Beyond Fear of Differences

Perspectives: Beyond Fear of Differences

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Reflections, Retreats, Sangha News · , , , , , , , , , ,

The Beyond Fear of Differences (BFoD) Planning Group held a public forum at the Monastery on Sunday, March 3, 2019—a moment 10 years in the making. It was a chance to welcome the whole Sangha into the development of the BFoD mission and vision process, to share the details about the process that the committee had been involved in, and to let people know how they can get involved. A similar forum was held one week later at the Zen Center of NYC.

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Precepts in the World: Sangha Reflections

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Reflections · , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Originally published in Mountain Record journal: “Morality in the World” (2002)

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Remembering Love

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Essays · , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

An Informal Contemplation on Healing

by Lama Rod Owens


You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.

—Nina Simone

Are you sure, sweetheart, that you want to be well?…Just so’s you’re sure, sweetheart, and ready to be healed, cause wholeness is no trifling matter. A lot of weight when you’re well.

—Toni Cade Bambara, “The Salt Eaters”

 

When people ask me how I’m doing, I feel a little confused and pause for a moment. In my mind I want to talk about this deep sense of heaviness and despair that feels like mourn­ing with and for the world. I want to say that a part of me doesn’t feel good enough, that this was a feeling I was born into, trained in, and encouraged to accept–that I do not remember experience before this.

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photo by Taja Ajmi

Standing in the Shadow of Hope

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Essays · , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

by Austin Channing Brown

Christians talk about love a lot. It’s one of our fa­vorite words, especially when the topic is race.

If we could just learn to love one another …

Love trumps hate . . .

Love someone different from you today . . .

But I have found this love to be largely inconsequential. More often than not, my experience has been that whiteness sees love as a prize it is owed, rather than a moral obligation it must demonstrate. Love, for whiteness, dissolves into a demand for grace, for niceness, for endless patience—to keep everyone feeling comfortable while hearts are being changed. In this way, so-called love dodges any responsibility for action and waits for the great catalytic moment that finally spurs accountability.

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photo by Rendiansyah Nugroho

Fear in Two Winters

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Essays · , , , , , , , , ,

by Hanif Abdurraqib

When people squint at my name on something in front of them and then ask where I’m from, I tell them “Columbus, Ohio.” When they look again and then, perhaps more urgently, ask where my parents are from, I tell them “New York,” smiling more slightly. Occasionally, I’ll get a person who asks where their parents were from, and I humor that as well. No one has ever gone beyond two generations before me, but I look forward to the day where it all plays out: me in line at the bank, or at a deli, someone attempting to trace my lineage to a place they feel makes sense. Me, eventually saying, “Well, I’d imagine Africa came into play at some point, but now I’m here, so who can say really?”

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photo by Daniel Hoherd (Flickr)

Always an Immigrant

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Creative Expression, Essays · , , , , , , ,

by Margaret Gibson

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Sangha Reflections on Resilience

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Photo by Victoria Villalobos

Restoration

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Earth Initiative, Essays · , , , , , , , , , , , ,

By Robin Wall Kimmerer


summer day on the banks of the Mohawk River:

Én:skat tékeni, áhsen. Bend and pull, bend and pull. Kaié:ri, wisk, iá:ia’k, tsiá:ta, she calls to her granddaughter, standing waist deep in the grass. Her bundle grows thicker with every stoop of her back. She straightens up, rubs the small of her back, and tilts her head up to the blue summer sky, her black braid swinging in the arch of her back. Bank swallows twitter over the river. The breeze off the water sets the grasses waving and carries the fragrance of sweetgrass that rises from her footsteps.

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Radical Dharma

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Reviews · , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Media Review
Radical Dharma

by Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei, Lama Rod Owens and Jasmine Syedullah, Ph.D.
North Atlantic Books
Review by Theresa Braine, MRO

Barbecuing, AirBnB-ing, Waiting, Living…While Black. Police interactions ranging from traumatic to deadly. Not to mention: redlining, gentrification and incarceration-for-profit. The outrages abound. Where does Buddhism land in all this? Enter Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which starts the conversation with a road map for cutting through the collective conditioning of the white supremacist mind-set that we all, knowingly or unknowingly, live with.

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Building Our Beloved Community

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Sangha News · , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted by Danica Shoan Ankele

Among the present blessings of my monastic life, I count the chance to be part of a newly formed collaboration between members of the Temple’s People of Color Tea Group and the Monastery’s Beyond Fear of Differences Planning Group. Together, nineteen of us (about half of us identify as people of color and half as white) are working on creating a more inclusive and diverse community within the MRO. We’ve been referring to our joint group simply as POC/BFOD.

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