Programs

  • No Lodging - Commuter – $274.00
  • Shared Room – $378.00
  • Shrine room – $318.00
  • Waitlist for Single Room (Depends on availability - will be placed in shared room if not) – $378.00

Date & Time Details: Friday, October 11, 7:00 – 9:00 pm Saturday, October 12, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday, October 13, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Please note: Attendance on the Friday evening, October 11th, is required for participating in the remainder of the weekend.

Contact:
[email protected]

Email us about program

Four Dharmic Paths of Investigating Whiteness and Racism

With Gabe Dayley and Alexandria Barnes

October 11 - 13, 2019

This weekend will offer an introductory investigation of race, whiteness, and systemic racism for meditation practitioners who identify as white, providing a foundation from which white-identified meditators can begin the path of exploring their own social conditioning and cultivating tools to support them in confronting systemic racism and oppression in our society.

The workshop incorporates the path of the Four Dignities, a central element of the Shambhala teachings and framework for the meditator’s journey. Integrating Dharma teachings and embodied contemplative practices with material from the study of race, peacebuilding, and history, we will employ these teachings as a guide for how we can show up with fearlessness and gentleness to address racism in our community and society. We will invite curiosity and concerns about racism and create opportunities to increase our awareness of what we as white people often don’t see in ourselves and in our communities.

 

Meditation Experience: This program is for practitioners who have an established meditation practice in any lineage of meditation and identify as white.

Why a course for white people? 

In creating a more awake society, we all have a responsibility to apply the Dharma to addressing suffering in our world. This includes white-identified meditators investigating their own social conditioning as white people and how this impacts people of color in our communities and in society at large. Many people of color throughout the Shambhala community and other meditation communities in North America have urged white people to do this important work in a setting that does not burden people of color with being the educators. The Sky Lake Shambhala Meditation Center is offering this course in that spirit.

For more information on the reasons for conducting some racial justice and awareness work in a ‘caucus’ among people identified with the same race, check out the following resources:

  • In this article, African American Buddhist teacher, author and educator Ruth King recommends exploring “the ignorance and innocence of our racial conditioning and racial character with those of our same race” in what she calls “racial affinity groups”.
  • On pp. 204-206 of her national bestseller Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (2017), Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum discusses the importance of creating spaces for white people to meet in white-only groups to educate themselves about issues of race and white identity. Dr. Tatum is president emerita of Spelman College, a historically black women’s liberal arts college.
  • The organization White Awake, whose multi-racial advisory council includes meditation teachers Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Tara Brach, offers lengthy discussions of the value of white people meeting together to investigate whiteness and racism.
  • This article by Shambhala Educator, Alex Vlasic is an excellent read on How White Caucuses Contribute to Racial Justice. 

Still have questions or curiosity? Don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email us at [email protected]

Teachers

Gabe Dayley
Gabe Dayley serves as the executive director of the Shambhala Meditation Center of Washington, DC. He was raised in the Shambhala tradition by parents who were students of the founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and has been practicing meditation formally since he was 15. He founded and edits The Arrow: A Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture & Politics, which publishes essays and academic articles examining the relationship between contemplative practice and social transformation. Outside Shambhala, Gabe also serves as Program Assistant for Global Field Initiatives at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. He received his master’s in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from…
Learn more about Gabe Dayley
Alexandria Barnes
Alexandria is a student of Shambhala, meditation instructor in the Shambhala lineage & facilitator. She serves as the Director of Practice and Education at Sky Lake Retreat Center and was previously the Assistant to the Director of the Office of Social Engagement for Shambhala International. She is involved in contemplative anti-racist training and curious about offering the Dharma to social justice work. She incorporates our bodies in the practice of meditation and study and enjoys folding in group conversation to the often lonely experience of the Buddhist path. When not practicing, you can find her somewhere in the woods of the Hudson Valley, making…
Learn more about Alexandria Barnes