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The United States and the world watched in shock last month, when on January 6, a mob of Trump supporters, many of them white and motivated by racist and nativist ideologies, laid siege to the US Capitol as lawmakers were certifying the 2020 presidential election results. As the US tries to rally around unity instead of division, Tricycle has been taking stock of recent events by looking inward—at why we, as a nation, need to deal with the roots of suffering first, before we can move toward collective healing.
Race-based suffering, resilience, and transformation are at the core of a new collection of “freedom stories” written by Black Buddhist voices. In our latest episode of Tricycle Talks, editor and publisher James Shaheen speaks about what it means to be Black and Buddhist in America with Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl Giles, coeditors of Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom.
In this conversation, Yetunde, a pastoral counselor and practitioner in the Zen and Insight traditions, and Giles, a professor of pastoral care and counseling at Harvard Divinity School and clinical psychologist, examine racial ignorance and color blindness in Buddhist communities as well as how their dharma practice has helped them to reaffirm and celebrate their Blackness. Together, they reflect on how this anthology of liberation stories can offer all practitioners, regardless of race, a different way of being—of relating to ignorance, anger, trauma, fear, and pain.
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