Each time we enter Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC), we step into a shared practice container. We water a collective intention to create and hold cherishable spaces rooted in safety and bravery. In such spaces, we are witnessed and encouraged to express ourselves without fear of attack, ridicule, or denial of experience. A cherishable space invites us to risk intimacy, trust, and transformative love, and to be mirrored by our practice and our sangha (practice community).
We use the phrase “brave space” with “safe space” to evoke the possibility of fearlessness alongside the fleeting realities of safety. We carry and express varied histories, traumas, and experiences of oppression. We embody different forms of power, privilege, and entitlement. Conflict may arise, and at times we may not feel safe.
Together, we explore how to hold conflict with tenderness. We cherish our sangha and its members by taking responsibility for the impact of our actions. With bravery, we practice letting go of the conditioning that keeps us from sharing our vulnerability. We practice being curious and brave enough to acknowledge our blind spots, to ask for support, and to learn how to care for each other. We return to our intentions, and return to sangha.
This is our practice of collective liberation. It will be uncomfortable, joyous, terrifying, and profound. And we begin again anew, in every moment, together.
The BZC community agreements, a working guide for our Sangha, are available here.