Inclusiveness

In August, 2010, the long term active members of Peaceful City Sangha who were engaged in Sangha caretaking set the intention to caringly and mindfully explore and transform ways our Sangha might unintentionally be supporting inequalities– particularly in relation to class, race, culture, gender and sexual orientation. We agreed to begin by looking more deeply into ourselves as a Sangha, to understand our own points of tension and dynamics before agreeing (or not agreeing) to open ourselves up further as a community. Long term active members who felt they had the energy and time for this kind of work formed a team to help support and guide this process. The Inclusiveness Team was charged to collectively take first steps in this uncharted direction on behalf of the Sangha, then share its learnings and propose next steps. The Team met for the first time in October, 2010 and spent nearly a year in deep looking and sharing, including three meetings facilitated by Marisela Gomez, a long time practitioner in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh experienced in anti-oppression work. In August, 2011, the Team shared its experiences with the Sangha, offered recommendations, and listened to the Sangha’s feedback. Based on recommendations and discoveries from that meeting, key actions the Sangha has so far taken include: making Inclusiveness a key charge of the entire Sangha Care Taking team; creating more opportunities for the Sangha as a whole to engage and connect experientially around inclusiveness/exclusiveness; including more materials related to Inclusiveness in regular Sangha practice sessions and communications; and adding additional diverse meeting spaces, including public ones. Peaceful City is committed to continuing to practice to understand and embrace more deeply the diversity within ourselves, our community, our society, and the world.