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America’s racial karma is not a concept but a living reality and no one is likely to be magically exempt from a lifetime of the manifestation of racialized consciousness in this system as white supremacy weaves its deadly pattern through human history over the course of 500 years of social psychology. This includes all of us: White people as well as Blacks, Asian, Native First Peoples, and Hispanic persons. Racialized consciousness is not an intractable condition but a legacy of human thought, speech, and physical behaviors. The good news is that we can transform our collective karma. This moment in our social history compels us to invite ourselves into a path of discovery, learning, and practices to transform that collective karma. As a Black man residing in America, Larry Ward says to those who say, “I am not racist” …We are invited to dismantle the systems that perpetuate that profound misperception of what it means to be human. And, if I was going to use the word racist, it would be for anyone who is still disconnected from their own bodies enough not to experience the pain of that systemic conditioning that lives with us every day and in every moment. If you've grown up separated as we have by race, in particular, by class also, then we don't really have a quality of intimacy to understand one another. So, for me, that begins with coming back to ourselves, our own bodies, our own minds.” He writes, “To overcome injustice, we must not lose our centeredness, our spiritual resilience, and most importantly [we must not lose] our capacity to respond with wisdom, compassion, and action in creating a new world.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)
The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. was the catalyst that sparked Larry Ward's journey into a life of planetary peacemaking. He's been subjected to racial profiling and has experienced a bombing in his home in Idaho. He was able to move past these traumas when his path led him to the introduction of Buddhist practice in Calcutta in 1977. When he met Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 1991, the practice of Buddhism became truly central to his life. He was ordained as a Dharma teacher in Plum Village in 2000 and is the co-founder of the Lotus Institute, which offers Buddhist practice for change makers on the journey of individual and collective liberation.
Larry Ward, Ph.D. is the author of:
To learn more about the work of go to: www.thelotusinstitute.org
Host: Justine Willis Toms Interview Date: 7/31/2021 Program Number: 3738
From Album: Desert DanceArtist: R Carlos Nakai1990 Ancient Harmonies #13033-2
Opening Essay: Track 01 Ancient GroundMusic Break 1: Track 04 Spirit ValleyMusic Break 2: Track 03 Ancient VoicesMusic Break 3: Track 06 Turquoise Swallows Dance
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