“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Martin Luther King
“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The tragic events of the past few months have focused our nation’s attention more than ever on the reality and consequences of widespread police brutality and racial injustice. At Manjushri Dharma Center, we share this concern and are asking ourselves deep questions about a meaningful and impactful reaction, based not on fear or anger but rather on hope and purpose. We hope that together as a local Sangha, in dialog with each other, Rinpoche and his wider community of students, we can meet this moment to show our commitment to equal treatment for black people, indigenous groups, and all people fighting this long-standing inequality and violence.
• How can we turn these complex emotions and our constant exposure to daily news into an activist Buddhist practice, to create change in ourselves, our Sangha, and our community?
• How can our practice support this critical work and help us grow to become more responsive to local and nationwide realities with respect to racial injustice?
• How do we create change in ourselves and the systems around us that may be perpetuating racism?
• What are we doing on the organizational level to promote inclusiveness for people of color and others that are too often marginalized in our society, and speak to their needs? What can we do better?”
We would like to encourage all of us to explore these questions together. We put forth our deepest hope that we can find answers to this challenging inquiry, to become more engaged Buddhists, and to support this path for our Sangha with internal work and outward action. We want to stand with all peoples who because of race, creed, color, ethnicity or religion are discriminated against and denied true justice, whether here in the United States or any other country.
Please share your thoughts and suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. You may leave comments below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or non-believing, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama