Black Buddhadharma: Radical Liberation in Black Buddhist America Open Access

Chelsea LeAnn Cobb (Spring 2018)

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Since the turn of the millennium, black Americans have publically emerged as Buddhists. Socially Engaged Buddhists attempt to reconcile the tenets of the Four Noble Truths however the urge to confront racism in a white-saturated Western Buddhist environment leaves little room for identity in people of color. In order to achieve the fourth Noble Truth, the cessation of suffering, it is imperative that we address the historical and sociological suffering of black Americans. In this integrative essay, I will explore how the teachings of Buddha, or the buddhadharma, leads black American Buddhists to embrace a call to action for a new dharma that dismantles systemic racism, violence and oppression. In this integrative essay, I will explore how tenets of the Buddhadharma, such as meditation and mindfulness, allows a way to address and liberate the deeper layers of suffering from post-enslavement to Black Lives Matter. Black Buddhist practitioners are arguing for a new way of living – a new dharma - one that defeats the construct of a dehumanizing Eurocentric ego and achieves the Right Mind.

Table of Contents

Rise of Buddhism in Black America 1

Black Dukkha: A Historic Cycle of Suffering 12

i. Buddhism in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter 21

Mindfulness in the Black Community 25

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