Severing Attachment to White Supremacy (SAWS) Sangha
As Dharma practitioners we are committed to a journey of discovering and uprooting our ignorance and unconscious bias regarding issues of racism, sexism, and heterosexism, among other forms of bias. At Tara Mandala, we seek to integrate our practice and prayers with our words and actions, using the tools that we have such as meditation, self-inquiry, Bodhicitta, and Feeding Your Demons® to help us meet and heal our unconscious ways of being that may harm others. Within our lineage, we learn to recognize self-clinging in many forms, including clinging to privilege and the security it appears to bring, and ultimately to sever this clinging in order to restore our connection with the natural vastness of our nature.
While people tend to hold multiple different identities simultaneously and thus different intersecting social locations at once, many of us in the sangha hold privileged locations within society. This group is a place for those of us with white privilege to explore the implications of Bodhisattva intentions with regard to our conscious and unconscious participation in systems of oppression, and to find skillful ways of transforming this participation into commitment to and solidarity with inclusive sangha.
We hold the aspiration that through this work, which includes spaces for the white-identified, privileged sangha to do its own exploration as well as future spaces in which the whole inclusive sangha can work together, we can learn to more effectively address issues of power, privilege and violent oppression within the sangha body and in the world.
Please see below for the SAWS meeting details, our facilitators, and how to join.
To learn more about the meaning of white supremacy and liberation through the lens of Dharma, click here to read this talk by Rev. angel Kyodo Williams.
If you would like to learn more about our BBAIPOC Sangha meetings please click here.
Tara Mandala EDI Council
SAWS Meeting Format, Commitment, and Schedule
Each 2-hour meeting will be guided by Lopön Chandra Easton and MacAndrew Jack and will include meditation, questions for self-reflection, mindful sharing, group reflection, and calls to action.
We will implement the teachings and exercises from the White Awake curriculum throughout our course of learning together, along with other resources.
Here is an example of the general format for our Zoom meetings (subject to change):
- Opening meditation
- Review Shared Agreements
- Introduction of questions for self-reflection or external material for group investigation
- Mindful sharing
- Group reflection
- Suggestions on how to take action
- Closing and dedication
We ask that you commit to participating in all the six meetings over the six months (see schedule below).
If you have to miss a live meeting, you will be expected to watch/listen to the recorded meeting before the next class so that you are up to speed with the group. Recordings will be sent to those enrolled in the group within 72 hours after each meeting. (Please note: only the presentation, the guided meditation, and the call to action items will be recorded to respect the privacy of individual sharing). Your conscious commitment to show up consistently will allow our work to grow and move forward in a productive and satisfying way for everyone.
Next session TBD.
Online via our Zoom platform.
Classes are offered on a Dana (Generosity) basis. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Teacher Dana links:
Lopon Chandra Easton PayPal: loponchandra
MacAndrew Jack PayPal Email: ma********@ma*.com
Please consider donating to any of the following:
Lopön Chandra Easton
Lopön Chandra Easton is a teacher, writer, and translator of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the guiding teacher for Tara Mandala Retreat Center, founded by Lama Tsultrim Allione. In 2015, she helped to launch a program called “Compassionately Awake to Oppression and Privilege” in the SF Bay Area with Karla Jackson-Brewer and Rev. Jamil Scott, which explored how meditation and Feeding Your Demons® may be applied to our personal and cultural demons of racism, privilege, and oppression. Lopön Chandra is on the Tara Mandala Board of Trustees and the Tara Mandala Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Council which addresses issues of underrepresentation of people from different cultural, racial, sexual orientation, and social backgrounds in the Dharma and at Tara Mandala. She is currently writing a book on the 21 Taras. Visit chandraeaston.com and taramandala.org.
MacAndrew Jack, Ph.D.
MacAndrew is a psychologist, clinician, educator, and writer. He was the Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Psychology at Naropa University where he is Professor of Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology. As a longtime student of Lama Tsultrim and Apprentice Teacher at Tara Mandala with many privileged social locations, MacAndrew has sought to incorporate his practice and study of the Dharma with a path of cultural humility, allyship and skillful means around challenging social issues, particularly race, gender, and economic stratification. Visit www.macandrewjackphd.com and taramandala.org.