Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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No One Like Me – Lion’s Roar

Lama Rod Owens on taking good care of your personal wants whenever you don’t see your self represented in these round you.

Illustration by Maia Boakye.

Query: I just lately moved to a Buddhist retreat heart the place I’m just about the one individual of colour. I knew that getting into, nevertheless it’s been harder than I anticipated. I really like the observe and don’t need to depart, however I really feel uncomfortable and miss my very own individuals and tradition. What do I do?

Reply: I’ve one query: what do you want? It feels like this area could also be psychically violent for you. To be marginalized in areas like these means you’re doing rather more emotional labor than others merely to remain within the area. Then, your foremost observe turns into negotiating the centering of whiteness and making an attempt to outlive that so you may then do the precise dharma observe you got here to do.

There are individuals of colour who survive areas the place they’re marginalized. I’m a type of.

So in connecting with what you want, you could come to the conclusion that your largest want is to not work so onerous to simply be within the room. Integrating area is solely the burden of the marginalized and the under-represented, and dealing so onerous at that stage will not be conducive to the fruition of your dharma observe. It could additionally foster a eager for your individuals and your tradition, which can even disrupt your observe. Furthermore, this additional emotional labor could finally result in emotional burnout.

Determining what you want is an expression of compassion for your self, which you’ll need on this state of affairs. You might even uncover that what you in the end want is to depart this explicit neighborhood. There are individuals of colour who survive areas the place they’re marginalized. I’m a type of. It has taken a deep grounding in compassion and love for myself, and in addition deep compassion for others round me. It has additionally taken stable methods of self-preservation. Till you’ll be able to do that, then this example could also be detrimental for you. So join with what you want with a purpose to observe at your highest stage, and see what solutions come up from specializing in your self.


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