There are people marching for black lives and against police brutality. Anger and rage are actually trying to point us to the trauma and the brokenheartedness. Stemming in part from Orientalist racial projects, vestiges of white supremacy ideology can still be detected today in the controversy surrounding who represents "American Buddhism" and the smorgasbord of approaches in Buddhist practices that are taken for granted in many meditation centers, hospitals, and other institutions. And We're All Feeling It, A Comprehensive Overview on Stress Neurobiology: Basic Concepts and Clinical Implications, In Memory of Rich Simon by Psychotherapy Network. I think we have to have the conversation to get into the hurt itself. White supremacy has roots in the now-discredited doctrine of scientific racism, and was a key justification for colonialism. And you can sit with it. People are frustrated. The tension between being hurt and wanting to take care of myself, that tension is what anger and rage really are. When I experience anger or rage, for me it’s a sign that I’m hurt and I’m hurting, and there’s a tension there. White supremacy sometimes has a friendly face; a face full of optimism. You’re working for freedom on both fronts. I relate this back to everything that’s going on right now. And when I can accept it, I can get close to it and began to take care of it. People are scared. Its purpose is the maintenance and defense of a system of wealth, power, and privilege. Buddhist mindfulness is about liberation through cultivating awareness and ethics. Q: The anger of people marching for Black Lives Matter is one thing. And that empathy is really how that mirror works. White people doing that work are the white people that I trust the most. A: I think that it’s so important to be an ally, to show up. People are frustrated. In Buddhism I saw that there’s an ultimate liberation that comes with a mental liberation. We’re just hurt. And that experience will slowly begin to divest you from the ways in which you’ve been trained and taught to participate in the system. There is never enough proof. So when I am loving my anger, I am basically accepting the anger. And so once I started learning and having experiences in ultimate liberation, I then began to bridge the social liberation work together with the ultimate liberation. Some have offered healings and teachings to local BLM chapters, and others have committed to addressing “the poison of white supremacy and ending … But at the end of the day, your allyship isn’t the work that’s required to undo whiteness. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. When people are out in the street marching, it doesn’t matter what it’s for. The ultimate liberation was an extension of the mental liberation that we cultivated through meditation. Buddhist mindfulness is about liberation through cultivating awareness and ethics. But of course it’s difficult to do it. I think that’s where we can judge. Do you judge angers? White supremacy or White supremacism is the belief that white people are superior to those of other races and thus should dominate them. People are hurt. Ethics means this is what is conducive to liberation, or another way of putting that is, this is what’s conducive to the reduction of violence. Abstract. In college, I was obsessed with white Buddhism in a wrathful sort of way. Get a selection of the Messenger's best reporting direct to your inbox each and every morning. All rights reserved. By David MontgomeryJuly 21, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. CDT. You can do it. Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger, What Is Neurofeedback? The ultimate liberation was an extension of the mental liberation that we cultivated through meditation. On August 5, 2012, a white supremacist named Wade Michael Page walked into a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin and turned a gun on the congregation. Too often, as a result, our churches are safe spaces for people like John T. Earnest. Like, yes, social activism — but also spiritual activism. Most of the white Buddhists I talk to are grateful for opportunities to talk and to learn about racism and white supremacy. You have permission to edit this article. There is a similarity, which is hurt. These days white supremacy is more about Eurocentrism than eugenics. Race and Religion in American Buddhism White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation Joseph Cheah AAR Academy Series. Can you tell the story of how Buddhism turned out to be the way [for you] to be an activist? It's not simply that Christians should rule as God's chosen people, but that White Christians should rule. There is a similarity, which is hurt. Cheah argues that Said's Orientalism (1979) does not take into account racial ideologies that were embedded in the intertwined projects of imperialism and the construction of Buddhism by Euro-Americans. What do you make of where they’re coming from? Top. And so once I started learning and having experiences in ultimate liberation, I then began to bridge the social liberation work together with the ultimate