In light of yesterday’s post, I feel like noting some things that I appreciate. In general, this is a nod to Shambhala Sun (and Buddhadharma). As I’ve pointed out before, Shambhala Sun is the magazine that tends to offer the largest proportion of bylines to Asians—even while this quotient grossly misrepresents our share of the Buddhist American community. (That’s out of The Big Three.)
I appreciate that Barry Boyce wrote a thoughtful response to my criticism of a Buddhadharma panel discussion. I appreciate that Shambhala SunSpace pointed to this blog, with supportive comments no less. More than the these points, though, I appreciate that they hired young interns—and I was delighted to see one of them to be Asian American.
Engagement and raising the profile of otherwise marginalized Buddhists—rather than unabashed ignorance—are important steps. It’s flattering when they point to my writing, but there are many, many other voices out there. Mine is just among the crankiest. I’m sure the editors are also well aware that just about everything I’ve written has already been discussed before.
There are still more and bigger steps for Shambhala Sun to take. In the same way that Shambhala Diversity has a framework to address diversity issues, Shambhala Sun (and/or SunSpace) can likewise open up a space/blog where diversity is a priority. There are plenty of Buddhists out there who’d be interested in this.
While still far from anything resembling a representative sampling of bylines, it would be wrong of me to say that Shambhala Sun hasn’t done anything. While they may be small steps, they’re duly appreciated. Tricycle would do well to learn from them.