There are different types of suffering in the world. There is the suffering we cause ourselves through craving, hate and delusion, that we need to wake up from. And there is the suffering that comes from life’s catastrophes, which cannot be stopped, though we can perhaps lessen the suffering they cause. And then there is the suffering of humanity that comes from the cruelty of injustice, that plays out in countless ways every day, across the world, through racism, sexism, homophobia and many other forms of prejudice. This is the realm of social justice.
Clearly, prejudice has recently risen more to the surface in our world and in our awareness. Many people are looking for ways to better understand and deal with prejudice, including many Buddhists and their Sanghas, such as our own. What I want to do tonight is take some steps towards unraveling the fabric of prejudice.
If we could, each of us would choose to be free of the evil of prejudice. However, because we’re human we have an innate tendency towards prejudice and implicit unconscious bias. I’ll talk about why this is so and bring in a number of Buddhist ideas as they relate to this problem of prejudice, and also some scientific and psychological ideas. And these ideas aren’t always easy, so bear with me. I want to point out an examination of prejudice can greatly benefit our practice.
Find the rest of Steele’s talk here: steelebennett.wordpress.com/