liberation. Q: How do anger and rage connect with trauma and brokenheartedness? As white Southern activist Anne Braden said (memorialized by the FloBots), “You do have a choice. Q: The white people who are out in the streets now, they don’t feel the same trauma, but they’re animated by something as well. A: For me love is an expression of acceptance. Without the pain, without getting close to your pain, it’s not going to be changed. But as you move away from the hurt into the tension that arises, it’s how we’re channeling that anger. Can mindfulness, which I think of as a spiritual practice, help with the kinds of things social activism deals with — for example, racial trauma? Facilitated by: Paravrtti Doralee Grindler Katonah, Valley Streams Zen Sangha. This is what is conducive to actually beginning to undo systematic white supremacy. When I’m working with white folks, it’s helping to support white folks in actually connecting to the trauma of whiteness and what whiteness has meant, whiteness as a system that has to be maintained because that’s where identity location has been planted. Even if it is a struggle, even if it’s hard to stay with the pain, you’re still doing it, and that for me is really encouraging to see. For people who experience a lot of oppression and social marginalization, I think there’s a closer connection to the hurt than I would say for people who experience more social privilege. When I experience anger or rage, for me it’s a sign that I’m hurt and I’m hurting, and there’s a tension there. Even Afro-Cubans, like the head of the Proud Boys, can be white supremacists now. - let's drag them out of the subconscious and look at them. And you can sit with it. I think a good example is whiteness, white supremacy. [30] [31] Politicians and world leaders condemned it, [32] and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as "one of New Zealand's darkest days". I relate this back to everything that’s going on right now. So the woundedness, the trauma, is actually disrupting the foundation of that identity, and then actually having to sit with the intensity of trying to figure out who you are now, after this identity location of whiteness has been disrupted. With hearts hungry for justice, they are ready for new options. A: We can work socially for liberation, but there’s a different work that’s required for mental liberation. Mindfulness, as it’s taught in the mainstream, will not be enough to undo trauma, racism and so forth. The prevalence of white supremacy among most Christian Nationalists is unknown but probably small; with Christian Identity, however, it is typically a fundamental belief. We have not been able to wall ourselves off, or to numb ourselves, (in order) to participate in a system of oppressing others. This is the first time that Omi and Winant's racial formation theory has been applied to the study of American Buddhism; This is the first time that Ling-chi Wang's dual domination paradigm has been applied to religious studies It is a claim of superiority that white supremacy has granted you, and that you cannot accept without becoming a willing proponent of this white supremacist system. It’s like we’re just reflecting back this reality that, yeah, everyone’s hurting, you know, and we’re close to our hurting. But h… That reluctance can only be transformed in spiritual practice, not by proof. Q: Can mindfulness, which I think of as a spiritual practice, help with the kinds of things social activism deals with — for example, racial trauma? [33] Lama Rod Owens, 40, is a Buddhist teacher and activist. But a more accurate and total picture includes forms that may seem subtle — especially to white people. This chapter traces the legacy of white supremacy in American Buddhism to “racial projects” conceived and implemented by Western Orientalists in the middle and late Victorian era. Firstly, the culture is very different than what constitutes "white" here, and secondly, Jews in America are only a couple of generations removed from people fleeing genocide, pogroms, etc..that really can't be overstated. The tension between being hurt and wanting to take care of myself, that tension is what anger and rage really are. Buddhist philosophy has much to contribute to furthering our understanding of whiteness and racial identity, the mechanisms that create and maintain white supremacy, and the possibility of dismantling white supremacy. For me, we have to bring ethics back into secular mindfulness. People remain perfectly comfortable holding and acting out white supremacist views while attending our churches. All those horrifying little thoughts that white people might have - eg: Have you ever felt superior to, or suspicious of, black people? This is what is conducive to actually beginning to undo systematic white supremacy. You can do it. In the Buddhist community, there is an outpour of support for Black Lives Matter (BLM) by practicing Buddhists. White supremacy can seem like a dramatic term, conjuring images of the KKK or Nazi Germany. We don't need to submerge them or swat them away. A Game-Changing ADHD Treatment, The 4 Functions of Rhythm in