[Engaged] My Experience at Village Zendo Workshop on Race

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  • Onkai
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Aug 2015
    • 2892

    [Engaged] My Experience at Village Zendo Workshop on Race

    Last Saturday I participated in the Village Zendo’s “White Work on Racism” (WWOR). There were 23 or so participants. It was about how we formed our perceptions of who was good and who was bad, what aspirations we were raised to have, and so on. The next WWOR meeting will focus on class/caste. The leader mentioned the book Caste, I believe it is by Isabel Wilkerson.

    The meeting started with a few minutes of sitting. Then a leader talked and gave a prompt, and anyone who wanted to respond would raise their hands (they called it “popcorn participation”). That part was like meetings at Treeleaf. A video was shown of a cheetah attacking a deer - it showed that the deer recovered by shaking, and our instruction then was to shake ourselves.

    Then the facilitators broke us up into groups of three with a list of questions. One person would ask the questions (they were posted in chat on the ZOOM screen), another would respond, and a third person would pay attention to emotional responses to the interview and write those responses down. The roles would rotate every five minutes, so each of the three would take on each of the roles, and then there were five additional minutes where we could discuss what had happened within the threesome. I usually have a problem with feeling awkward when participating in small group discussions but found this format to be more natural to respond to.

    Then the facilitators brought us back together on one screen, and again, if people wanted to say something about the experience, they could raise their hands to be called on. I’m glad I participated and want to participate in future meetings.

    Sorry I ran quite a bit over three sentences.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39456

    #2
    Thank you for being our ambassador there, Onkai.

    If you find any suggestions or tips that might be suited to our Sangha, please let us know so that we can consider them.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Naiko
      Member
      • Aug 2019
      • 838

      #3
      Thank you for sharing that, Onkai. It sounds pretty intense. I hope you will post about future meetings.
      Gassho,
      Krista
      st/lah

      Comment

      • Meitou
        Member
        • Feb 2017
        • 1656

        #4
        Thank you for for being there Onkai and sharing your experience, as Jundo says, please pass anything on which could help.
        Gassho
        Meitou
        Sattoday lah
        命 Mei - life
        島 Tou - island

        Comment

        • aprapti
          Member
          • Jun 2017
          • 889

          #5
          nice Onkai.



          aprapti

          std

          hobo kore dojo / 歩歩是道場 / step, step, there is my place of practice

          Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

          Comment

          • Kokuu
            Treeleaf Priest
            • Nov 2012
            • 6785

            #6
            Thank you for going and sharing, Onkai.

            That sounds like a really valuable discussion to be involved in.

            Gassho
            Kokuu
            -sattoday-

            Comment

            • Jakuden
              Member
              • Jun 2015
              • 6142

              #7
              Wonderful Onkai! Thank you for sharing your experience. Deep bows.

              Gassho,
              Jakuden
              SatToday/LAH

              Comment

              • Washin
                Treeleaf Unsui
                • Dec 2014
                • 3758

                #8
                Lovely, Onkai! Thank you for sharing this with us

                Gassho,
                Washin
                stlah
                Kaidō (皆道) Every Way
                Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
                ----
                I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything that I say must not be considered as teaching
                and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

                Comment

                • Onkai
                  Treeleaf Unsui
                  • Aug 2015
                  • 2892

                  #9
                  I just participated in the second session of “White Work On Racism,” offered by The Village Zendo. It was a moving session with small group discussions. Jundo brought up the question of what purpose WWOR is for, and the description on The Village Zendo website begins as follows (at https://villagezendo.org/events/white-work-on-racism/ )
                  Racism is a trauma that affects all bodies, creating tension, disconnection, and perpetuation of suffering. This group is for White people who want to heal, who want to develop a benign and whole White identity, and who want to turn toward justice.

                  White Work on Racism (WWOR) meets once a month, and includes education, experiences, and conversation. We are guided by Janet Helms’ model of identity development and Resmaa Menakem’s application of somatic therapies to the trauma of racism. Turning the light inward, we aim to support each other to uncover the workings of racism and transform them.
                  Today’s session focused on class, and the leader referenced the book Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson. At the session, the leader played a recording of Wilkerson narrating a scene of racial discrimination that took place before the Civil Rights movement. We were broken up into groups where we took turns asking set questions about our feelings about the story, answering, and listening. My group got into how some people were raised around racism.

                  Later the leader discussed class, and what makes a class identity. Then we broke up into the same groups with questions about our class identity, how we feel about it and how we relate to people in our class and above us or below us. The group discussion had different points of view and some emotion. I think we were all open and accepting of each other.

                  Sorry to go over three sentences - overenthusiasm

                  Gassho,
                  Onkai
                  Sat
                  Last edited by Onkai; 10-31-2020, 10:23 PM.
                  美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
                  恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

                  I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

                  Comment

                  • Naiko
                    Member
                    • Aug 2019
                    • 838

                    #10
                    Onkai, that sounds fascinating and challenging. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I look forward to your next update!
                    Gassho,
                    Krista
                    st

                    Comment

                    • Jundo
                      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 39456

                      #11
                      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                      Comment

                      • Meitou
                        Member
                        • Feb 2017
                        • 1656

                        #12
                        This sounds so interesting, thank you Onkai.
                        Gassho
                        Meitou
                        Sattoday lah
                        命 Mei - life
                        島 Tou - island

                        Comment

                        • Onkai
                          Treeleaf Unsui
                          • Aug 2015
                          • 2892

                          #13
                          I forgot to mention an important part of the experience, which was that there were ways we got in touch with and released tensions in our bodies. After the discussions, it made a big difference. Instead of carrying the heavy emotions I felt a release and wholeness.

                          Gassho,
                          Onkai
                          Sat/lah
                          美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
                          恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

                          I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

                          Comment

                          • Heiso
                            Member
                            • Jan 2019
                            • 824

                            #14
                            That sounds really interesting (and challenging). Thanks for sharing, Onkai.

                            Gassho,

                            Heiso

                            StLah

                            Comment

                            • Onkai
                              Treeleaf Unsui
                              • Aug 2015
                              • 2892

                              #15
                              Today I joined for a third workshop. The concept of colorblindness, and how that has been brought forth as an equalizing idea, but can reinforce white supremacy by making "normal" to be white culture. We broke up into smaller groups a couple of times for discussion. The second time around it was suggested that colorblindness and race parallel the absolute and the relative, and that the absolute must meet the relative. We were given a koan about it, but I don't remember it exactly and don't want to misquote it. There were centering exercises, and at the end we shook and moved to some fast, percussive music. The leader said that in the next session there will be questions about what is nice about being white.

                              Gassho,
                              Onkai
                              Sat/lah
                              美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
                              恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

                              I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

                              Comment

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