How Can Clouds Become More Fully a Refuge for Everyone? With the Race, Love and Liberation Laboratory (for growing spiritual things).

Dharma talk by Raul Ramos, Busshin Carol Iwata, Keika Karin San Juan, Marcus Young 楊墨, and GyokuJun Didi Koka on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

The LAB is a group of practitioners of color. Building on years of work around racial awareness at Clouds, our first initiative in October 2017 brought Rev. angel Kyodo williams to Clouds for four days of discussion, reflection, and meditation on the theme of “Race, Love, and Liberation.” Inspired by Rev. angel’s powerful presence and the dynamic multicultural/multifaith/multiracial energy of that event, we realized that we were in the position to “grow more spiritual things” led by and for people of color, including twice-per-month sitting meditation sessions for people of color only; a collaborative two-day workshop and retreat with the Million Artist Movement and Don’t You Feel it Too?; a five-week class focused on Rev. angel’s book, Radical Dharma; and a dismantling whiteness discussion group for white people.
The LAB supports conversation and reflection to examine and appreciate how Buddhism has been stewarded by white people and white culture, and to find out what we can to do re-imagine and re-interpret Buddhist practices for the liberation of all beings. We have observed that by bringing zazen together with an explicit concern for racial justice, people of color can turn the Dharma Wheel.