The Undoing Whiteness and Oppression program will offer a half-day introductory sit on Sunday, September 29, from 10 am to 1 pm, led by Laura O’Loughlin and Terence Caulkins. The doors will open at 9:30 am. The half-day sit is geared toward beginners and will feature 30-minute meditation periods, walking meditation, discussion, and short talk. This offering is open to those who identify or are identified as white and interested in exploring forms of undoing the racial construct of whiteness. There will be ample time for questions and responses. We encourage all those who participate in the Undoing Whiteness and Oppression program to join us, as meditation practice in sangha is the ground which allows us to metabolize and liberate the pain of racial karma.
Cost: Sustaining $40, Base $35, Members (for 3 months) $20
BZC offers retreats on a sliding scale basis to allow participants to pay according to individual means. Please consider giving at our sustaining rate, which directly supports inclusive community attendance on this retreat.
Please click here to register. Registration closes on September 25 at 11:59 pm.
Partial scholarships are available for sitting retreats such as this one. To apply for a scholarship, please use this link and wait for approval before registering for this sit. Scholarship applications are due by September 23 at 11:59 pm.
Please note that by our cancellation policy, we do not offer refunds for this event.
About the BZC Undoing Whiteness and Oppression program
This is a monthly group of Zen practitioners who identify or are identified as white to explore the racial construct of whiteness, how we grasp the identity and the privilege integral to it, and how we might divest from these entanglements so we are freed to skillfully address the pain and suffering caused by them.
If we are to thoroughly deepen our Buddhist vow to do no harm, we must be clear on the oppression resulting from social positions we occupy and biases we manifest. As with all explorations of self and harm, we must also see the behavior and ignorance that allows this conditioning to continue.
For many this is not an easy discussion, but it is a necessary one if we are to uphold our Bodhisattva vow to be liberated with all beings. Ultimately this liberation returns us to the joy and intimacy of our whole humanity and life.
See the program page for more information.
About Laura O’Loughlin
Laura O’Loughlin is a dharma teacher and senior lay practitioner at Brooklyn Zen Center, as well as its co-founder. Before she began training with Teah Strozer, Laura was a student of Darlene Cohen’s. She is currently a psychotherapist, affiliated with the Buddhist Psychotherapy Collective, with her own practice in Manhattan. As a clinician, Laura uses mindfulness and body-oriented practices to support healing and transformation. Before co-founding Brooklyn Zen Center, Laura had trained and lived in various Buddhist communities since 1997, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center. Laura was also Director of Austin Zen Center, where among other things she studied the interface between eastern and western psychologies. Laura received lay dharma entrustment from Teah Strozer in 2017.
About Terence Caulkins
Terence Caulkins is a Franco-American acoustical engineer and sound artist who has been training in yoga and meditation for over 10 years. His formal meditation training began in Paris, France in a Tibetan lineage in 2006, year in which he read Shunryu Suzuki’s “Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind” for the first time. When he moved to New York City he sought out a place to practice Soto Zen, eventually finding his way to the Brooklyn Zen Center in 2008. Terence was lay ordained by Soshin Teah Strozer in 2012, and held the position of Ino (head of the meditation hall) at BZC from 2015-2016. He currently holds the role of Jisha (teacher’s attendant) to Laura O’Loughlin and co-facilitates the BZC Undoing Whiteness and Oppression group.
Access Notes: There is one short flight of stairs leading to the Carroll Street entrance of the building; please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. From there, the center is located at the top of a longer flight of stairs. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance on President Street; please email us in advance if you need access to the ramp. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. Visit our Accessibility Page for more detailed access info. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at email@example.com.