Resources for Coping with Suffering and Racial Tension
“If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you recognize that your liberation and mine are bound up together, we can walk together.”– Lila Watson
Each of us was born into a unique situation and then raised in ways that imprinted our hearts with feelings and impressions that we in no way chose. In this way, we are all products of our family, culture, and society, and so bring unique and diverse experiences to our interactions with each other and the lens through which we view events happening in our world. These events impact each of us differently, of course, but many of our sangha are suffering right now. Suffering for want of human connection. Suffering because of loss caused by COVID-19. Suffering because systemic racial injustice has once again reminded those of us cozy in our safe whiteness that others suffer every day in myriad ways we can only imagine.
As the "Statement on Racism from Buddhist Teachers & Leaders in the United States" you'll find linked to below says:
The Buddhist teachings are grounded in a clear recognition of suffering, an ethical commitment to non-harming and an understanding of interdependence: We can’t separate our personal healing and transformation from that of our larger society. The historic and continued suffering of people of color in this country—of African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and others—is our collective suffering. The harm caused daily is our collective responsibility. Once we see this suffering, our freedom unfolds as we respond with a wise and compassionate heart.
If you find yourself lacking in skills and struggling with how to move forward to address this collective responsibility, we have provided some resources below to get you started. Also remember that moving forward in dialogue with others is essential for change and growth. We have provided some links to local organizations that can connect you with people experienced in providing tools to understand how you can "respond with a wise and compassionate heart."
● Statement on Racism from Buddhist Teachers & Leaders in the United States (5/14/15) https://jackkornfield.com/statement-on-racism-from-buddhist-teachers-leaders-in-the-united-states/ Waking Up to Racism by bell hooks (Fall 1994) https://tricycle.org/magazine/waking-racism/
Meditations, Podcasts, and Courses
● White People Talking About Whiteness | Eleanor Hancock from Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ten-percent-happier-with-dan-harris/id1087147821?i=1000477147995
● White Awareness Insight Curriculum for Uprooting Privilege: A Dharma and Racism Study Program: open-source version of WhiteAwake curiculum https://app.box.com/s/kveh54xgxiapthhrx5zj6jj747q316on
● Active Bystander Training video, slides, and handouts from Ohio State University Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/active-bystander-training/
● White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43708708-white-fragility
● I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35883430-i-m-still-here
● Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. (PDF) http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/letter_birmingham_jail.pdf
These organizations often offer educational sessions on racism in Springfield, intersectionality, LGBTQIA and women's issues. Watch their calendar of events, like their Facebook page, or sign up for their email list to receive notifications of such events.