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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
80 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY it. But no one who has ever touched liberation could possibly want anything other than liberation for everyone. So if you ever run into a dharma teacher who isn’t saying, “This path is for all,” if they would withhold liberation from anyone—then I tell you, they are a shyster. It means they don’t know what liberation is. They have not yet touched it. I wish it for them, but they have not yet touched it. Our role is to hold them accountable in our fierce determination to have that liberation for ourselves. The only way we can do that is to insist, insist—and I don’t want to draw that back—not that teach- ings be made available but that people not get in the way of teach- ings, that people not obstruct them, that people not steal them. When we insist on that as the truth for our communities, for our government, for our institutions, what we’re asking is to be free. If you’ve not yet felt that down to the core of your being, if you’ve not yet touched it, you have work to do. If any part of you feels the impulse, even a little, to hold back anything that opens the doorway, the pathway, the possibility of liberation, from someone else, it is not a reflection on anyone but you. If you feel that impulse, it means you have work to do. So when you walk out into the world, or you’re in your dharma centers and you feel that contraction—when you see a big dark brother rolling in and you think maybe you have to worry, or maybe you have to be extra nice to him, or you have to coddle him or make sure he knows he’s okay—if you feel that impulse, that sense of tension in which you locate yourself apart from him, you know that you are living with the legacy. Pope Nicholas V has our freedom still in the palms of his hands. You don’t have to be Christian to fall to white supremacy—you don’t even have to be white. In this country, white supremacy and hindrance from liberation are one and the same thing. In this place and in this time, if you can make your way through white supremacy, if you can see past social conditioning to a liberation beyond who