“Silence is itself an act of acquiescence to a system.” –Ram Dass
Love Serve Remember is committed to a more just and compassionate society. We condemn the brutal murder of George Floyd by complicit officers of the Minneapolis police. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and protesters across the US and the world against systemic anti-Black racism. All officers involved in these violent actions must be held accountable. We stand in solidarity with all victims of police brutality and white supremacist violence, including the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the many, many other Black victims of violence.
In order to reflect the values of our organization, which include unconditional love, we are committed to expanding diversity, inclusion, and equity within our leadership, management, and staff, while educating white people within our community about race, racism, and white privilege, including ourselves. This means learning about the history of race, systemic racism, white privilege, white supremacy culture, white saviorism, and recognizing how we collude with racism knowingly and unknowingly. It means becoming more aware of our biases, habits, assumptions, and ignorance that come out as microaggressions. And it means acting on what we learn.
Ram Dass talks about how when we are born, we enter into “somebody training” and we start to identify with this “spacesuit” of body, ego, thought, mind, emotions. At different planes of consciousness, we know that we are all one, and yet if your “spacesuit” is black or brown, it means you experience injustices, prejudices, traumas, and violence that give you an experience of this world different from that of white people.
After centuries of violence and racism passed from generation to generation not just as hatred, but as ignorance, privilege, apathy, and economic and educational access, we must work to change society and ourselves.
How do we break the cycle?
As an organization, we turn to black leaders and teachers and ask, “What do you need, and how can we support you?” We will listen and then act accordingly. And we will use our privilege to provide people of color more access.
As individuals on the path of waking up, we can ask, what do I need to learn? We can be present, listen, be honest with ourselves. Look at our emotions. Anger and fear are reactive reflexes, but can we also find compassion?
Your heart may be breaking as you respond to the suffering happening now. This is the right moment to let your heart break and let compassion and love grow. Look at your fear, bring it close, see it for what it is. Let go of what you can. Be brave. Be loving.
Show up as your fullest self. In the current destruction brought by Covid-19, the killing of George Floyd, and the government reaction to peaceful protests, there is an opening to create something new, a more just and compassionate world. It won’t be easy. It’s going to need all of us.
In 1983, Ram Dass, in a teach-in with Dan Ellsberg, said:
“Even though we find ourselves afraid, and not feeling peaceful, and less than fully loving and compassionate, we must act. There is no way you can be in an incarnation without acting. We cannot wait until we are enlightened to act. We all hear the way in which our silence is itself an act of acquiescence to a system. That is as much an action as walking. Since we must act, we do the best we can to act consciously and compassionately. But in addition, we can make every action an exercise designed to help us become free. Because the truth that comes from freedom, and the power that comes from freedom, and the love and compassion that come from freedom are the jewels we can cultivate to offer to our fellow sentient beings for the relief of their suffering.”
In solidarity and love,
The Board of Love Serve Remember Foundation:
Rameshwar Das Lytton
& the LSRF staff
Resources for Education and Action on Racial Justice and Equality
- "Social Justice & Buddhism" (excerpt from 'Radical Dharma') by Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams
- "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh
- "Unpacking White Saviorism" by Annie Windholz
- "Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?" by Ibram X. Kendi
- "The American Nightmare" by Ibram X. Kendi
- "The system was built to break black people" by Rodney Foxworth
- See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur
- The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness by Rhonda V. Magee
- Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation by Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah
- How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel
- My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
- Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out by Ruth King
- The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing by Anneliese A. Singh
Teachers and Thought Leaders to Support:
- Konda Mason
- Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams
- Angel Acosta
- Rhonda Magee
- Leslie Booker
- Ibram X. Kendi
- Dr. Christena Cleveland
- Rev. Jacqui Lewis
- Rachel Cargle
- Centered in Blackness: Designing Contemplative Spaces for Black People with Dr. Michelle Coghill Chatman and Dr. Steven Thurston Oliver
- How to Be a Good Ally - Identity, Privilege, Resistance by Ahsante the Artist
- Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity by World Trust
- Tamika Mallory - The Most Powerful Speech of a Generation
- Systemic Racism Explained
- The Invention of Whiteness by John A. Powell, professor of Law, UC Berkeley
- The Origin of Race in the USA - PBS.org
- Healing the Harm in Schools with UDC Professor Dr. Michelle Chatman
Activist Organizations & Funds to Support:
- Racial Equality Institute
- Campaign Zero
- National Center for Race Amity
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)
- Anti-racist Research and Policy Center
- 400 Years of Inequality
Resources from LSRF and Be Here Now Network:
- [Podcast] - Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 329 – What Makes People Whole with Konda Mason
- [Podcast] - Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 346 – See No Stranger with Valarie Kaur
Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 125 – The Inner Work of Racial Justice w/ Rhonda V. Magee
- [Podcast] - Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 347 – A Conversation with Konda Mason, Mirabai Bush and Raghu Markus
- [Article] - Honoring Diversity within the Unity - Ram Dass
- [Article] - Ram Dass on the Need for Inner Social Action
- [Podcast] -
- [Podcast] - Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 29 – Understanding Racial Conditioning with Ruth King
- [Article] - Coming to terms with suffering & Injustice
- [Podcast] - Francesca Maximé – ReRooted – Ep. 16 – Approaching Inclusivity with Tada Hozumi
- [Podcast] - Francesca Maximé – ReRooted – Ep. 13 – Resmaa Menakem on Working with Racialized Trauma on a Collective Level
- [Podcast] - Francesca Maximé – ReRooted – Ep. 11 – Dr. Shelly Harrell on Multigenerational Racial Trauma, Recognizing Your Inner Truth, and Getting ReRooted to your Inner Resources.
- [Podcast] Ram Dass – Here and Now – Ep. 137 – The Importance of Inner Social Action
- [Podcast] - Omid Safi – Sufi Heart – Ep. 11 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Message for Today
- [Article] - Ram Dass on the Importance of Inner Social Action
- [Podcast] - Ram Dass – Here and Now – Ep. 158 – A Pledge to Social Responsibility
- [Article] - Ram Dass on Finding Space for Equanimity in Social Justice