A Response to Racism and Acts of Violence

Buddah statue at Duke Gardens

May We Gather: A National Buddhist Memorial Ceremony
for Asian American Ancestors. Livestreamed, Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Triangle Insight Meditation Community is one of many ally partners for May We Gather: A National Buddhist Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors, the first national Buddhist memorial service in response to anti-Asian violence. The ceremony was livestreamed from Higashi Honganji Temple in Los Angeles, which was vandalized earlier this year. The event brought together Asian American Buddhists and their allies to heal in community together.

When someone is hurting, we come together as community. We gather because our lives are inexorably interlinked. We do not suffer alone, nor do we heal alone. Only when we gather as a sangha (community), can we truly support each other’s freedom. —From the May We Gather website

A Message of Support from the Triangle Insight Board of Directors
The members of the board of Triangle Insight Meditation Community feel moved to express the depth of our grief and pain arising from the heightened racism and violence being directed toward Asian-Americans and others of Asian lineage/heritage.

This is a time for waking up to the dramatic increase in hatred, harassment and harm over the past year, seemingly tied to rhetoric that recklessly and wrongly blames Asia/Asians for the coronavirus, as well as our long history of oppression towards those of Asian descent, which is deeply rooted in a culture of white supremacy.

As we noted in our response to the horrific murder of George Floyd, the path of Insight Meditation offers a way to wake up to the truth of things as they really are, including how our present reality is pervaded by the suffering of inequity and racism, which, like all suffering, is deeply conditioned by greed, hatred and delusion. The Board recognizes the many ways of working with and transforming racial conditioning. Insight Meditation is one way we share to cultivate mindfulness, clear seeing, discernment, goodwill, care, and compassion, all of which can guide us to wise action.

The current members of the Board understand that we are walking this path as privileged white people on a Board that needs greater diversity. As we do our own work, we are committed to addressing this and other issues in our sangha so our community can realize its intention of inclusivity and non-harming.

We recommit to an intention to bring hatred and hostility to an end, and to serve the health, safety, happiness and liberation of all beings. May we open our hearts and walk this path together in community. “For never is hatred settled by hate, it’s only settled by love: this is an ancient law.” (Dhp 1.5, Sujato tr.)

Mike Hall
Cynthia Hughey
Leah Rutchick
Sarah Tillis
Ron Vereen

For more information, please visit the May We Gather website. Additional details are in a Lion’s Roar interview with Duncan Ryūken Williams, one of the organizers of the memorial event.