Sunday, February 7, 2016
The path of awakening requires that we become aware of layer after layer of our conditioning. We are conditioned by genetics, gender, family of origin, socioeconomic status, health, exposure to media, the ideologies of our time, ethnic identity, and race. When left in the shadows of unconsciousness these powerful influences lead us to act robotically and with prejudice rather than with wakefulness, compassion and wisdom.
Some of these unconscious and limiting perceptual biases can best be faced sitting on our cushion and going deep into the silence. Others of them involve engaging the world around us so that our unconscious prejudices and bias are illuminated. One of the main purposes of community in the context of spiritual awakening has to do with having willing friends on the path who will provide relationship grist for the path of awakening.
Some months ago, around the time of the Ferguson Missouri tragedies the issues of racism, white privilege, and racial bias arose at PIMC.
One of our community members, Tori Lopez, who is highly trained in this realm, introduced me to the concept of micro-aggression, and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that hierarchy, social status, gender bias, and racism are cultured and reinforced.
Tori has 20 years of human services working with communities of color. She offers training in Microaggression and its impact upon people of color and other marginalized populations. She helps people understand how it impacts the workplace, everyday life and community well being, helping people live in community with greater kindness and compassion.
Tori is very generously going to join me for the Dharma talk on February 7th at 11:00 am, to help us begin to bring consciousness into some of these issues.