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Clouds in Water Zen Center

Statement on Non-Harming

Last updated: 8/28/22

Clouds in Water Zen Center is committed to dismantling white supremacy, racism and other forms of oppression, both externally and internally, as a means to relieve the suffering of all beings and end cycles of trauma and abuse. We understand that whiteness has been constructed historically through the domination and subordination of Black, Indigenous, and people of color and that white-bodied people benefit from the structures, systems, and ideologies of white supremacy and contribute to harm when they operate out of white frameworks. We recognize that white supremacy, systemic racism, the legacies of colonialism and slavery, and the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples, have resulted in untold suffering for the majority of those in Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We further recognize that homophobia, transphobia, ageism, classism and other abuses of power and privilege have harmed and continue to harm many people in our community and the world.

Clouds in Water values stillness, silence, and zazen, and also understands that silence can be violence. Clouds in Water seeks to create a protective container and a welcoming environment for spiritual awakening and healing to take place in the whole of its sangha (community), which includes practitioners, staff, board members, and teachers. Clouds is committed to ending ignorance around race, sexism, and other forms of oppression, through conversations, restorative circles, and skill building. We are committed to learning how our own identities, histories, and social positions shape our experiences and understandings of these dynamics. We hold ourselves responsible for unpacking and undoing our complicities in upholding these legacies through explicit and internalized forms of white supremacy.  Clouds seeks to create a vibrant community of engagement and inclusion. We are committed to transmitting safety and harmony to all beings, so that the heart of great wisdom and compassion can be realized.

The Ethics and Reconciliation (EAR) Committee and a subgroup of the Clouds in Water Board of Directors co-created this statement. This statement expands upon our Core Values. It is a step that the EAR committee and Board are taking to begin a process of revising our Ethical Guidelines so that they may address not only repair after harm has happened but also prevention of harm. Prevention of harm includes consideration of the systemic nature of harm.

445 Farrington Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota  55103  651-222-6968