Four Questions on Racial Justice

These four questions on racial justice were pondered by three participants at the Earth Holder Retreat on Saturday, April 30 at the Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California.

  1. What are your personal connections with racial justice?
  2. Touching the mud: what are the challenges, feelings and difficulties that you had growing up?
  3. When I think about climate justice through the lens of race, power and privilege ____ [fill in the blank]
  4. What inspires you in this work and what practices help you?

The wording above may not be 100% correct, as it reflects the notes I took on my iPhone during the workshop session.

Deer Park Monastery Small Meditation Hall

Deer Park Monastery Small Meditation Hall – Photo, Jerome Freedman, 2016

The session was facilitated by Nomi Green and the participants were Brian, Antoinette, and John.

It began with a video of an outspoken woman from the Paris COP21 talks on climate change last year on December 7-8.

Then, Nomi asked the questions of the participants and each person answered from their hearts.

The outpouring of emotions moved me greatly and I was happy to have chosen this workshop over the other three that were available that evening.

Then we broke into triads and were asked to contemplate and share our answers to questions similar to the ones the panelists answered.

This part was especially nourishing since I was able to tune into my feelings about how I was treated as a child and felt compassion for others.

Due to the nature of the workshop and dharma sharing in general, I can only report on my own thoughts and feelings about racial justice.

It makes me sad that people can’t live in peace, that children carry guns to shoot each other, and cops shoot people of color without cause.

About the only thing I can do is shower loving kindness blessings on the perpetrators and the victims, as we did at the end of the workshop.

We ended the workshop with singing these phrases starting with ourselves and moving out to others and finally, all sentient beings:

To the tune of Amazing Grace:

May I be filled with loving kindness.
May I be well.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy.

These phrases are now embedded in my mind and I shower loving kindness blessings on myself, my family and friends, my teachers and the world.

Who would you want to shower loving kindness blessings upon?

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