November 18, 2020
Black and Buddhist
What Buddhism Can Teach Us about Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom
Edited by Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles
With contributions by Acharya Gaylon Ferguson, Cheryl A. Giles, Gyōzan Royce Andrew Johnson, Ruth King, Kamilah Majied, Lama Rod Owens, Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips, Sebene Selassie, and Pamela Ayo Yetunde.
with Kaira Jewel Lingo
*New Meeting Dates
March 24, 7-8:30 PM ET: Ruth King and Kamilah Majied with Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Kaira Jewel Lingo
March 31, 7-8:30 PM ET: Gyozan Royce Johnson and Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips with Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Kaira Jewel Lingo
About the Book
What does it mean to be Black and Buddhist? In this powerful collection of writings, African American teachers from all the major Buddhist traditions tell their stories of how race and Buddhist practice have intersected in their lives. The resulting explorations display not only the promise of Buddhist teachings to empower those facing racial discrimination but also the way that Black Buddhist voices are enriching the Dharma for all practitioners. As the first anthology comprised solely of writings by African-descended Buddhist practitioners, this book is an important contribution to the development of the Dharma in the West.
“Black lives that are Buddhist matter, and the new anthology edited by Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles sees to it that the world knows about it. Being black and Buddhist has been a movement of awakening for decades. In this book, teachers share their experiences and teachings, unapologetically, of leaning into blackness while walking the ancient path of Buddha, a mystic who questioned the inequity of despair in his country. As you read, it becomes clear that these heart-filled essays serve as a new mandala of truth, love, and resistance. May the Dharma wheel continue to turn.” —Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, author of The Deepest Peace: Contemplations from a Season of Stillness and The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender
“From Gotama Buddha to George Floyd, this varied collection of inspiring essays offers us real insight into how Black Buddhists imagine, and seek to create, genuine freedom. This book is truly a feast—for our minds, and our hearts.” —Jan Willis, author of Dharma Matters: Women, Race and Tantra and Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist and Buddhist
Pamela Ayo Yetunde, J.D., Th.D. is a Community Dharma Leader in the Insight Meditation tradition. She teaches pastoral care and counseling and has taught at University of the West, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and Upaya Institute and Zen Center. Ayo has written for Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, religions, and Buddhist-Christian Studies. She is the author of Object Relations, Buddhism and Relationality in Womanist Practical Theology, and Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, U.S. Law, and Womanist Theology for Transgender Spiritual Care.
Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher who has a life-long interest in blending spirituality and meditation with social justice. Having grown up in an ecumenical Christian community that bridged a new kind of monasticism for families with working with the poor, at the age of 25 she entered a Buddhist monastery in the Plum Village tradition and spent 15 years living as a nun under the guidance of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She received the lamp transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh and became a Zen teacher in 2007 and is also a teacher in the Vipassana Insight lineage. Today she sees her work as a continuation of the Engaged Buddhism developed by her teacher as well as the work of her parents, inspired by their stories and her dad’s work with Martin Luther King Jr. on desegregating the South. She is an author of the forthcoming We Were Made for These Times: Skilfully Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption (Parallax, October 2021) and editor of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children. She teaches and leads retreats internationally and is known for interweaving art, play, nature, ecology and embodied mindfulness practice in her teaching. She especially feels called to share the Dharma with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, activists, educators, youth, artists and families. Visit kairajewel.com to learn more.
About the IMS Book Club
Each month, the IMS Book Club brings together authors and readers for a facilitated discussion on the featured dharma-book-of-the-month. Our book club offers participants a deeper experience and engagement with early Buddhist teachings and practice through the lens of the selected book.
Want to Join?
Step one: register for Black and Buddhist’s three book club meetings here.
Step two: join the IMS Book Club here,if you haven’t already. This registers you for our monthly newsletter which announces new programs and allows you to sign up for the book-of-the-month discussions that interest you.
Step three: order your copy of Black and Buddhisthere. Although there is no charge to join the book club, participants will need to secure their own copies of the books prior to the start of the monthly discussion group.
A note on dana (generosity)
One of IMS’s deepest aspirations is to share the Buddha’s teachings with all who are interested, regardless of their ability to pay. We count on your generous support to operate our centers, to provide affordable rates and to give financial assistance to retreatants. Whenever you are inspired to offer a donation, you join a community directly engaged in alleviating suffering and bringing greater wisdom and compassion to the world. (Click here to learn more about the dana practice.)