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A Response to Recent Events

June 22, 2018 5:08 PM | Anonymous

Dear Dharma Friend, 

We at the the Durango Dharma Center recognize the need for inspiration, solidarity, and refuge as we practice to embody an active commitment to non-harming in today's world.

We are in alignment with the following statement from the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. We share this with you in response to the concerns many of you have voiced and as a gesture of wisdom from the larger Vipassana community.  

Yours in the dharma,

DDC Dharma Council (Erin and Maureen)

DDC Board of Directors (Marc, Connie, Cindy, Lynne, Vic and Kate)

The Spirit Rock Teachers Council met on Tuesday as a group and offers these reflections on recent news. May this be supportive to you in your practice.

Statement from the Spirit Rock Teachers Council

As Buddhist meditation leaders, teachers and practitioners, we are concerned with the welfare and safety of everyone in our society. These commitments are based upon an understanding of our shared vulnerability in this life. Separating migrant children from their families unambiguously harms children and their families — this harm is immediate and severe and endures across generations through the lingering effects of trauma. Under no circumstances can we as contemplative practitioners, spiritual leaders, or moral human beings imagine circumstances in which it is acceptable to engage in acts that harm children. We cannot forget that we belong to each other. We feel deeply the heartbreak of families being torn apart.

We, as teachers for Spirit Rock Meditation Center and for tens of thousands of Buddhist practitioners around the country, reaffirm the Spirit Rock Statement of Values and stand with many other secular and religious organizations —organizations spanning the political and theological spectrum — in condemning these acts. These acts represent a dramatic deviation from the standards of morality and basic human decency that form the fabric of civilized society. Unraveling that fabric has a corrosive effect on our capacity to live and thrive together.

The Executive Order issued June 20th was initially reported as a hopeful development, but closer scrutiny finds that it fails to remedy previous harms and may actually compound difficulties for some migrants. Therefore, we must remain engaged to ensure that humane policy change is implemented and family reunifications are expedited. We encourage you to contact your representatives to voice your concern, to connect with organized efforts to express your values, and to support reputable advocacy organizations.

We must also pause to consider how this depth of moral confusion was enacted and tolerated and take steps to nurture the values that make such depravity unthinkable.


Sally Armstrong

James Baraz 

Matthew Brensilver

Eugene Cash

Debra Chamberlin-Taylor

Howard Cohn

Mark Coleman

Anne Cushman

Dana DePalma

Anna Douglas

Bonnie Duran 

Andrea Fella

Anushka Fernandopulle

Gil Fronsdal 

JoAnna Hardy

Susie Harrington

Will Kabat-Zinn

Ruth King

Jack Kornfield 

Brian Lesage

John Martin 

Nikki Mirghafori

Phillip Moffitt


Kate Munding

Wes Nisker

Mary Grace Orr

Sharda Rogell 

Donald Rothberg

Erin Selover

Gina Sharpe 

Oren Jay Sofer

Tempel Smith 

Heather Sundberg


Erin Treat

Pamela Weiss

DaRa Williams

Diana Winston

Kate Lila Wheeler

Larry Yang

* Note: certain Teachers Council members are on retreat and may not have had the opportunity to sign this statement as of yet.

Durango Dharma Center • 1800 E. Third Ave. • P.O. Box 1631 • Durango, CO 81302