Sunday 21st March (day of the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa) is the UN declared “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.” This is the day we host a panel of white Buddhists teachers sharing on their personal journey to racial healing, becoming anti-racist and dismantling “white supremacy” internally and through engaged action. We seek to understand how Buddhist and mindfulness practices can be integrated to effect the necessary internal and system changes to evolve socially just societies.
About the Panel
Tara Brach’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. The result is a distinctive voice in Western Buddhism, one that offers a wise and caring approach to freeing ourselves and society from suffering.
Tara has Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Fielding Institute, who completed the training program at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In 1998, Tara founded the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (IMCW), which is now one of the largest and most dynamic non-residential meditation centers in the United States. She gives presentations, teaches classes, offers workshops, and leads silent meditation retreats at IMCW and at conferences and retreat centers in the United States and Europe. Tara’s podcast receives over 3 million downloads each month. Her themes reveal the possibility of emotional healing and spiritual awakening through mindful, loving awareness as well as the alleviation of suffering in the larger world by practicing compassion in action. She has fostered efforts to bring principles and practices of mindfulness to issues of racial injustice, equity and inclusivity; peace; environmental sustainability, as well as to prisons and schools.
Together with Jack Kornfield she leads the Awareness Training Institute (ATI) which offers online courses on mindfulness and compassion, as well as the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP).
In addition to numerous articles, videos, and hundreds of recorded talks, Tara is the author of the books Radical Acceptance (Bantam, 2003), True Refuge: Finding Pace & Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart (Bantam, 2013) and Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of R.A.I.N. (Viking, 2019). She has a son, Narayan, and lives in Great Falls, VA, with her husband, Jonathan Foust and their dog, kd.
Ajahn Amaro: Ven. Amaro Bhikkhu received a BSc. in Psychology and Physiology from the University of London. Spiritual searching led him to Thailand, where he went to Wat Pah Nanachat, a Forest Tradition monastery established for Western disciples of Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah, who ordained him as a bhikkhu in 1979. Soon afterwards he returned to England and joined Ajahn Sumedho at the newly established Chithurst Monastery. He resided for many years at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, making trips to California every year during the 1990s.
In June 1996 he established Abhayagiri Monastery in Redwood Valley, California, where he was co-Abbot with Ajahn Pasanno until 2010. He then returned to Amaravati to become Abbot of this large monastic community.
Ajahn Amaro has written a number of books, including an account of an 830-mile trek from Chithurst to Harnham Vihara called Tudong – the Long Road North, republished in the expanded book Silent Rain. His other publications include Small Boat, Great Mountain (2003), Rain on the Nile (2009) and The Island – An Anthology of the Buddha’s Teachings on Nibbana (2009) co-written with Ajahn Pasanno, a guide to meditation called Finding the Missing Peace and other works dealing with various aspects of Buddhism.
Catherine McGee has practiced and studied Buddhist meditation since 1992, and has taught at Gaia House in England and internationally since 1997. She is also a student of the Diamond Approach of A.H. Almaas.
Her teaching emphasises working with perceptions of the body on the path of awakening and in the healing of the individual and collective crises of our times. She is an advisor to One Earth Sangha and is a member of the Gaia House teacher council. Between 2014 and 2020 Catherine collaborated with Rob Burbea in shaping and teaching a Soulmaking Dharma. She is particularly interested in the integration and embodiment of insight into our personal lives, and the opening of our personal lives for a depth of insight.
Mama D Ujuaje is a great-granddaughter of the Earth and thus one who re-members historical narratives; a descendant of those who authored what it means to be resilient and thus one who guides recovery through work in partnership with the elements and agencies of natural recovery, repair and restitution. She works as an independent researcher and learning facilitator in decolonial food and nourishment. Having developed interactive processes of learning and exploration around the constitution and wielding of power at different social scales and geographies she explores and examines privilege and inclusion as modernity’s constructs and diversity as a lens, through which we negotiate our working and living relationships at different levels of organisation. She also works at a genuine grassroots level supporting a network of community organisations: Just Space. Within the collective of Community Centred Knowledge Mama D has both founded and continues to curate the multi-sensory Food Journey© and other interactive and immersive workshops to contribute to our shared healing.
Monica Max West (Max) is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, wildlife photographer, psychotherapist and creator of Moonbow (YouTube). Also known as True Aspiration of the Heart, Max has been practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh since 2011. Max is deeply committed to anti-racist, feminist, ecological and other activism. She hopes that all of her work will nourish and grow peace, joy, freedom, love and creativity in the world.
How to attend
Please register via Eventbrite