Be a light unto yourself; betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth.
~ The Buddha
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
~ June Jordan
The killing of George Floyd has had a crushing impact on our hearts, both on its own and as one in a long line of acts of police violence against black people in this country. Indeed, it occurred very close on the heels of the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. We stand in solidarity with those who are rising up to say that state violence against people of color must end. We resonate deeply with the grief and clarity being expressed now by so many across our country.
The Buddha said “hold fast to the truth,” the dharma. In this moment of global crisis, we are called upon to face the truth of racism individually and in community. We recognize racism and white supremacy have a long legacy in this country. Let us further draw on the steadiness of mind and the expansiveness of heart that we cultivate in our practice to take compassionate, discerning, decisive action against racism. It is crucial that we reject complacency and indifference in the face of violence and that we understand there are many ways to root out systemic racism and its impacts. At the bottom of this email is a non-inclusive list of possible actions. We cite these not to endorse any particular action but to point to the many possibilities available to us, and to illustrate that, as dharma practitioners, in each moment, we have a choice to make about whether and how to take action. Each of us can look into our hearts and decide on any appropriate action based on the conditions of our lives.
To ground our intentions in the dharma, we encourage you to attend two upcoming IPV offerings:
We are also offering small, peer-led discussion groups on the topic of how sangha members might bring their dharma practice into conversation with anti-racist political action and awareness. If you are interested in participating in one of these groups, you can sign up here.
We leave you with a poem by Ross Gay quoted below, which illustrates the benefit of the good actions taken by those we have lost that continue to reverberate through our lives. In the days ahead, let us find refuge in our wholesome actions and those of many others.
Trellis Stepter, Board President
Tara Mulay, Interim Guiding Teacher
The Beloved Community Builders Committee of the Board of Insight Pioneer Valley
Blog posts are written by various IPV and guest teachers. Biographies can be found on the Teachers page.