Soto Zen Buddhist Association

53,450 supporters

    Started 2 petitions

    Petitioning Soto Zen Buddhist Association, Soto Zen Buddhist Priests, buddhists , Soto Zen Buddhists

    SZBA Statement & Call to Action on Systemic Racism

    SZBA Statement and Call to Action on Systemic Racism  In deep grief over the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, the Soto Zen Buddhist Association acknowledges the deep-seated, systemic, and structural racism that poisons life in the United States of America. We vow to continue the work we are currently engaged in, and call for a fresh and coordinated effort to dismantle racism at every level of our culture, society, government, our Zen communities, and our own hearts.   Today, we see and hear the searing pain and anger of Black people, who have endured centuries of oppression in the United States and who, as a community, continue to suffer acts of violence and discrimination, including at the hands of law enforcement.   We grieve the disproportionate number of people of color who have died of the coronavirus, and see that many people of color performing essential functions of society are undervalued and oppressed economically. Those of us who are white fully avow our complicity in perpetuating this harm.   We look to the Dharma to support us as a community, and to inspire and inform our actions off the cushion. As Soto Zen Buddhist priests the Dharma is our guide as we sow the seeds of compassion and inclusion toward all people. We recognize the deeply embedded ways racism and white privilege deprive us of the world we have vowed to co-create with all beings. We vow to overcome racism in ourselves, our Sanghas, and our world.  We call on all members of the SZBA to dig deeply into our own roles in institutionalized and systemic racism and engage in to the following actions: Center voices of color and their needs in our Zen communities. Without conscious centering, these voices and needs can get lost in our predominantly white-dominant spaces. Reach out to your members of color and offer emotional, spiritual, and practical support.  Commit to 49 days of meditation, ritual, and mourning for George Floyd and for all who suffer from systemic racism and other forms of injustice. For these 49 days begin your services with the SZBA’s Statement of Recognition and Repentance. Include the statement in your monthly Full Moon Ceremony.  Commit to amplifying the voices of Buddhists of Color, especially Black Buddhists, and their teachings.  Speak directly about anti-racism with your Zen communities, through Dharma talks, workshops, and community discussions. Ask for feedback to make sure your message and actions strike the right note for people of color. Engage your community members to make actionable plans for stepping up and speaking out, honoring Right Action and Right Speech. Create community accountability for these plans. Listen deeply. Allow space, voice, and permission for anger and rage without judgment, guilt, or pressure to bypass these emotions.  Reach out to Black clergy and Black social justice organizations in your community and offer your support.  Have your communities commit to a series of brave, fierce conversations on race,  privilege, and bias. Vow to hold ourselves, and our leaders, accountable. Acknowledging the suffering racism causes, we commit to creating refuges for all who breathe, and for those who feel they cannot breathe. The SZBA acknowledges that we have not always been a refuge for Black and Brown people. We atone for this and we renew our vow to untangle racism’s tenacious tendrils and cultivate the blossoming of a new and better world. We will practice the humility that is essential to listening deeply and that leads to real and lasting change.  Please sign in support and commitment to action. With palms together, The SZBA BoardTenku Ruff, PresidentCharlie Pokorny, Vice PresidentChimyo Atkinson, SecretaryDokai Georgesen, TreasurerMamta PrakashThomas BrunerGyozan Royce JohnsonSosan FlynnKoshin Paley EllisonMarc LesserInryū Bobbi Poncé-Barger The DEIA CommitteeAnnalisa Castaldo, Committee ChairDokai Georgesen, Board LiaisonGenjo ConwayBen ConnellyRobert Kaku GunnRyuki Tom HawkinsTova Green

    Soto Zen Buddhist Association
    2,816 supporters
    Petitioning Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Department of Homeland Security

    Stop Separating Immigrant Families_Buddhist Statement

    [PLEASE SEE THE UPDATE FOR AN ACTION YOU CAN TAKE JULY 20, 2019] As Buddhist leaders and practitioners, we unreservedly condemn the recently imposed policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the US-Mexican border. Over the past few weeks, thousands of children have been inhumanely taken from their parents by US Customs and Border Protection, in a policy that has been condemned by the United Nations and many international human rights observers. Indeed, no other country has a policy of separating families who intend to seek asylum. Whatever the legal status of those attempting to enter the US, separating children from their parents is a contravention of basic human rights. Parents seeking asylum make long, dangerous and arduous journeys in an attempt to find safety and well-being for their precious children. Ripping these vulnerable children from their parents is cruel, inhumane, and against the principles of compassion and mercy espoused by all religious traditions. From a Buddhist perspective, it is the close bond between parents and children that nurtures not only the physical well-being of children, but their psychological health and their moral formation.  Separating children from their parents and holding them in detention inflicts terrible and needless trauma and stress on young children that hampers and damages their development, causing long-term damage. This policy being employed on United States soil is morally unconscionable. That such egregious actions be employed as a deterrent for families seeking entry and/or asylum in the U.S. – using the sacred bond between innocent youth and their parents – is unjustifiable on any level. We suggest that our current defenders of this policy visit some of these border crossings and child detention centers so they can experience for themselves the present effects of their decisions. It is difficult to conceive that anyone having compassion for our world’s children and their families, and who witnesses such pain and anguish for themselves could continue to uphold such a practice. As people of faith and conscience, we feel that it is important that we speak out clearly in defense of basic human rights at this time, calling for an immediate end to this heartless practice. In doing so, we join the voices of many religious leaders and congregations that have unreservedly condemned this policy of separation. This policy is a serious violation of the rights of the child and must be stopped today. Signed: (Click here for a list of over 200 Buddhist leaders)

    Soto Zen Buddhist Association
    50,634 supporters