IMCW Diversity Statement 2009

IMCW’S COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS

IMCW is a welcoming community that is committed to spreading Buddhist teachings in an inclusive environment. We believe the Dharma is a gift to all, inclusive of race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic status and any other personal, social or cultural attribute.

IMCW strives for diversity within its organizational leadership and among teachers. We are committed to authentic processes of dialogue and education that deepen multicultural understanding as well as scholarship and related programs that help diverse peoples attend IMCW offerings.

As a central part of our commitment, we support the formation and continued presence of affinity groups such as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Questioning (LGBTQ) Sangha and the People of Color (POC) Sangha.

We feel that a key responsibility of these affinity groups is to determine their own internal organization, including the makeup of their membership. Currently these sanghas have chosen to be designated as POC-only and LGBTQ-only. The purpose is to allow a circle of belonging that feels safe to its members and to create a refuge where they can relax into the intimacy of spiritual exploration. This is not an exclusionary measure, but a means of ensuring an environment of mutual respect anchored in safety where the practice of mindful speech and presence can sustain a meaningful exploration of identity in light of the Dharma. Arising from the experience of a shared cultural history, we trust that these Sanghas will serve widening circles of belonging— with the entire IMCW community and the community of all beings.

Our aspiration is that all living beings realize the freedom of their true nature; and that our world be filled with the growing expression of love, compassion, wisdom and peace.

May the awareness of the needs of diverse communities continue to be recognized and to grow in all sanghas.

May all sanghas, to the best of their abilities, take actions that eliminate cultural, racial, ethnic, and economic barriers to practice.

May this work on issues of diversity, race, and oppression heal the experiences of separation and reveal widening circles of belonging. May we realize the commonality of our nature, for the benefit of all beings everywhere, in all directions.

IMCW 2009

It is the mission of IMCW/The Insight Meditation Community of Washington is to support the awakening of hearts and minds through the direct experience of the Buddhist path, and the integration and manifestation of wisdom and compassion in all aspects of life, for the benefit of all beings.

IMCW
P.O. Box 3
Cabin John, MD 20818

Phone: 202.986.2922

Email: meditate@imcw.org