Awakening our Hearts: Exploring Authentic Relationships Across Difference
A daylong retreat with Arinna Weismann, Eugene Cash, and Howard Cohn
Saturday, March 9, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
SF Dharma Collective, 2701 Folsom St., SF
Buddhism has as its refuge and vision a heart that is unrestricted, luminous and free. As we practice the eight fold path our hearts begin to open and call us to explore unconscious beliefs and behaviors that cause harm and suffering to others and ourselves. One of the areas this habitual expression takes place is how we as white people are unaware of the ways we build identities of whiteness which cover our hearts and separate us from people of color.
One of the main obstacles to this exploration is that as we prefer to examine ourselves individually to determine whether we carry prejudices and, if we believe that we are “good people” who wouldn’t discriminate, we prefer to adopt a more “color-blind” position. This stance does not take into account that our lived experience includes having “caught” messages about race and having received the benefits of white-skin privilege mostly outside of our awareness. By becoming aware of our group identity as whites and by owning the privileges of access to power and resources, we are able to transform ourselves and our ability to be in authentic relationships across differences. We begin to work towards the creation of multicultural communities by addressing the changes needed to bring about true inclusion. Through this process, we will have the opportunity to create structures and cultural norms that honor everyone in our sanghas.
The exploration we are proposing grows from the premise we always are deserving of love and that self-judgment is a barrier to openheartedness and new learning. Because we understand that this uncovering may touch places of shame and blame, our gathering will be conducted using practices of awareness, loving kindness, patience, truthfulness and the invitation to skill development. As we increase our understanding and deepen our exploration, we may find ourselves experiencing a new freedom of expression unobstructed by constructions of identities around whiteness.
Saturday will include mindfulness in sitting and walking meditation and:
1) Why exploring the dynamics of inequity is a dharma practice,
2) Safety Guidelines for the day,
3) Appreciation of our heritage,
4) Awareness of our complex cultural identities as targets and non-targets,
5) Exploration of early experiences of white privilege,
6) Application of Four Levels to strategic change.
The day will end with metta meditation.
RSVP to SF Dharma Collective here
Events at the SF Dharma Collective are offered by donation/for dana. The suggested donation for this retreat is $50-120 with no one turned away for lack of funds. Bring a bag lunch or you may buy food nearby.
Building is wheelchair accessible. For access questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This retreat was originally titled "Mindful and White."
*This program is meant as one opportunity for those of us who are white to explore our own conditioning in order to increase our capacity and develop our skills to support these communities in our sangha and to eventually be able to hold space for affinity groups of marginalized communities, including POC.
Calming the Restless Mind
A Day-Long Retreat with Howie Cohn
Friday, March 22, 2019, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA
Everyone wants to be calm and peaceful. Much of our restlessness and agitation stems from an untrained mind and lack of clear perception of what’s happening in our mind and body moment-to-moment. During this day retreat, we will train our hearts and minds to find a calm abiding in the present moment. How will we accomplish this?
We will follow the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness — being mindful of our bodies, beginning with the sensations of breathing and expanding to include all other types of physical sensations. We will learn to feel pleasure more fully without trying to make it last and learn to accommodate inevitable unpleasant experiences without being afraid of or reactive to them. We will develop the skill of recognizing and working with our moods and emotions and learn how to relate to our thoughts more wisely rather than being so easily carried away by them.
Settling the mind into the body, while noticing and caring about the flow of experience, our hearts can settle and we can all realize that the peace and ease we are looking for in our lives is the natural peace and ease of our own nature.
Visit the Spirit Rock Meditation Center Website for Registration