Racial Justice

Race Love and Liberation Laboratory (for growing spiritual things) a/k/a “the Lab”. Who we are, what we are doing, and why it matters:

“The Lab” refers to a group of practitioners of color operating out of Clouds in Water Zen Center. We are supported by the Clouds in Water teaching staff through the participation of Guiding Teacher Rev. Sosan Theresa Flynn. We draw from Zen Buddhist teachings to nourish the many dimensions of racial justice in the Twin Cities and beyond.

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. New growths coming after that weekend include: twice-a-month Sunday 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 practice 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.

Members left to right: Karin San Juan, Raúl Ramos, Carol Iwata, Marcus Young,  Sōsan Flynn, Autumn Brown and Chee Hallowell.

Ongoing Groups

People of Color Sitting Group

2nd & 4th Sundays: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Please direct questions to Carol Iwata

Dismantling Whiteness Group

Last Sunday of the month, 10:45 – 12:00 p.m.
Facilitated by Sosan Flynn, Gentle Dragon Kennedy and Genjo Conway

Please direct questions to Genjo Sam Conway