Following a session on Racial Equity held October 31, 2015, at the Deer Park Monastery, a group of practitioners in the Plum Village tradition are seeking ways to deepen our community's vision, commitment, and capacity to build the Beloved Community of our teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through actively practicing to recognize, understand, and heal the collective trauma caused by racism in the US and beyond. We know that practicing together is the most powerful way to heal ourselves and our society. With this in mind, please fill out the following survey to help us know how best to direct our energies and to support our Maha Sangha.
We aspire to take the following passage as our inspiration, from The Path of Racial and Social Equity by Valerie Brown and Marisela Gomez
It is time to change—to transform in the spirit of love, in the spirit of openness, and in the spirit of peace. We invite Sanghas to actively engage in a process of understanding and building beloved community by: Creating safe and loving spaces for white allies of people of color to engage in looking deeply, understanding, and healing from implicit bias and other forms of discrimination; Creating safe and loving spaces for white allies to understand the systemic legacy of racial inequity and to provide opportunities for learning and practice; Creating safe and loving spaces for people of color to heal from the trauma of racial injustice and inequity; Creating safe and loving spaces for people of color and white allies to come together to look deeply and engage in healing together; Looking deeply at and addressing the under-representation of people of color and low-income people in our individual Sanghas and the collective Sangha.
We are aware that there are many others forms of oppression and marginalized groups that need to be addressed in diverse ways. We see the interbeing nature of all our identities, our wounds, and our wisdom as a source of strength that will manifest in this work and practice. We also see that at this point in history, and as a primarily white MahaSangha, the need to address racial bias and racial trauma is essential as practitioners of Engaged Buddhism, as students of Thay who often stated his commitment to continue Dr. King's work of creating the Beloved Community.
Your time in completing this survey will allow this dream to grow roots in our collective consciousness and harvest our collective needs and visions. Also, please share it this survey other practitioners in the Plum Village tradition.
We would appreciate responses by April 20th, 2016.