Love Letter to Our Asian Siblings

Dear Thay, Dear Beloved Community,

ARISE continues to hurt and find strength on this beautiful path of healing that our beloved Thay has taught us. We offer our hearts full of love and care for Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan, and Yong Ae Yue who were killed in the recent shootings in Atlanta, six of whom were women of Asian descent; as well as all those attacked in continuing anti-Asian violence. We send energies of support for their families, friends, and communities. And we walk and sit in meditation for awakening for all those who lack understanding and feel motivated to act with hatred and violence towards the ‘other’.

We come together in this ARISE family where we can look deeply and take good care of the pain we feel from this recent targeting of our siblings of Asian descent. Today we are recommitting ourselves: to take good care of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) siblings. We know that in doing so, we are taking good care of all our siblings impacted by the legacy of racialized and gendered violence.

We recommit to love, to racial and social justice. We remember that the Americas was colonized with the energies and actions of greed for power and wealth, hatred of others, and delusions of the inferiority and superiority complex. We understand that the legacy of this complex of white patriarchal superiority determined how this pandemic of COVID19 would unfold. It is this legacy that sustains the labeling of AAPI communities as “perpetual foreigners”, and hastened the continued hatred of immigrants and targeting of AAPI communities with the name,: the ‘Chinese virus’. This legacy, amplified by the racialization of the pandemic’s cause, led to an increase of anti-Asian violence, targeting vulnerable members including women and elders. This legacy assured that the pandemic would widen existing separate and unequal communities by killing and harming Black and Brown bodies disproportionately. This legacy assured that in the midst of a pandemic, hatred would continue to grow itself. We are all harmed by this hatred and violence. This legacy is the pervading condition that awaits all things, seeking to continue itself, unless we recommit each moment to this path of compassion, understanding, and justice.

We invite our community in our tradition of Engaged Buddhism to recommit with us to looking deeply within ourselves and our communities and practicing to build an inclusive, just, compassionate, and awakened society on our path of liberation for all.

With gratitude and tenderness,

ARISE Sangha
Awakening Through Race, Intersectionality and Social Equity

Albert Karcher
Anne Woods
Antoinette González
Sr. Clear Grace
Kat Liu
Lori Perine
Marisela Gomez
Melina Bondy
Renita Wong
Valerie Brown
Victoria Mausisa

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