Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category

Cultivating Spiritual Power for our Healing and Happiness




WED, OCT 22 – SUN, OCT 26, 2008

Our fifth annual retreat offered to People of Color in the tradition of the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh will be held on the East Coast for the first time! In this five-day retreat for people of Native-American, African, Latina/o, Asian/Pacific Islander, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern ancestry (as well as their Caucasian family members), we will touch healing and nourishment through the practice of mindfulness and our reconnection to our ancestors.

This retreat offers us the opportunity to practice and enjoy the art of mindful and peaceful living in our daily life. We will learn to recognize and embrace our pain in transformative ways, find peace within ourselves, and foster stronger sisterhood and brotherhood in our communities. It will give us an opportunity to stop, rest, and touch the source of wisdom, compassion and healing in ourselves, so that we can renew our relationships and bring peace and understanding to our world. Through the practice of mindfulness we will learn how to nourish happiness, gratitude, good communication and serenity in our daily life. Some of the questions we will explore are:

• What are our sources of spiritual power in us?
• How can we cultivate our spiritual power to maintain balance in our life?
• How can we nurture faith, joy, creativity, and compassion in our daily life?

For further information, please check our website later on for more details regarding this retreat (, or call us at 845.733.4959.

The New Year has arrived, bringing in 2008. Last night in Michigan, we finally saw some decent snow, nearly a foot of it. When I sit to write, I still find myself scribbling the date “11/07”. My mind is still in past and last year has been a whirlwind was changes.
In lieu of new year’s resolutions, I want to commit myself to deepening my spiritual practice in the new year.

In October 2006 I had attended an incredible buddhist retreat for people of color offered by monastics of Deer Park Monastery practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Sitting with over 100 people of color was one of the most affirming experiences I have had. Since then, I have been trying to maintain a consistent spiritual practice in my daily life. Continue Reading »

The intersection of spirituality in activist work continues to be a growing interest of mine. Mostly because I am exploring it in my personal journey, but I also believe that activists need to find out what role spirituality has (or doesn’t have) in their lives, in order to sustain and deepen our work. Below are portions of writing from a recent article I published in Critical Moment. I invite you to read the full article by following the links on my “Articles” page. I would love to hear any reactions, comments, or feedback.

Beloved Communities: Deepening Our Activism and Healing Our Communities

By the rivers of Babylon
Where we sat down
And there we wept
When we remembered Zion
-“Rivers of Babylon,” Black spiritual

As an activist, I’ve heard and sang plenty of “freedom songs” in marches and rallies. But the first time I actually felt a Black spiritual was last month at a Beloved Communities Initiative gathering…The feeling it produced was familiar to me, as a Chinese/Taiwanese Buddhist and my experiences in Sangha, the community of Buddhist practitioners. Both song and Sangha have an indescribable capacity to provide clarity, connection and renewal. The historical use of spirituals, however, is unique to the Black community and in its transcendent ability to bring together a community of people towards collective struggle and hope. For the gathering I was attending, it opened us to even deeper reflection on the state of our communities.

Continue Reading »

Earlier this month, I was blessed with the chance to go to San Diego for a 5-day Buddhist retreat for people of color. The Soul of Gratitude Retreat was offered by Thich Nhat Hanh, a well-known and prolific Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, and the monastics of Deer Park Monastery. It’s the first time I’ve seen anything in the U.S. that is geared for buddhists of color. What’s more is that they offer safe spaces for all sorts of idenities, including queer folks, activists, and young adults. I’m excited to see how my life will unfold as I continue the practice. Thanks to Joe Reilly for turning me on to such a special gathering.