Racial Affinity Groups

KalyanaMitta
Having admirable people as friends, companions, and colleagues is actually the whole of the holy life.
~ The Buddha
KalyanaMitta
Along with Buddhist practitioners throughout the country, Triangle Insight feels called to address the continuing violence against People of Color, as well as the many more subtle expressions of racial injustice in our society. Growing out of this commitment, and with reflection upon a number of resources, including Ruth King’s Mindful of Race workshop, we have developed Racial Affinity Groups to support us in this important work.
KalyanaMitta
Racial Affinity Groups, like Kalyana Mitta Groups, are small peer groups of spiritual friends who use the dharma, their practice, and mindful sharing to deepen connection with self and others, explore spiritual issues, and develop greater understanding and healing.
KalyanaMitta
KalyanaMitta
Essential to both Kalyana Mitta and Racial Affinity groups is the development of safety, trust, and intimacy. This allows members to share openly and deeply, and the heart of the dharma is enriched in our practice, our daily lives, and the collective experience of the greater society.

The specific intention of Racial Affinity Groups is to deepen self-awareness around issues of race in small, racially homogeneous groups that integrate the dharma into members’ personal and collective exploration. Development of this deepened self-awareness underlies wise action, and we’re encouraged not to rush too quickly to problem-solve or “fix” anything, but, rather, to take the time needed to do our own work. As stated by the Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, “The main focus of the groups will be on sharing personal experiences related to race within the context of a mindfulness practice.” The model we’ll use is a council, in which members come to share, listen, and learn.
KalyanaMitta
At our September 16, 2015 meeting, some wondered why groups with goals of equality and inclusion would be racially homogeneous. This is an important question, and we will continue to address how racial affinity groups can create a safe container for this difficult work and lead to greater understanding and interconnectedness for participants and the sangha as a whole. We also encourage you to read the Call to White Buddhists and Ruth King’s Healing the Broken Body of Sangha, which we hope will strengthen your understanding of this path.
KalyanaMitta
Our Racial Affinity Groups are open to:
– Those who participate in the Triangle Insight Meditation Community.
– Committed Buddhist practitioners who attend another sangha.
KalyanaMitta
These groups are an outgrowth of our sangha and are integrated with our dharma talks, practice, and study. This integration helps deepen connection among group members and the sangha as a whole, and participation in Triangle Insight is a valuable part of this process. Those who attend another sangha and join one of our Racial Affinity groups might find it beneficial to experience our teachers and sangha, and they’re welcome to attend Triangle Insight on Wednesday evening as convenient.
KalyanaMitta
If you’re interested in joining a group, please send us the KM-RA Questionnaire. It will also be helpful to read Ruth King’s Group Guidelines and our Racial Affinity Group Guidelines. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Sarah Tillis, KM Coordinator, at sarah@triangleinsight.org. This program is a work in progress, and we welcome your input.
KalyanaMitta
We are inspired by the dedication of our spiritual community. May our Racial Affinity Groups be of great benefit to all.
KalyanaMitta

Kalyana Mitta Coordinating Team
KM Coordinator: Sarah Tillis
Advisors: Tom Howlett, Tamara Share, Sarah Tillis
Liaison to the Teachers Group: Jeanne van Gemert