Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Southeast Asians may add yoga and meditation to this title as well. In the US, 67 percent of Buddhists are Asian. Yet, the face of American Buddhism is predominantly white as Asians have been marginalized. Funie Hsu, an assistant professor of American Studies at San Jose State University and a board member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, addresses this in a frank and forthright manner in the Lion’s Roar. This post highlights major points but interested readers should read the whole article. As we resist the inequality, racism, and bigotry, let us not forget that they all exist even in the space of mindfulness and meditation–in complete contradiction to the teachings. It is worth contemplation! Hsu suggests: deep contemplation on this can help shatter the fragility of the false self and the delusion of racial colorblindness.
The points Hsu makes are valid in many ways to yoga which includes meditation. A major difference is that Southeast Asians did not suffer the internment that the Japanese Americans went through.
Hsu writes: it’s time we recognize the contributions of Asian American Buddhists and address the racism and cultural appropriation that marginalizes their ongoing role in transmitting the dharma in the West.
White supremacy has systematically alienated Asian and Asian American Buddhist communities and diminished the validity of our relationship to Buddhism in the U.S. The erasure and exclusion of our communities is not merely about a lack of inclusion; to put it so simply would be dismissive of the facts of history. The exclusion of Asian and Asian American Buddhists from conversations on American Buddhism is cultural appropriation. It renders invisible our foundational role in establishing and maintaining Buddhism in America despite white supremacy. Thus, such erasure denies our right to claim our deep and specific connection—indeed, our centrality—to American Buddhism. It appropriates our historical authority in order to promote the white ownership of an indigenous Asian practice for liberation.
The white ownership of Buddhism is claimed through delegitimizing the validity and long history of our traditions, then appropriating the practices on the pretext of performing them more correctly.
Hsu concludes: In the U.S., that path (the three gems of Buddha, dharma, and sangha) includes the liberation of suffering from white supremacy. This is American Buddhism.
It is also American yoga and meditation.
The sun shines over all life without distinction
The water flows with no attempt at prejudice
The earth holds us all without labels
The tree gives fruit and shade without judgement
The breath flows from one to another giving life to all
The sky covers us with the umbrella of infinite space
Rich or poor, dark or light, man or woman
No East, West, North, or South
Seeing no country or religion
Why let the mind divide what Nature does not
Poem: Meena Modi
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2016/02/01/21/53/weapons-1174491_960_720.jpg
In meditation we experience oneness. Nothing separates us from life, all beings.Can we carry that inner awareness into our outer world, our daily lives? If the inner light cannot shine on thoughts and behaviors that arise from fears and insecurities, conditioned thinking, then one must question the quality and motivation of meditation. Fears arise from lack of understanding. They imprison and painfully dissect minds, people, and communities. This poem from the March 27, 2013, blog post is copied to renew awareness in this polarized world.
Lady Gaga asks His Holiness The Dalai Lama about the despair and loneliness in youth; the importance of kindness and compassion for self-esteem and sense of purpose; and connecting to our shared humanity for healthier living. What meditation to practice is another question briefly explored.
March 20 was Happiness Day and the World Happiness Report 2016 has been released. India’s ranking is a shocking surprise. The top 10 countries remain unchanged though the rankings within the top has changed a bit. These reports began in 2012.
- New Zealand
The US ranks at 13, UK 23, Saudi Arabia 34, Italy 50. War-torn, unstable countries with repression and violence rank higher than India (118), now a major economy with a GDP rate higher than China’s (83): Libya 64, Lebanon 93, Greece 99, Iran 105, Palestine 108, Iraq 112! Even Bangladesh (110) and Pakistan (92) rank higher.
In the next post we will look at the factors that account for some of the differences.