A Statement From Pan-American Chairs of Triratna (PACT) Regarding Black Lives Matter (English and Español)

June 20, 2020

Recent police killings of Black people in the United States has given rise to a worldwide effort to bring awareness to the history of Black oppression and to challenge the current oppressive and often dangerous conditions faced by Black communities. Black lives matter. Triratna Buddhist Community in the Americas is dedicated to overcoming the hatred and oppression faced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities – in our sanghas, in our towns and cities, and around the world.

We are the chairpeople of Triratna centers that span a region from Canada to South America. Our centers are in regions with many differences in culture, language, economics, race and more. We are united by our love of the Buddha’s teaching and the communities we have formed based in the spirit of that teaching. At the core of the Buddha’s teaching is the understanding that greed, hatred and ignorance are the root poisons of human suffering. Our practice as Buddhists is to undermine these poisons both in our own hearts and in the world, and to give expressions to that work in the communities we live in.

We offer the hand of friendship and solidarity on the basis of loving-kindness to people from all races and cultures. We pledge to listen carefully to the experience of all groups and individuals who have experienced prejudice and oppression, and to educate ourselves to understand more fully their context and the obstacles in their path. We are committed to respect and uphold the dignity and agency of all peoples and to promote their flourishing on the basis of the principles of kindness and compassion.

We recognize that at times we do not understand fully the experience of every group of people and that we may express prejudice. Nevertheless, we are committed to learning and, in this way, expanding our empathy and our vision of human communion.

While we reflect on the racial and social injustices of the world, we will also look at the effects of racism on our own Buddhist communities. Awareness is revolutionary. We have centers in major metropolitan cities that do not reflect the populations in which they are situated. We recognize the need for a more proactive approach to creating communities that are welcoming to all. We will work to resource these initiatives.
Buddhism is a path of action based upon awareness and non-violence. We stand in solidarity with all of those who bring awareness to acts of harm, to indifference, or to any conditioning that supports the social roots of oppression. We are committed to finding effective and compassionate ways to uproot these tendencies in ourselves, our communities and in society.
-Chairs
Bodhikamala, Danadasa, Dayavasini, Dharmasuri, Dhivajri, Manidha, Manjubodhi, Manjupriya, Nagapriya, Padmatara, Prasadachitta, Samayasri, Silaraja, Suddhayu, Sunada, Taraprabha, Upakarin, Vajranatha, Vimalasara