We continue to be confronted with the historical legacy of racism that is interwoven into the very fabric of our society. Names such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have now been added to the seemingly endless list of unarmed Black people murdered by police. Our hearts are heavy with a mixture of feelings such as grief, outrage, and compassion.
At the heart of our practice is a desire to see clearly. At this time, we are being called to face the realities of discrimination that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color face daily in our country and around the world.
We acknowledge that as an organization, the Salida Insight Meditation Community has failed to adequately address issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. We are at the beginning of our journey to investigate how we can be present with these issues, and be of better service to both our sangha family, and to people of color in our wider community. This work will not be easy, but we are committed to it as an essential part of opening the pathway to freedom.
“It is said the Buddha’s teachings turn upright what has been overturned. In light of this, we commit to this principle of righting wrongs by learning to decenter whiteness and to deepen our listening.”
SIMC Guiding Teacher
We encourage white members of our community to explore how their hearts and minds have been overturned by habitual tendencies rooted in racism and bias. In that light, we invite you to read two essays written by Buddhist practitioners of color, which offer two perspectives on the intersection between racial justice and our practice:
“A central principle of Buddhist ethics is that we practice not for ourselves but for the benefit of all; therefore, the conditioning that perpetuates racial suffering and separation is to be known and uprooted through our practice and our actions. We all have a part to play in the symphony of racial healing."
Ruth is the author of several publications, including Healing Rage: Women Making Inner Peace Possible and Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out.
For more information, visit www.RuthKing.net.
African American psychologist & meditation teacher
One way Salida Sangha plans to move forward is by making diversity, inclusion, and equity a top priority. We will educate ourselves on how we can do this skillfully, commit to concrete actions as soon as possible, and announce these actions to our community. If you would like to join us and get involved with these first steps, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a list of anti-racism resources, please click here.
May our work together bring freedom and happiness to all beings everywhere without exception.
May all of us turn upright what has been overturned to dispel the tyranny of racism.
Salida Insight Meditation Community Board of Directors:
"Racism is a heart disease. It’s a heart disease that requires intervention. It’s curable. But it requires that we pay attention to ourselves as individuals and as members of racial collectives."