The impact of the January 6 siege on Congress by a mob incited by the President of the United States continues to reverberate throughout the nation. San Francisco Zen Center condemns the violence that was perpetrated, mourns the loss of lives, and bears witness to the alarm, dismay, and anguish arising from the attack. Disagreements and protests are valid aspects of a free and open dialogue in a democracy; violence and intimidation are not.
These recent attempts to subvert our democracy have been shocking and heartbreaking. They also highlight the stark contrast between the treatment of the predominantly White rioters and the protesters who assembled in support of Black lives over this past year. The roots of this inequity are found in the history of racism and injustice in the U.S., and are directly tied to the hatred and white supremacy that fueled last week’s insurrection. Read more
Lives Matter banner. The original banner that we had displayed had been removed without the community’s support.
Green Gulch Farm held a memorial service on 5/31 for the innumerable lives lost to police violence and hung a Black Lives Matter banner on their sign on Highway 1. Yesterday, residents marched to the top of the driveway to sit in solidarity as strict shelter in place protocols have prevented the community to join the protests. To view the memorial service, held in the empty GGF zendo due to physical distancing, go here: https://www.sfzc.org/teachings/dharma-talks/george-floyd-blm-service
On Sunday, residents at Beginner’s Mind Temple painted a Black Lives Matter banner and put it up across the front of the entryway of 300 Page Street. Green Gulch Farm is also in the process of creating a BLM banner and we will share that when it happens. UPDATE: See images below of the banner that Green Gulch Farm made and hung on the sign on Highway 1.
The spiritual leadership of San Francisco Zen Center stands with the families and communities of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other Black lives lost to the systemic racist violence endemic to American society.
The painful and pervasive reality of racism will not allow us to turn away. We take a stand against all expressions of racism, beginning with the racial, cultural, and class disparities in our state and country that are being highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bodhisattva vows we hold in our hearts tell us to save all sentient beings from suffering. To this end, we encourage each member and friend of the wider San Francisco Zen Center community to cultivate the Bodhisattva spirit in inquiring deeply, “What am I going to do from here on to be actively anti-racist?” We urge our community not to be silent.
In the coming days, we will be sharing more about how to practice with this deeply complex and important question, as well as what SFZC is doing as a sangha and an organization.
May we all have the courage, strength, and support to examine our own hearts and minds. May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.