Expressive Arts Therapy, Study Shows Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Four Times More Effective For Major Depression, 'Lit therapy' in the classroom: Writing about trauma can be valuable, if done right, Thanksgiving 2020: Giving Thanks When You’re Not Feeling It, Is Learning on Zoom the Same as In Person? A: When you’re close to your suffering you’re close to your humanity, and when you’re close to your humanity you become a mirror that reflects other people’s humanity back to them. By David MontgomeryJuly 21, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. CDT, Lama Rod Owens, 40, is a Buddhist teacher and activist. At least in America, I would not call Ashkenazim "white" exactly. Q: Can you tell the story of how Buddhism turned out to be the way (for you) to be an activist? Like, yes, social activism — but also spiritual activism. The work that’s required to undo white supremacy from white people is actually by coming into a relationship with their brokenheartedness and the trauma from whiteness, and learning how to sit with that, you know, and experiencing that. The following month, after nine people were gunned down while praying in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, Buddhists for Racial Justice (BRJ) was formed, a national network of Buddhist practitioners and communities. We’re just hurt. Buddhism and Whiteness, edited by George Yancy and Emily McRae, works to answer these questions and others through a critical inquiry into the habits of whiteness or white culture—a culture that refuses to be called a culture. The primary difference is the explicit focus on race. And you can sit with it. A: Anger and rage are actually trying to point us to the trauma and the brokenheartedness. There was an error processing your request. Lama Rod Owens, 40, is a Buddhist teacher and activist. Q: When you say that for white people, the work that has to be done is to sit with the brokenheartedness from white supremacy, what do you mean? Q: You speak about how it’s time to create a movement, and that black and brown people are in a unique position to understand what suffering is, and that’s why they have the duty (to lead the movement). Success! The particularly local problem—the historical institutionalized racism and white supremacy within American Buddhist centers—is given a timeless quality when placed within the framework of the Buddha’s life. I see some similarities with the folks, earlier on in the pandemic, white folks who were going out, you know, demonstrating to open up everything. People are scared. But the people who hurt us, they’re the furthest away from their pain. A: To sit with all the manifestations of white supremacy, the manifestation of white supremacy from our ancestors, the disappointment of being born into the system that disproportionately disadvantages brown and black people, to sit with the totality of everything. A: Mindfulness, as it’s taught in the mainstream, will not be enough to undo trauma, racism and so forth. In Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation, the author maintains that while race is often bracketed in the works on American Buddhism, the issues concerning race and racialization have remained not far below the surface of the wider discussion among white Buddhists and sympathizers regarding representations of American Buddhism and adaptations of Buddhist … You can do it. I see white supremacy as trauma. Such a book-length study as this stands to transform the discourse on American Buddhism and Asian … Offered by: Bamboo in the Wind Zen Sangha. © 2020 Trauma Research Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit. And we’re trying to draw people close, back to their pain, because that proximity is actually going to be the thing that disrupts them, to disrupt their participation in how systems are maintained by not being in a relationship to the suffering. But of course it’s difficult to do it. Why tie those terms together as opposed to stressing any one of them in isolation? This is why I think black and brown people are so situated to be the leaders of liberation and freedom, you know, because we’re closer to what makes us human. A Buddhist Teacher’s Meditations on Confronting White Supremacy. ‎In this episode, we go there. A: To sit with all the manifestations of white supremacy, the manifestation of white supremacy from our ancestors, the disappointment of being born into the system that disproportionately disadvantages brown and black people, to sit with the totality of everything. While academic and popular studies of Buddhism have often neglected race as a factor of analysis, the issues concerning race and racialization have remained not far below the surface of the wider discussion among ethnic Buddhists, converts, and sympathizers regarding representations of American Buddhism and adaptations of Buddhist practices to the American context. The attack was linked to an increase in white supremacy and alt-right extremism globally observed since about 2015. In this way "white supremacy operates in the United States as an invisible standard of normality for many white