Our Commitment to Unraveling Oppression

Common Ground is committed to being a welcoming, accessible, and safe practice home for all.

Over the past several years the community and leadership at Common Ground have become increasingly aware of the important intersection between our Buddhist practice of opening to the moment just as it is and the necessity of engaging the often messy and difficult work of acknowledging how cultural conditioning unconsciously keeps us bound up in cycles of suffering. As leaders of this community, we are committed to finding ways to keep this conversation alive and creating enough safety so that all people feel welcome to practice at the center and so that we can deeply see and hear each other . We aspire to develop compassion, and to practice non-harming so we may skillfully address the roots of suffering embedded in our views. The freedom that the Buddha points to involves acknowledging and responding to the suffering we see around us. As an organization we are committed to better understanding the injustices arising because of our ignorance in areas of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, and all the other ways that we perpetuate ideas and feelings of separation.

Registration Policy

Common Ground is committed to supporting access to programs for those who identify as a person of color, a member of the queer community and/or a person with a disability.  We recognize this policy benefits us all as we practice the Buddha’s teachings in an increasingly multicultural community and engage in the ongoing work needed to create a more equitable world.  To learn more, contact Gabe Keller-Flores: 612-722-8260 or gabe@commongroundmeditation.org.

Resources

The following resources have been recommended by community members or other meditation centers. A * indicates that a Common Ground teacher has found this resource quite useful.

Common Ground Resources

Talks and resources for talks given by teachers at Common Ground:

Resources from our broader mindfulness meditation community

Talks

Websites

  • East Bay Meditation Center is an intentionally diverse sangha in Oakland, CA. They have collected a lot of resources around diversity and Buddhism.
  • White Awake provides resources and dharma-based support for developing a racial awareness program.  

Articles

Books (many of which are in our reference library or lending library)

  • Dharma, Color, and Culture (in Common Ground’s library), Hilda Gutierrez Baldoquin, ed.
  • Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman’s Buddhist Journey, Janice Willis
  • Making the Invisible Visible: Healing Racism in Our Buddhist Communities, Sheridan Adams, Mushim Ikeda-Nash, Jeff Kitzes, Margarita Loinaz, Choyin Rangdrol, Jessica Tan, Larry Yang
  • Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun, Faith Adiele

Other anti-oppression resources

Websites

  • ASDIC (Antiracism Study and DIalogue Circle) is an esteemed workshop provider based in St. Paul. Common Ground partnered with them to host a 10-week circle for 30 of our leaders in 2016.
  • Colorlines is a daily news site where race matters, featuring award-winning investigative reporting and news analysis.
  • *Harvard Implicit Bias Test
  • The Microaggressions Project seeks to provide a visual representation of brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward “social others”.
  • Voices for Racial Justice‘s mission is to advance racial, cultural, social, and economic justice in Minnesota through organizer and leadership training, strategic convenings and campaigns, and research and policy tools.

Video & film

Articles

Books (many of which are in our reference library or lending library)

  • A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, edited by Sun Yung Shin
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander. The New Press (January 2010).
  • Waking Up White, Debby Irving. Elephant Room Press (January 2014) (PDF may be available online.)
  • The White Racial Frame: Centuries of Racial Framing and Counter-Framing, Joe R. Feagin (this is the book we used in our ASDIC antiracism circle)