on the dharma shelf | october 2017

Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed — Paulo Freire

“No, my hope is necessary. But it is not enough. Alone it does not win but without it my struggle will be weak and wobbly. We need critical hope like a fish needs unpolluted water.”

The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture — Kevin Quashie

“Resistance may be deeply resonant with black culture and history, but it is not sufficient for describing the totality of black humanity.

In humanity, quiet is our dignity. This quiet is represented by our interior…In its magnificence, quiet is an invitation to consider black cultural identity from somewhere other than the conceptual places that we have come to accept as definitive of and singular to black culture—not the “hip personality” exposed to and performed for the world, but the interior aliveness, the reservoir of human complexity that is deep inside…

It is this exploration, this reach toward the inner life, that an aesthetic of quiet makes possible; and it is this that is the path to a sweet freedom: a black expressiveness without publicness as its forbearer, a black subject in the undisputed dignity of its humanity.”


As a contemplative and empath who has a heart for justice, liberation and healing, this excerpt from Kevin Quashie’s book rings loud and true for me!

Don’t mistake someone’s deep-soul need (or preference or disposition) for quiet/silence as passivity or inaction. In my practice, the opposite of active is not passive. It is receptive.

Some of us need to time to cut through the noise in order to thoroughly digest and reflect on the energy and information we receive. So I value and facilitate processes of discernment and self-inquiry that help us transform “silence into language and action” (in the words of the powerhouse Audre Lorde). From this place of quiet introspection, we can cull insight, clarity and resilience to move from personal healing and transformation toward skillful action.

wisdom files

This is a living “library” comprised of suggested readings for Sangha and the frequently-referenced texts used in our practice, which I have also linked throughout my various writings over the years. It is certainly not intended to be comprehensive.

Rather it reflects my personal approach to this spiritual path of study and practice — informing what I teach and how I facilitate the rich conversations that support our learning and growing together as a spiritual community.

 

Foundational Wisdom Teachings

3 Jewels/3 Refuges: The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

The Three Jewels | Buddha 101
Taking Refuge | Plum Village
The Three Refuges (Audio) | Plum Village

4 Noble Truths: There is Suffering, There are Causes of Suffering, There is an End of Suffering, The Noble Path is the End of Suffering

The Buddha’s Four Noble Truths | Sylvia Boorstein
True Love + the 4 Noble Truths | Thich Nhat Hanh
What Are the 4 Noble Truths? | Melvin McLeod

4 Foundations of Mindfulness: Contemplation of Body, Contemplation of Feeling, Contemplation of Consciousness, Contemplation of Mental Objects

Embodied Practice: 4 Foundations of Mindfulness | 3 Jewels Yoga
Embodied Practice: Sutra on Mindful Breathing | 3 Jewels Yoga
Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness |         Thich Nhat Hanh

5 Mindfulness Trainings: Reverence for Life, True Happiness, True Love, Loving Speech + Deep Listening, Nourishment + Healing

5 Mindfulness Trainings | Plum Village
— For A Future To Be Possible | Thich Nhat Hanh
     2 versions: Commentaries on the 5 Mindfulness Trainings [1993]
                         Buddhist Ethics in Everyday Life [2007]

5 Spiritual Faculties: Trust, Wisdom, Mindfulness, Concentration, Diligence
Perspectives on the 5 Spiritual Faculties | 3 Jewels Yoga

8-Fold Path: Skillful Understanding, Skillful Intent, Skillful Speech, Skillful Action, Skillful Livelihood, Skillful Effort, Skillful Mindfulness, and Skillful Concentration
I have a particular fondness for the use of the word “skillful”  here; various translations of the Buddhist Canon also describe these eight practices of the “Middle Way” as “right” or “wise.”

Contemplations on Skillful Understanding + Thinking  | 3 Jewels Yoga
Contemplations on Skillful Speech, Action + Livelihood  | 3 Jewels Yoga
Contemplations on Skillful Effort, Mindfulness + Concentration  | 3 Jewels Yoga
The Eightfold Path | Buddha 101
The Way to End Suffering | Bhikku Bodhi
Discourse on the Middle Way | Plum Village
Beyond the Self: Teachings on the Middle Way | Thich Nhat Hanh

 

The Dhammapada

— Annotated + Explained | Max Müller + Jack Maguire
Access to Insight
— BuddhaNet
— Gil Frondsal


Insights on Practice + Study

On Sangha + Spiritual Friendship

— Creating Inclusive + Welcoming Buddhist Sanghas in the U.S. | Mushim Patricia           Ikeda
— The Fertile Soil of Sangha | Thich Nhat Hanh
— Gathered + Rooted | 3 Jewels Yoga
— Good Spiritual Friends | 3 Jewels Yoga
— The Sangha Without Thich Nhat Hanh | Matt Gesicki
— The Suchness of Sangha | 3 Jewels Yoga

Works by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

— Tell Me Something About Buddhism

Works by Thich Nhat Hanh

— Breathe, You Are Alive!
— Friends on the Path: Living Spiritual Communities
— Living Buddha, Living Christ
— Zen Battles: Modern Commentary on the Teachings of Master Linji
[alternate title: Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go]


Related Eastern Wisdom Teachings

Bhagavad Gita
— Annotated + Explained | Shri Purohit Swami + Kendra Crossen Burroughs
— Stephen Mitchell

Tao Te Ching
— 
Annotated + Explained | Derek Lin
— Stephen Mitchell


Radical Bodhicitta Reading History

In 2014, I facilitated a community-based dialogue entitled Toward Wholeness on the intersections of spirituality, identity (ability, race, culture, gender, sexuality) and embodied awareness. Sangha deepened its inquiry and study of our complex embodied experiences with the study of Zenju’s book, The Way of Tenderness, in the winter of 2015. Contemplations on how we are seen, heard, felt, understood, cared for and supported — and cultivate the capacity to extend such care to others — have become integral to Sangha’s practices of healing, transformation and liberation.

3 Jewels Yoga Sangha
— Body As Nature Series
Transformative Love Series
Embodying Refuge, Resistance, Resilience + Radical Self-Expression Series

Buddhist Peace Fellowship
— Gender Dysphoria and The Dharma
— White Privilege + the Mindfulness Movement

Everyday Feminism
— 9 Ways We Can Make Social Justice Movements Less Elitist + More Accessible
— I’m Not a Person with a Disability. I’m a Disabled Person.

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
— I Can Breathe: A Meditation Surviving Acts of Hatred
— The Way of Tenderness

Relevant Magazine
— 4 Misconceptions About Mental Illness + Faith
— How Church Can Lead Racial Reconciliation
— Why Are Sunday Mornings Still So Segregated

The Body Is Not An Apology
— Did You Do Any of These 6 Activities Today? Then You Have Class Privilege
— Lucky To Be Alive: The Everyday Ways We Tell People with Disabilities They Should Not Be Here
Nobody Bothers To Ask: The Challenges of Being Sexual in disabled/trans/genderqueer/etc..Body

angel kyodo williams
 Radical Dharma
— Social Justice + Buddhism

 Tim Wise
— Fighting the Normalization of Inequality 

Larry Yang
Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity + Community
— Directing The Mind Towards Practices in Diversity
— Remembering What It Means To Be Gay
— Toward A Multicultural Buddhist Practice

 

 

Updated 15 February 2019