The Marici Fellowship at Sakya Monastery has, since its creation, provided ways for all of us to take our practice off the cushion and actively extend compassion out into the community.
Because of current events spotlighting injustices happening to our friends in BIPOC (Black Indigenious, People of Color) communities all around us. We see that we need to support these communities, to stand beside them, to become allies to them. So we have created the Marici Fellowship Allyship Program.
The Marici Fellowship Allyship Program focuses on the understanding that although we may acquire racist or discriminatory tendencies, and these may have become part of our conditioning, it is not our true nature. Our inherent condition is our Buddha Nature, compassion and non-violence. Knowing this, the goal of the Allyship Program is to provide tools to draw from, to build awareness, and to make it possible to live by non-violence and compassion, our universal way of being. In this way becoming true allies and a genuine part of creating the changes that need to be made.
The Allyship Program Goals: To help educate ourselves and acquire the skills to:
- Engage in a process of developing a culture free of homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny.
- Create a safe space to recognize our mistakes, but not use them as an excuse for inaction.
- Be comfortable with not having the answer.
- Confront our own prejudices.
- Respect that no one group is a monolith and no one person’s experiences speak for their group.
- Listen to others even when it is uncomfortable and respect the experiences of those around us.
The Marici Fellowship supports this through:
- A series of talks/workshops given by BIPOC and LGBTQ+ leaders in the community.
- Book Clubs on all forms of Racism, with the purpose of educating ourselves, and opening the door to meaningful discussions.
- Dharma lectures that can help examine emotions as they arise.
- Creating meaningful ways as a community to discuss social justice, implicit bias, and how it connects to the Buddhadharma.
Together we can create a safe space for all of us to learn and grow.
Here are some links to helpful resources to get you started on the path to engaged Allyship:
Books And Articles A list of helpful books for all interest levels
Videos A compilation of online videos and movies to rent
Online Resources To Follow Some of the best people, hashtags and sources for Allyship
Upcoming events and programs:
Programs focused on building awareness and discussing how to become allies to BIPOC and LGBTQ communities are ongoing. Check our Coming Events page for the latest schedule, or reach out to us if you have a program to suggest.
The goal of the Allyship Book Club is to provide a safe place to grow together, where interactive experiences, honest, and authentic conversations can happen. Where we explore our own biases, reflect on the experiences that have shaped our thoughts and beliefs, in order to change and create ways to honor and become an uplifting energy to our fellow human beings, especially those in the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities. For practitioners of the Dharma, turning inward is the practice, connecting these experiences with the Dharma we find ways to expand our practices in compassion, equanimity and understanding of all aspects of the Dharma.
The structure, pace, and direction of the Book Club meetings will be flexible and depend on the collective participants.
Our first book club series will be discussing the groundbreaking book How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi. The Book Club meets every other Tuesday from 7-8:30pm. If you are interested in meeting with our Book Club, check the Coming Events page for the next meeting. To find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.