~ from March 11 session at TSoJ …
Mindful of how we all suffer from racism, and that we don’t suffer equally, how can Buddha-Dhamma help us understand the origins of our sufferings? Last time, we explored the fires and poisons of racism, the destructive forms of egoism that give birth to racism every day. Identity plays a big role in the egoisms we enact, including racial identities:
~ who we think we are,
~ who others think we are,
~ who we think others are.
“Identities are socially constructed. We buy into them and also have them imposed on us even when we reject them. To delve deeper into these origins we will explore identity, the conceit ‘I am,’ and its role in ‘comparing mind.’ A special case is the ‘good person’ we wish to be and its counterpart, ‘I’m not a racist.’ We aim to move beyond comparing and judging based on superficial differences in order to live in respect and appreciation of the very real differences that foster vitality and beauty.
Traditionally, dukkha/suffering is understood to be difficult to bear and ugly when seen for what it truly is. Nobody wants to suffer or have hardship imposed on us. This ugliness is apparent in the fires and poisons that feed suffering, such as greed, hatred, fear, and delusion. In racism, these are really ugly, and create great hardship! Buddha-Dhamma teaching and practice aims to recognize and quench these fires. How do these poisons feed racism in and around us on a daily basis? How can we apply the antidote to these poisons and stop feeding the ugliness of racism?
Next session is Wed April 8th.