need to be in solidar- ity with those who have been suffering from white dominance. We need to get on their team—not in order to help out “the other” but because it frees us all. This means that rather than simply trying to bring people of color to our centers, we transform our culture. We extend ourselves by building authentic relation- ships with people of color and, by engag- ing as allies, actively support initiatives that undo racism in our society. Recently I was part of a mixed-race teaching team at a Buddhist retreat that was historic in the extent of its diversity. On opening night, when I looked around and saw that nearly half of the people in attendance were people of color, when I felt that richness of being together and the shared intention to wake up, I started to cry. Everything in me knew, This is the community I want to belong to. What heals us? What helps awaken us to that space of beloved community? The dharma will do it. The more we pay attention, the more we’ll recognize the trance of separation and, from a deep longing for connection and freedom, start examining the causes. But that desire needs to become intentional; we have to want to understand the land- scape of what has happened in this country and what’s actually shaping our own limited sense of identity. We need to ask ourselves, “What is it that I’m not seeing?” And if we sincerely want to know the answer—if we want to wake up—we will open our eyes and our hearts. We will begin to free ourselves from the suffering of separation, act in ways that serve the healing of racism, and discover the blessings of realizing our true belonging with each other. ➤ Facing My White Privilege continued from page 47 THE---------- -CRE- ATIVE---- -----LIFE----- - ---------AND- - -MEDITATION A RETREAT WITH JOHN TARRANT SEPTEMBER 16 – 18, 2016 THE GARRISON INSTITUTE, NY THE FIRST THING ABOUT CREATIVITY IS NOT THINKING WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY THINK- ING. IT COMES FROM MAKING SPACE, FROM NOT KNOWING, FROM PLAYING. LEARN MORE AT PACIFICZEN.ORG