Ongoing program, via Zoom
White & Awakening in the Dhamma
Facilitated by Bernadine Mellis & Lore Detenber
First & third Mondays, December 4 - May 20; 12:30 - 2:30 PM
Suggested donation: $120-$264 registration + facilitator donation (we encourage you to consider giving facilitator dana equal to or greater than what you gave for registration; please see "About Dana" note further below)
Everyone is welcome to all of our offerings regardless of ability to donate. If you would like to attend, and are unable to make the base donation, or would like to donate less than $120, please email us at [email protected].
As we enhance our understanding of the harm arising from the system of white privilege, white supremacy culture, and racism, white practitioners can build skills to strengthen community across differences in our sanghas. This winter, IWM will offer White and Awakening in the Dhamma (WAD), a six-month, 12-session study and practice program for white-identified practitioners. WAD is designed to afford the opportunity to turn with mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion towards the manifestations of racism, white supremacy culture, and privilege in our society and in ourselves. With the course, we will provide a guided exploration of our racial conditioning as white-identified people with the support of Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. We will draw on diverse academic and popular materials on the topics of racism and white supremacy culture. Participants will be invited to engage with these materials, as well as their regular meditation practice, between meetings. A strength of this program is the community that is co-created by group members learning, growing and taking risks together. In addition to group gatherings, weekly discussions with assigned Dhamma Buddies are encouraged.
WAD is designed as a guided, collaborative exploration of our racial conditioning as white-identified people. We will apply Dhamma practices to enhance our capacity to be in community with members of marginalized communities, and develop skills to support the larger practice community. It is also our hope that, through this collaboration, we will expand our shared capacity to help each other learn and grow in ways that support liberation for us all.
Dates & Time: Starting Monday, December 4, 2023, we will meet first and third Mondays from 12:30-2:30PM. (There may be some exceptions to this pattern based on holidays or other events.)
The dates are as follows:
5/20 - Final meeting
*Note that in January we have adjusted for New Year’s Day.
Bernadine recently completed the True North Insight Community Meditation Teacher Mentorship Program and is now participating in another long term Buddhist training, the Dharmapala program through Sacred Mountain Sangha. She is also a part-time student in the Buddhist Ministry Initiative at Harvard Divinity School. She co-facilitates White & Awakening in the Dharma and leads The Sure Heart; (a group for children and families) at Insight Western Mass, where she has also been involved as a Board Member and a member of the Beloved Community Builders Committee. Alongside her path in the Theravadin Insight lineage, Bernadine has been engaged in Pagan earth-based spiritual practices, working closely with her mentor on that path for many years. She is a filmmaker and a mother.
Lore’s involvement with IWM has included membership in the Beloved Community Builders committee and other working subcommittees of the board and co-facilitating Kalyana Mitta (Spiritual Friends) groups. She also co-facilitates White and Awakening in the Dharma and is on a journey with others to better understand how to free ourselves individually and as a Sangha from the conditioning of white supremacy culture and other forms of oppression. Introduced to the Dhamma in 1995, the path was immediately recognized as a gift and way of life. Primary teachers have been in the Ajahn Chah/ Thai Forest Tradition and more recently the teachings of Sayadaw U Tejaniya. The mutual support and guidance of friends on the path are treasured sustenance in daily life.
About dana: In keeping with the Buddhist tradition of dana (generosity), the suggested registration amounts for our classes and retreats do not include any payment for the facilitators. The facilitators are paid entirely out of the students' generosity. Please consider giving a donation to the facilitators in order to support their ability to continue to share the dharma. We encourage you to consider facilitator dana equal to or greater than the amount you gave for registration. You may give a donation at the time of registration and/or give later donations through our facilitator dana link or in-person at the course/retreat.
You can give online or send checks to Insight Western Mass, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 242, Easthampton, MA 01027. FYI: we check for mail once per week.
Dial in by phone for audio only: Call (646) 558-8656. Meeting ID: 943 156 1684. Password: 242
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