A Six-Session Program for White Dharma Practitioners at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland.
January 22 – June 18, 2017 (Applications due November 15, 2016)
Do you want to increase your skills to support inclusive sangha-building?
Do you want to deepen your understanding of Buddhist teachings on suffering, oppression and liberation?
Do you want to gain insight into the suffering that arises from our racial conditioning as white people in this society?
Would you like to become part of a supportive learning community of white practitioners exploring racism in the context of Buddha Dharma and looking for ways to transform our white racial conditioning and white supremacist systems?
As white practitioners in the U.S., we have been shaped by social, economic and other systems in which unearned privilege accrues to white people. To the extent that we are unaware of this system of white privilege and racial conditioning, we are not free to make skillful choices about how to act within it. Rather, we unwittingly behave in ways that lead to suffering for ourselves, our fellow practitioners, our community and the larger society. Further, we may not realize how our conditioning makes us resistant to joining with other white people to change the system and ourselves.
White and Awakening in Sangha is designed as a guided, collaborative exploration of our racial conditioning as white people. We will apply dharma practices to enhance our capacity to be in community with members of marginalized communities, and develop skills to support the larger dharma community. It is also our hope that, through this collaboration, we will expand our shared capacity to help each other learn and grow in ways that support liberation for us all.
Six half-day meetings (Sundays 1:30-5:30: January 22, February 26, March 19, April 16, May 21 and June 18.) Meetings will include formal teaching, participant check-ins, experiential exercises, small group reflection and discussion.
Homework, consisting of reading, journaling, personal reflection, exercises and attendance at EBMC or other sangha events.
Small group meetings (5-8 people) in between Sunday meetings to discuss homework and reflections on the larger meeting.
Each participant has a Dharma buddy to check in with.
Agree to attend and actively participate in all monthly and small group meetings
Agree to “go the distance,” to stay engaged if/when the going gets rough.
Agree to seek support of the program facilitators when needed.
Agree to support the program through participation in the EBMC practice of gift economics.
Be a regular member of a sangha or sitting group.
Identify as a white person.
Have an active dharma practice and familiarity with practices of mindfulness, lovingkindness and compassion.
Have a basic understanding of Buddhist teachings.
Have some experience exploring and working with white privilege.
Have the interpersonal and emotional skills to work safely and productively with other white practitioners in experiential exercises.
Be open to courageous self-exploration.
Complete the program application found at https://goo.gl/forms/33yWil oOlhfAM10j2 by November 15, 2016 (applicants are encouraged to apply early).
Participate in a phone or in-person interview, if requested.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent by December 15, 2016.
If you have questions about the program, or would like information, please contact us at <WASfirstname.lastname@example.org>.
Program led by Kitsy Schoen and Crystal Johnson, with Kyla Danish, Dawn Haney, Gregory Mengel, Baruch Golden, and JD Doyle.