[Sayma-Discuss] Shared by QUF | "Where Will You Stand?" by Rev. angel Kyodo Williams

Mike Shell bright_crow at mindspring.com
Thu Mar 8 08:38:01 EST 2018



This speaks as much to our Quaker faith and practice as it does to Western
Buddhist dharma practice.


"Where Will You Stand?" by Rev. angel Kyodo Williams

Buddhadharma, Nov 2017



"We are at a critical moment in the history of the nation as well as within
the Buddhist teaching and tradition in America. This is the "back of the
bus" moment of our time. Fifty years after civil rights laws were laid down,
it is clear that these laws were enshrined within a structure that continues
to profit from anti-Black racism. The necessary bias that the system
requires in order to perpetuate itself has permeated our sanghas, and in
this very moment, Buddhists are called upon to put aside business as usual. 


"If you have ever wondered how you would have shown up in the face of the
challenge put before white America when Rosa Parks refused to give up her
seat, upending the accepted social order, now is when you will find out.
Will we actually embody our practice and teachings-or not? It is a
clarifying moment about who we are as individuals and who we have been thus
far as a collective of people laying claim to the teachings of the Buddha,
waving the flag of wisdom and compassion all the while..


"Will we as Buddhists express the promise of, and commitment to, liberation
for all beings, or will we instead continue a hyper-individualized salvation
model-the myth of meritocracy-that is also the foundation of this country's


"The work of dharma communities is the same work of the America that wants
to live up to its promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It
is to kick the habit of racism, cultural dominance, and upholding oppressive
systems. More poignantly, our challenge, our responsibility, our deep
resounding call is to be at the forefront of this overdue evolutionary
thrust forward. Why? Because we chose to position ourselves as the
standard-bearers of an ethical high ground. And we have the tools and
teachings to do so.


"Much of what is being taught as Buddhism in America is the acceptance of a
kinder, gentler suffering that does not question the unwholesome roots of
systemic suffering and the structures that hold it in place. The expansive
potential of the dharma to liberate us from suffering is in danger of being
rendered impotent because it is held in subjugation to the very systems that
it must thoroughly examine..


"Thrust into the Western socioeconomic framework that puts profit above all,
and coupled with a desire to perpetuate institutional existence at the
expense of illuminating reality and revealing deeper truths, the dharma has
become beholden to commodification, viewing it as inescapable and de
rigueur. The dharma's authenticity and integrity are thus compromised.


"What is required is a new dharma, a radical dharma that deconstructs rather
than amplifies the systems of suffering, that starves rather than fertilizes
the soil that deep roots of societal suffering grows in. A new dharma is one
that not only insists we investigate the unsatisfactoriness of our own minds
but also prepares us for the discomfort of confronting the obscurations of
the society we are individual expressions of. It recognizes that the
delusions of systemic oppression are not solely the domain of the
individual. By design, they are seated within and reinforced by society.."






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Michael Austin Shell

Blog & Newsletter Editor


Quaker Universalist Fellowship

 <http://universalistfriends.org/> http://universalistfriends.org/


 <https://twitter.com/QuakerUFVoice> https://twitter.com/QuakerUFVoice


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