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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 51 AS A BUDDHIST, I have vowed to put an end to suffering—not only my own, but also the suffering I cause, knowingly or unknowingly, to other beings. A profound way to do that is by developing cultural humility, a term coined by two women of color specializing in public health, Drs. Melanie Tevalon and Jann Murray. Although humility has connotations of weakness or submissiveness, the ability to listen to others—their speech, appearance, and values—as well as to our own speech, appearance, and values, requires great inner strength. Regardless of whether we are on the upside or the downside of sociopolitical power, we all participate in and uphold a socially con structed hierarchy that benefits some and marginalizes others. By listening to ourselves, we can begin to recognize that participation as well as our own biases, limitations, and unconscious stereotypes. As a result, we become more authentically open to ourselves and to others. Cultural humility is about looking deeper and discovering the complexity of our cultural inheritance, the values we learned about ourselves and about others. It’s discovering what we’ve internalized The Healing Practice of Cultural Humility Charlene Leung ILLUSTRATIONS by JONI MAJER