Anti-Racism and Collective Liberation

Our liberation is bound up together.

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.  And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained. Nor is anyone of you.”
― audre lorde, (1981) “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism”

Wherever you come from, whatever your nationality or citizenship status, whatever your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, or physical or mental abilities you are welcome to study and practice with us.

We recognize that these identities are important, and that no category defines the worth or depth of any individual.

As Buddhists we are committed to ending cycles of suffering caused by our habitual patterns, including the social patterns and structures of racism, patriarchy, materialism, and many other -isms and -phobias.

As a predominantly white organization our work includes:

  • Acknowledging the land and the people it was taken from;
  • Recognizing and letting go of patterns of domination, and hierarchy based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender, etc;
  • Recognizing that there is no neutral position: our choices either perpetuate or cease patterns that lead to suffering;
  • Recognizing and healing trauma in ourselves; understanding the causes and effects of trauma, and supporting the healing of trauma in others;
  • We inherit the legacy – both the strengths and flaws – of our ancestors, and accept the work of transforming confusion and suffering into wisdom and compassion;
  • Rejecting the seemingly optional position to participate or not, to be challenged or not;
  • Engaging in the work with urgency, while recognizing that it is life-long. This work is serious and painful at times, and yet it is rooted in love and celebration.

Currently the structure of anti-racist work at the Boston Shambhala Center has three overlapping sub-groups focusing on education, action and inner work. If you would like to get involved, contact Center Director Max Roberts-Zirker.

In the past two years, these groups have held screenings of “I Am Not Your Negro”, study groups around the podcast “Seeing White”, book groups around “How to Be an Anti-Racist” and “My Grandmother’s Hands”, as well as multiple community gatherings and ‘fairs’. More are in the planning stages.

We have hosted programs addressing unconscious bias with Aarti Tejuja, cultural humility with Elaine Yuen, and America’s Racial Karma with Larry Ward. More are in the planning stages.

You can read more about this work through these posts on our blog:

January 30, 2021 Notes from community Antiracism meeting

December 6, 2020 Notes from community Antiracism Meeting

June 5, 2020 Statement Upholding the Dignity of Black Lives


The Shambhala Code of Conduct

The introduction to the Shambhala Code of Conduct lists Practices of Good Conduct, including:

“Make the teachings and community accessible to all by identifying and reducing barriers to participation. Support an environment that is free from discrimination of any kind.”

Section Four of the Code – the Policy on Diversity, Inclusivity and Anti-Discrimination – states:

“In recognizing that we cannot avoid bringing dominant group social dynamics from society at large into Shambhala, it is our aspiration that as a community we become more aware of our blind spots and make the personal and organizational advances that create greater access to the teachings.

Each individual has the right to practice, study and work in Shambhala in an environment that is free from discrimination rooted in bias”

See the full Shambhala Code of Conduct here


“We don’t use meditation to avoid pain and confusion of social challenges, but to deepen our capacity to meet them directly”
― Rev. angel Kyodo williams