“PART II: There's nothing wrong with bringing the dharma to groups who speak Spanish, to those living with chronic illnesses to those of SGL communities. There is nothing wrong with embracing all of who we are because this world we live in operates based on a system of oppression and discrimination that causes so much suffering to so many. It silences what it cannot understand and/or won't see. These "special" groups are radical in that they upend the barriers of privilege and class by acknowledging their truths, their experiences, and addressing their concerns. The dharma talks are tailored to the groups there which is unlike anything else in our experience. Our experiences are the default central experience.
How does one learn to practice lovingkindness, forgiveness, and gratitude when one is being dehumanized constantly in the workplace, at home, anywhere and everywhere outside the meditation center's weekly people of color sit? How does one practice mindfulness without feeling like they're rolling over and letting themselves be exploited by the powers that be? How does one cope with depression and the dharma? How does one accept things as they are when they're physically handicapped?”
“What I find problematic about this article is the assumption that people of color are the ones with the "issue" or "the problem" with how Buddhism has been practiced primarily in the West. The assumption that Buddhism practiced currently by and for privileged Whites is the right way. The official way. And, that any deviation (these "special groups") from that would be a perversion of Buddhism is troubling. And, the commentary turns and places the onus on the smaller number of people with the fewest resources to just get over it. Anyone who's taken any sort of critical theory class in college understands the problem with this kind of thinking. It's another tool of the oppressor to silence the truth of those who are being marginalized. It's a way to throw off responsibility to change. Look, if the community is not welcoming, it's not welcoming. That is what it is. That's the truth the Buddha and Dharma has taught us to see. We cannot live with distortions and pretend the way it's being practiced is working because obviously, as it currently stands, it's alienating many groups of people. Primarily, the ones who suffer the most.
What is wrong with making Buddhism more inclusive and accessible? What is wrong with infusing Buddhism with social justice? How can we make it so they can also realize the teachings? How can they practice the teachings of lovingkindness in the face of such horror?
Dec 9, 2008 at 16:27:50
“I would have to agree that I am also skeptical that the airbrushed Campari shot came from the original image. Her joints should not be in different positions, for example the bent knee crossing in front of her right thigh. Her head is angled differently. So, to all those below who understand basics about photoshop - Kudos! It's up to us inform people!”