Session 6: Developing a Practice of Seeing Racism in the World Around and Within

One of the characteristics of white privilege is to deny its own contemporary, active and influential existence. For if it was seen clearly, it would so offend its carriers that it would cease to exist. As a kind of self-defence, white privilege is invisible to itself. However, with some practice, we can start to get “the knack” for seeing the ways white privilege continues to manifest and operate, both internally and externally. This session is designed to help us in that journey by revealing more dimensions, beyond the headlines, of how white culture operates.

Before Your Meeting

Please read or watch these before your meeting:

Also please review the discussion questions in the agenda below.

Personal Investigation – Please complete this assignment before your Session 6 meeting.

  • Assignment: Using the maps and other available resources, find out about the indigenous people who live or lived on the land where you currently live. Research the history of those people and any displacement or genocide that occurred. 

Facilitation

At your last meeting a facilitator was chosen. Here is a link to the facilitator's role .

Agenda

  • Sit (5 minutes)
  • Review Communication Guidelines   (5 minutes)
    • Read aloud your group’s guidelines developed in the first session
    • Discuss any revisions to the guidelines 
    • Confirm that all members can abide by the group’s guidelines, or at least open to practicing with them
  • Mindful Sharing (85 minutes)
    • Instruction: Mindful Sharing   involves each participant sharing from personal experience. There is no discussion or cross-talk during this time period, only personal sharing.
    • Each person in the group may share 3-5 minutes on each question (gauge the time depending on the number of people in your group). Speak to whatever questions are most salient.

Discussion Questions 

      • Share something that came up for you during your viewing of this session’s videos about how white privilege manifests.
      • Describe what you learned in the assignment: Researching the histories of the indigenous people who live/d on the land you currently live on. What histories of displacement, genocide, and other harm did you discover? How does knowing this history impact your relationship to the land? What is your connection to this collective karma? 
      • Discuss how compassion arises (or does not) when hearing the stories of refugees. What does collective compassion look like in a refugee crisis? Whose land is being protected when trying to keep out migrants and refugees? How does the fiction of nationalism prop up white supremacy?
      • Do you or your sangha have relationships with sanghas that are primarily Asian or Asian American Buddhists? Why or why not? Where do you find the stereotypes described by Angry Asian Buddhist showing up in your thinking, even in subtle ways?
  • Sit (5 minutes)
  • Group Reflection (10 minutes)
    • Instruction: Group Reflection is like Mindful Sharing in that there is no discussion or cross-talk, however the focus is on what kind of experience the participants had during the meeting rather than on the content covered.
    • Each person in the group can share 2-3 minutes about what it was like to participate in the group (gauge time based on number of people in the group)
    • PROMPT: What was it like to engage in Mindful Sharing today? How has this been for you so far?
  • Next Meeting (5 minutes)
    • How did your technology or meeting logistics work? Any changes you would like to try for the next meeting?
    • When will you meet?
    • Who will facilitate?
    • If you are meeting online, who will set up the next meeting?
  • If there’s time left, finish with a closing sit (5 minutes)

Additional Readings, Videos and Podcasts