Perception determines the characteristics of what it perceives—for example, whether a race is threatening or whether a race is worth paying attention to. Perception determines whether we like someone or something; in an armed confrontation, it determines whether we shoot someone or pause. Through this practice of questioning my perceptions, I was able to directly discern that race is not inherently good or bad, right or wrong. It is our judgment about race—how we have been conditioned to think and perceive—that’s problematic. This, we can do something about.

From Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us about Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom edited by Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles © 2020. Reprinted with permission of Shambhala Publications.

Get Daily Dharma in your email

Start your day with a fresh perspective

a photo of a Buddhist meditating
Explore timeless teachings through modern methods.

With Stephen Batchelor, Sharon Salzberg, Andrew Olendzki, and more

See Our Courses

Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.

This article is only for Subscribers!

Subscribe now to read this article and get immediate access to everything else.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Log in.