Unless Buddhist teachers and communities explicitly acknowledge the need for institutional change and political action, many people of color won’t stick around to be more intensively involved in practice. Although they may be willing to try meditation in silence, the perception of being silenced within the social structure of a Buddhist community will only increase, not decrease, their suffering. I am convinced that to truly accept one another as Dharma sisters and brothers, we must first hear one another, making the commitment to practice compassionate listening for as long as it takes.
Amidst all my sputter, I do take everyone’s comments to heart, even if I don’t make the time for a thoughtful reply (or even if I give too little time for a thoughtful reply). I may harshly criticize what others say, but I don’t suggest they shut up or that their views are pointless. This discussion is coming to the Buddhist community, whether you like it or not.