We at Puget Sound Zen Center, like so many in our country and indeed the world, feel anguish at the tragic loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and of so many other Black lives – to violence stemming from systemic racism which has been a part of this country’s legacy since its very beginning.
Though we feel we are a welcoming community, the truth is we at PSZC have not put enough work into the issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and bias. We commit to being present with these issues in a way that transforms our sangha and the wider community. We commit to directing the fruits of our practice toward acknowledging and reducing discrimination based on race in our sangha, our community, and our world.
Every day we vow to transform the three poisons, greed, hatred, and ignorance. Surely these are the poisonous roots that have fueled racism for millennia – greed for wealth and superiority; hatred of the other; and ignorance of our fundamental commonality. How shall we transform these poisons?
Every day we chant “Beings are numberless, I vow to liberate them.” How shall we liberate ourselves from the unconscious biases we hold? How shall we liberate others from their biases, and how shall we liberate others from the harm caused by racism?
As an institution we must do our part. We recognize that the work will be difficult and uncomfortable at times, but we are committed to that work, guided by a vision of a world in which racism, hatred, and greed are transformed into compassion, love, and inclusivity.
Koshin Christopher Cain, Abbot
Genko Kathy Blackman, Adjunct Teacher
Board of Directors