Our Commitment to Unraveling Oppression

 

True North Insight seeks to be a sangha where all human beings, with no exceptions, can heal, bloom, shine and experience freedom.


 

Vision

The Buddha taught that the Dharma is nature -- it belongs to no one and to everyone. True North Insight seeks to be a sangha where all human beings, with no exceptions, can heal, bloom, shine and experience freedom. As we speak, we are waking-up to our responsibility to build a sangha that removes all hindrances to this vision -- including in our leadership, our teaching teams, our retreat and class schedules, our communications, and in our registration processes.

 

True North Insight Commits

True North Insight is committed to dismantling racism and oppression. We have made a start towards building a Sangha that reflects the aspiration of a truly inclusive Sangha, but we know that we still have a long road ahead.

We commit to:

• training and financially supporting more Black and Indigenous teachers (creation of a fund) and increasing teaching opportunities for them;

• offering free registration for Black and Indigenous people for upcoming online retreats;

• offering practice spaces that represent our deepest values of equity, access, and meaningful inclusion;

• starting a white privilege caucus group that will tackle whiteness and white supremacy, with Buddhist practice as the foundation;

• increasing the number of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour guiding teachers;

• increasing the number of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) teachers for future retreats;

• continuing to host and/or financially support equity & inclusion trainings for Board members, staff, and teachers;

• continuing to offer Inclusion Scholarships for BIPOC to attend retreats;

• continuing to offer BIPOC sitting groups and an annual BIPOC retreat;

• continuing to share resources that educate and untrain minds and hearts from conditioned biases that keep the status quo of inequality going in society (resources are available on our Equity & Inclusion page - see link below).

We recognize this is a partial list of what is possible and does not provide measurable detail. We are centering our commitment to an inclusive Sangha during our upcoming strategic planning meeting of the Board in September, where we will be able to create a detailed plan with more care. We will follow up in the next six months to update everyone on our progress.

We encourage all who are able to donate to our Inclusion Scholarship fund to help the teachings and retreats be more accessible to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, as well as other marginalized groups, and to our fund to support Black and Indigenous teachers to flourish. As Dharma teacher Lama Rod Owens cautioned, "if we don't do our work, then we become work for other people."

Waking up to the impacts of racism and other systemic forms of oppression, and the responsibilities that come with privilege, profoundly supports sila, the ethical action upon which the Dharma rests.

We all need the presence of many voices and perspectives in an equitable and inclusive community, because we are interdependent, and the liberation of each one of us is bound together.

 

Resources on Equity and Inclusion