2016 Mindfulness Retreat for People of Color
We are happy to continue sharing the Dharma talks from The Path of True Love: Healing Ourselves, our recent mindfulness retreat for People of Color.
Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel begins her talk by reflecting on her early encounter with Zen as a person of color. Rev. Zenju refers to people of color meditation groups as "cultural sanctuaries" and responds to the perceptions of these spaces as "exclusionary" and counter to "oneness." Rev. Zenju also presents the teachings on store consciousness and the direct experience of transformation when seeds arise.
Rev. Zenju also reads selections from her latest work, The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender.
A few excerpts Rev. Zenju's talk:
We as people of color have specific spiritual work to contend with, and the term "people of color" suggests that work rather than the idea of separation based on skin color for the sake of harming those who are white---that is not the intention.
The civil rights movement...it wasn't about us being able to sit at the counter in Newberry's to eat hamburgers...it wasn't just that. It was about love, creating love and seeing people as people and creating love and to rid ourselves of a consciousness of hatred. That's what that movement was about. Of course, we took some of the gifts that came out of that movement, the civil rights movement, but at the same time, it was still misunderstood that it was for one particular group of people when it was for the entire humanity.
My embodiment was exactly where the awakening was going to happen. Where else was it going to happen? It wasn't going to drop from the sky. I've been given a gift about who I am, all that I have experienced so that I can awaken to something much larger than that, much further than that---and still have that...When I began to see this is my gateway...I felt I needed to share with people that we already have what we need to head toward enlightenment or to engage it, to engage oneness. I can engage oneness because I am here, the oneness that is right here...When I began to see this embodiment was the gateway to boundlessness, I began to walk it differently--not where it was something that burdened me, but something that could be used...
--Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
Let us now stop, listen deeply and contemplate these teachings and sharings to cultivate our individual and collective healing and awakening.
To stay connected with Rev. Zenju, visit http://zenju.org/.