Racial and Social Justice

Clouds in Water has committed to developing robust racial and social justice programming focusing on discussion groups, listening sessions, workshops, classes, dharma talks, and meditation. This commitment permeates our organization, and is specifically manifested via three main initiatives:   

  • The Race, Love and Liberation Laboratory (for growing spiritual things) (aka "The LAB")
  • Black, Indigenous & People of Color (BIPOC) Group
  • White Racial Affinity Groups

The Race, Love and Liberation Laboratory (for growing spiritual things)

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 do to 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.

Black, Indigenous & People of Color (BIPOC) Group

2nd & 4th Sundays: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 pm
Every Wednesday 7:00 -8:30 pm

Many people long to be in a space where they can be themselves without the judgment or curiosity of white people. Gatherings start with lightly guided Zazen for 30 minutes and then participants converse for about 60 minutes about whatever is arising for the group or on a topic that the facilitator might propose. Please direct questions to Carol Iwata: carol.iwata@cloudsinwater.org

White Racial Affinity Groups

These small groups of white-bodied people work together to awaken to racism as a white problem and find ways to dismantle it. The groups focus on the deep inner work that is necessary to see through our individual and collective delusions and begin personal and social transformation. Contact Sosan@cloudsinwater.org for more information, or to find out how to join one of the groups.