One of the great cultural challenges of our time is to widen our circles and spiritual communities to become welcoming and affirming to diverse groups and to foster continuity of awareness of the suffering and oppression of exclusion, subordination, and marginalization. Open and continuous engagement among particular groups is necessary, especially where it has been the privilege of the dominant group to render the experience of the oppressed group invisible, devalued, or repressed, such as with white racial privilege or white male gender privilege.
The work of fostering awareness of privilege and the reaching out and empowerment of nondominant groups is necessary to embrace inclusivity and nonseparation. For opening and widening our spiritual communities and for engaging directly with the suffering of oppression and invisibility, the shared intention of compassionate action and transformation must be strongly held.
One of the foremost Buddhist communities, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, has undertaken this initiative very seriously for many years and has become a beacon and model for this work. In 2001, the Board of Spirit Rock wrote a Manifesto of Diversity, which has guided the work of the community since then— with varying degrees of progress along the way.
Read more in our book ‘The Buddha’s Wife’. Click below for more information