10 Jun Message in Solidarity
Protests have erupted all over this country and around the world after witnessing a brutality so flagrant that it could not be ignored. The murder of George Floyd has once more opened a window into the ongoing violence and oppression that many in the Black community face every day. This national outrage is just as potent here in the Bay Area where thousands of our fellow residents have joined together in solidarity to demand an end to police brutality and systemic racism.
The Buddha taught that suffering at all levels comes from the forces of hatred, greed, and delusion. The truths of those teachings are impossible to ignore since the inception of our country. When Black people are terrorized and marginalized because of the color of their skin, when the police who vowed to protect and serve instead attack and harm, and when groups actively seek to stir up hatred and promote chaos and peace recedes from view.
The Buddha also taught that nothing endures: that the structures we rely on for stability can collapse at any moment. We have learned this lesson with the global pandemic, and before that with the wildfires that ravaged California, the Amazon, and Australia last year. Now we are reminded again how easily the ties that bind us together as citizens and human beings can fray and unravel.
We at Mangalam practice the teachings of the Buddha as a path of peace. Yet our search for inner peace and the liberation of all beings cannot obscure the systemic injustice on which our institutions and way of life have been built. When the wrongs that fester in silence burst into the open, outrage is a reasonable response.
We must each find the response to these painful realities that sits right with us, but none of us can simply turn away. For those within our community who are persons of privilege, we must educate ourselves on the structures that have made our privilege possible, be ready to question our own internalized racism, and do all we can to lift up the voices of black people. For our black community, we are here with you.
Most people think of Buddhism as a reservoir of precious teachings on mindfulness and compassion, and that is certainly so. But the Dharma that the Buddha taught also teaches us to discover new possibilities for transformation within the ordinary. The forces of injustice are deeply rooted in our history and our present reality, but we can work to deconstruct and overcome them.
In these challenging times, we need to embody a new vision of what is possible. Grounded in the Dharma, we can create opportunities for change at a fundamental level.
As a team we are meeting regularly to decide what actions we will take as a community. Some ideas are receiving trainings on dismantling racism within our organization and organizing educational programs on systems analysis, internalized racism, recognizing privilege, together with mindfulness and other practices from the Nyingma tradition. Many of us have been at the protests and are standing physically with you all.
Enough is enough.
– Mangalam Center
Resources and Actions
Here are some resources put together from the Mindful Living team
For those in our community who are allies:
If you are looking for actions to take yourself, here are a few we recommend
Use your money to donate to non-profits.
Use your time to research issues, untrain white supremacy patterns, read books by black authors, and stand in solidarity
Use your voice to continue bringing up conversations about race and racism to those who might not otherwise be exposed to them
And make sure to take care of yourself and loved ones so we can continue this fight together.
LOCAL Organizations to Donate To or Organize with:
Anti-Police Terror Project: http://www.antipoliceterrorproject.org/
Root & Rebound : https://www.rootandrebound.org/
Color of Change: https://colorofchange.org/
Defunding Police: http://criticalresistance.org/chapters/cr-oakland/our-work/
NATIONAL Organizations to Get us Organized/Donate To:
Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
African American Policy Forum : https://aapf.org/
National Bail Out – Black Mama’s Bail Out: http://nationalbailout.org/black-mamas-bail-out/
Campaign Zero : https://www.joincampaignzero.org/
Anguish and Action (Obama Foundation): https://www.obama.org/anguish-and-action/
| “”We have to unknow the knowing to know anew”|
– Tarthang Tulku