Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation (in-person)

with Acharya Charlene Leung, Robert Pressnall, Kelsey Blackwell

March 2nd—March 30th (2017)

Date details +
  • $100 Program Price
  • $150 Patron Price
  • Or pay in accord with your circumstance. ($50 suggested minimum)
Room: Meditation Hall

This registration page is for the in-person class. This Course will include a live, online option for participants who live at a distance. If you would like to sign up for the online class, you may do so here.

5 Weeknight evenings facilitated by Shastri Charlene Leung, Ms. Kelsey Blackwell and Mr. Robert Pressnall, at the Berkeley Shambhala Center.

As sentient beings, we long for connection: to be seen, to be heard, to belong, to contribute.  Yet the environment – political, economic and social structures – we navigate daily envelops us in a myth of separation.  We separate the haves and have nots, those like us and those different from us.  We live in fragmented communities torn by partisan politics.  

In order to heal, Rev. angel Kyodo williams calls us to disrupt the system of separation, to connect with ourselves and with others, to examine the very structures within our spiritual communities that mirror the larger societal systems.


In our sanghas do we simply accept a “kinder, gentler suffering” that does not question the unwholesome roots of systemic suffering?  This urgent call to action outlines a new dharma that takes into account the ways that racism and privilege prevent our collective awakening.


“We are at a critical moment in the history of the nation, as well as within the Buddhist teaching and tradition in America. This is the ‘back of the bus’ moment of our time.  Fifty years after civil rights laws were laid down, it is clear that they were enshrined within a structure that continues to profit from anti-Black racism.  The necessary bias that the system requires in order to be perpetuated has permeated our sanghas—our spiritual communities—and in this very moment, we are called to put aside business as usual.”

Radical Dharma  is a book to challenge us.  It’s a springboard for conversations that provide an opportunity to understand how we all embody the legacy of racial injustice, no matter what our race.  This work must be done in community since the construct is embedded in our collective social body.  Together we can feel the prickly edges, bearing witness to the ways we uphold the construct, we can create Enlightened Society.

About the course leaders: Charlene is the Chairperson of the Shambhala Diversity Working Group, a Shambhala senior teacher, a facilitator for the UNtraining (healing racism and internalized oppression), a Qi Gong instructor, and practitioner of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Kelsey is an Interplay dance instructor, and the organizer of Oakland Shambhala, a satellite meditation group emphasizing mindfulness, “bodyfulness,” and language, to work with the unique personal and societal challenges of our time.  Robert is a Shambhala senior teacher, member of the Shambhala Diversity Working Group and the UNtraining, and a thirty year eighth grade public school U.S. History and English teacher. The three of us would like to take this class on, make it interactive, open, spiritual, practical.

Radical Dharma Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, by Rev. angel Kyodo Williams (Author), Lama Rod Owens (Author), Jasmine Syedullah Ph.D. Available on Amazon $8.90.