At the Rochester Zen Center, we recognize racism as one of the most insidious sources of dukkha (suffering) and join other Centers across the United States in bearing witness to social injustice.

Here in Rochester, our local community has experienced multiple instances of egregious police brutality against Black adults and children. During police responses to mental health crises, violence has eclipsed compassionate intervention, as for example in the cases of Daniel Prude and Tyshon Jones who both lost their lives when officers were called upon for help.

Beyond Rochester, the recent attacks at massage parlors near Atlanta resulting in the tragic death of eight innocent people, including six Asian women, are reminders of a long and insidious history of anti-Asian racism.

As practitioners of the Dharma, we grieve the loss that has resulted from these, and other, acts of violence committed against “others,” and by extension against ourselves.

We recognize the barriers and limitations caused by our overwhelmingly white history, and devote ourselves to becoming a Sangha awake to the realities of racism, and equipped to end the suffering inflicted because of it.