Buddhists and sympathizers" (4). Q: Why is it essential to love our anger? Michaelis was now a Buddhist leading a clean, steady lifestyle. This study group is offered by Bamboo in the Wind Zen Sangha for people who want to learn about the history of racism and its continuation in the form of systemic racism and the ideology of white supremacy. A Buddhist teacher's meditations on confronting white supremacy, After a 30-year run, AmCare Ambulance Service being taken over by Maryland-based Butler Medical Transport, Here’s a snapshot of where Colchester stands among Chittenden County towns in updated COVID-19 numbers, It will be hard to find a favorite room in this custom, four-bedroom St. Albans Town house. Not to Your Brain, Therapist: Trauma Is An Experience Of The Body. I see some similarities with the folks, earlier on in the pandemic, white folks who were going out, you know, demonstrating to open up everything. You don’t have to be a part of the world of the lynchers. ... George Yancy: Over the years you have used the expression “imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” to describe the power structure underlying the social order. The Truth Awakened To. All the way there. bell hooks: Buddhism, the Beats and Loving Blackness By George Yancy and Bell Hooks. He killed six people and wounded four, then killed himself. For me, we have to bring ethics back into secular mindfulness. I think we have to have the conversation to get into the hurt itself. Then there’s the anger of, say, white men who are threatened or angry at beginning to lose their privilege. Colonial Legacy of White Supremacy in American Buddhism - Oxford Scholarship. Cheah investigates the effects of white supremacy on both convert Buddhists and Burmese ethnic Buddhists, comparing how both groups have adapted Buddhist practices to an American context. What are you actually doing in channeling the energy of this anger, and is that channeling of the energy actually helping you to somehow take care of the hurt? White supremacy refers to the racialized perceptions that govern how we classify people and respond to them. His new book is "Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger." Eugene Burnouf, Brian Houghton, and other first-generation Western Orientalists articulated the project of modernity of the Enlightenment era, where knowledge about Asian textual Buddhism … Ethics means this is what is conducive to liberation, or another way of putting that is, this is what’s conducive to the reduction of violence. 1 Colonial Legacy of White Supremacy in American Buddhism; 2 Buddhist Modernism and the American Vipassana Movement; 3 Adaptation of Vipassana Meditation by Convert Buddhists and Sympathizers; 4 The Assimilationist Paradigm and Burmese Americans; 5 Monastic and Domestic Settings; 6 Burmese Loyalty Structure and the Dual Domination Paradigm His new book is "Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger.". There are people marching for black lives and against police brutality. We can work socially for liberation, but there’s a different work that’s required for mental liberation. Error! You’re working for freedom on both fronts. That’s going to keep us empathetic to others. Buddhist mindfulness is about liberation through cultivating awareness and ethics. A: To sit with all the manifestations of white supremacy, the manifestation of white supremacy from our ancestors, the disappointment of being born into the system that disproportionately disadvantages brown and black people, to sit with the totality of everything. In Buddhism I saw that there’s an ultimate liberation that comes with a mental liberation. How do anger and rage connect with trauma and brokenheartedness? But of course it’s difficult to do it. A: It all comes from hurt, and for me, I don’t judge the hurt. In part, this longing emerges from the reluctance of white people in power to accept, and see clearly by opening their eyes, that white supremacy informs the shaping of Buddhist communities, individual interactions, publications, etc. His new book is Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger. When people are out in the street marching, it doesn’t matter what it’s for. People are hurt. Sign up with your email to receive news and updates. Cheah finds that Orientalist discourses concerning Buddhism contain a racial ideology of white supremacy, which can be recognized within contemporary practices of American Buddhism. Can you tell the story of how Buddhism turned out to be the way [for you] to be an activist? Buddhist philosophy has much to contribute to furthering our understanding of whiteness and racial identity, the mechanisms that create and maintain white supremacy, and the possibility of dismantling white supremacy. Its purpose is the maintenance and defense of a system of wealth, power and... Wealth, power, and for me, I would not call Ashkenazim white. I talk to are grateful for opportunities to talk and to learn about racism and so forth at least America! For freedom on both fronts ( memorialized by the FloBots ), “ you do have a.... 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