GBZC’s sutra book contains our Fourfold Commitment to Racial and Social Justice:
We commit ourselves to actively engaging and fully actualizing our bodhisattva vows in the relative world.
We commit ourselves to doing this fearlessly—opening our hearts to suffering and our eyes to oppression, privilege, marginalization, and injustice.
We commit ourselves to doing this inclusively—embodying the ideals of mutuality, interdependence, and democratic process.
And we commit ourselves to doing this humbly—acknowledging the reality of not-knowing, even as we act in urgent service to all beings.
Watering the Seeds (WTS) is a subcommittee of the Programming Working Group that helps ensure that this fourfold commitment is not treated as a special interest, but rather is deeply integrated into the life of the sangha.
Together with and on behalf of the sangha, WTS seeks to
- Envision an ever more just sangha and world;
- Encourage relevant new programming;
- Be in dialogue with other GBZC working groups; and
- Foster relationship building and organizing, both inside and outside GBZC.
Examples of our work include GBZC’s entry into and ongoing involvement with GBIO, the creation and management of Indra’s Net, support for Turning Toward and other affinity-focused programming, development of new programming around gender and pronouns, proposals for programming and events that would strengthen GBZC’s relationships with diverse Buddhist communities (including communities led by people of color), work on sangha surveys addressing questions of inclusion and accessibility, particularly as relates to ability and economic resources, and more.
WTS continues to refine and articulate our values together, guided by key principles in the Fourfold Commitment to Racial and Social Justice: Fearlessness, Inclusion, Humility, and Urgency. We consider our shared values to be an ongoing project that will evolve as our work evolves. If you are interested in co-creating these values with us, we warmly welcome your participation and feedback.
We currently meet on alternate Thursday evenings. All members of our sangha community are invited to sit in on a meeting. We are also interested in bringing in additional formal WTS members. Please don’t hesitate to contact current WTS members (Jill Gaulding, Caro Murphy, and Josh Levin) if you are interested in participating, have ideas for new programming, or have any other questions, feedback, or ideas. You can reach us via [email protected].