Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter.

–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Many of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs—the value of nonviolence, the power of love to transform our world, and the interconnectedness of all beings—are consonant with the Buddhist teachings. Today, where we face the ugly forces of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and ignorance in both public discourse and our private lives, Dr. King’s vision can provide a lodestar that guides us toward a world where we treat one another with compassion despite differences.

In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, we’re sharing a video dharma talk and five articles about the intersection of race and Buddhism in our world. We hope that they serve to edify, motivate, and inspire you toward a deeper understanding of where we’ve been—and how far we have go to—for racial justice in our nation.

Waking up to Racism by bell hooks
Examining the racism that can prevent people of color from calling the dharma their own

Does Race Matter in the Meditation Hall?
Vipassana teacher Gina Sharpe talks to Tracy Cochran about a Buddhist retreat for people of color

A Sangha by Another Name by Charles Johnson
The first noble truth as it applies to the suffering of blacks in white America, and the history of dharma among black artists

Real Refuge: Building Inclusive and Welcoming Sanghas with Mushim Patricia Ikeda-Nash
How accessible and culturally supportive are our sanghas for people of all races, sexual orientation, income levels, and ages seeking the dharma?

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
A Buddhist priest reflects on the occasion of the civil rights leader’s birthday.

Trike Daily: Presenting “Teachings for Uncertain Times”
During February’s Black History Month, Tricycle will run a special series of video dharma talks—featuring 13 Buddhist teachers of color—on topics such as Black Lives Matter lovingkindness meditation, seeing America’s racial karma as samsara, and taking refuge amidst personal and societal suffering.

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