Last Saturday, the InsightLA teachers gathered for another day of exploration of inclusion and diversity. Together we’re putting the magnifying glass of mindfulness on top of our organization to better see where any of us might be reflecting the conditioned racism of our society. With the heartbreaking divisiveness and suffering around racism so currently visible, it is a priority for us. In addition to the required trainings where we explore together as a teaching community, our white teachers have been participating in white awareness groups. We’re all learning.
Of course, it’s uncomfortable for white people to look at our stuff. We want to jump to fix it. Given the way we’re wired, it can be hard to align our behavior with our values. This exploration takes an ongoing commitment, for we’re not race-neutral; we’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. It’s painful to realize how we can be operating unconsciously in hurtful ways when all we want to do is wake up and alleviate suffering in the world. With expert help, we’re looking deeply at the bias and preconceptions that we may bring to our teaching and how we can do it differently. This is a radical inquiry.
Let’s face it, as individuals or an organization, we’re probably not going to look good when dealing with systemic racism. We are going to make mistakes. Our blind spots and vulnerabilities will be revealed. We can’t be concerned with perfection here! But we can be much more conscious and courageous. All of us want InsightLA to be a safe and welcoming space for all, We’re happy to have more teachers of color coming so that no one feels the loneliness of onlyness.
Human variability and diversity is a fact, but racialized power differential is based on a theoretical delusion. The Buddha stood up for equality and justice over and over again in his lifetime and we can do this, too. We can be a community of revolutionary kindness, supporting each other to see through our delusions. We can sincerely greet each other as sisters and brothers, with loving awareness and profound respect. This is how we change the world.