“What is Whiteness” Sangha Commitment Group
March 7 - August 1, 2021
Note: Current members of “What is Whiteness” do not need to re-register, you are already registered for the spring 2021 meetings!
The MRO’s Beyond Fear of Differences Commitment for those who identify as white will begin a new series of monthly meetings starting on Sunday March 7th, 1-2:30 pm via Zoom. This will be part of an ongoing monthly inquiry—based in Dharma practice—into whiteness and its many biases and blindspots. Beginning with the study guide Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad and other materials as a large group, small study break-out groups will proceed at their own pace, while returning participants will work with a variety of related books such as Ruth King’s Mindful of Race.
These meetings are for those who identify as white specifically because of the need to help each other address our conditioning and to be of benefit in the world. Sangha of color have an on-going Sangha Groups and Book Study Groups, and if you identify as BIPOC please consider joining with these, as well as additional programs as they are added.
This meeting is open to everyone and especially those participating in ango. First meeting and newcomer orientation is on March 7th (returning participants will meet in their regular groups). Participants are asked to make a six-month commitment in order to establish a space of trust and accountability within the small group format. If you have further questions about this commitment, please contact us.
The reason for making a commitment to this work: A bond built in honest conversation and non-intellectual sharing can bring insight and acceptance of our internalized racism and implicit biases, which takes time and trust. We’ll begin each meeting all together before our break-out groups divide. Each autonomous group will end the meeting with their own closing. Groups are also able to decide if they want to meet more often, but monthly is a good start.
The work in these groups will help participants to develop both compassion and accountability as participants process felt, embodied experiences of reactivity and defensiveness, examine racist structures, analyze their own racist views (hint: we all have them), and challenge their racist assumptions and behaviors. The willingness to engage this work—as in Zen practice and meditation—is learning to not turn away from the suffering of others and one’s own discomfort in undoing racism. This is not easy and we need to bring patience and commitment. Zen practice is a willingness to see our minds directly, and our vows are to acknowledge the depth of karma as we take full responsibility for and atone for our intentions, actions and inactions.
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Your registration confirmation will include a link to register for the Zoom session, which will send you a unique link for your log-in Please keep this Zoom-generated email, it will be the same for all sessions.