Summit Home 2021

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Welcome to the Black and Buddhist Summit!

All Summit Sessions will be posted here as they become available. Click below to access!

Day 8

LIVE FEBRUARY 25th AT 2pm ET: Vimalasara Mason-John and Pamela Ayo Yetunde: Live Closing Session

Day 7

WATCH NOW: Claudelle Glasgow, Kamilah Majied, Breeshia Wade and Pamela Ayo Yetunde: Blackness, Buddhism, and Trauma

Introduce yourself to the community below!


  1. Glynis Neslen February 20, 2021 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Hello. I reconnected with a old friend, and was led to this summit. It has opened my eyes to so many enlightening things. Thank you all for your strength and courage in doing this work and encouraging ways for POC and Black and White to work towards true community with the Earth and writing the books. I am Anglo/Nigerian and would like to learn more about Meditation. Yorkshire, UK

    • Murina Marsden February 25, 2021 at 3:04 am - Reply

      Hi Glenisla
      I’m also interested in this summit. I live in Shipley West Yorkshire and have been practising mindfulness in Buddhist tradition for some time. Missed most of this summit just checked in today,hopefully there will be other ways to access full programme available soon. Thank you summitt please hold me in mind.Yoyr friend Adieshanti

  2. Anne-Marie Keppel February 20, 2021 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I feel honored to be listening to these beautiful teachers! I am a white cis woman living in Vermont. I’ve been a part of Shambhala for about 17 years and the whiteness has been apparent in every way. I’m so grateful for this Summit so I can learn more thoroughly how much we have failed the POC community and how to not ever do so again.
    I have to say that I’m disappointed not to see Shambhala (city and land centers and individual sangha) sharing this Summit far and wide. I know its foundation is rocked and in places it’s shattered but not even the co-sponsor of Shambhala Publications has this Summit on its website and they only announced this the day after the Summit has begun. I learned about this through the NYC Zen Center. I don’t know the reasons, but just the fact that it was not centralized as perhaps the most important discussion to have in our Buddhist communities across the US and Canada right now is very disheartening.
    Thank you for this amazing Summit. I’m happy to donate my time for publicity in the future!

  3. Shaka Georges February 20, 2021 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Hello from New Jersey, My Bodhisattva name is Jangchup Yeshe, having taking my Refuge and Bodhisattva vow for over 15 years now at the monastery in Woodstock New York (Tibetan Buddhism) I still find it a little innerving when I attend other Sangha which are mainly white. This is the second POC gathering that I attended and thing it is so needed, and it is so wonderful to have a gathering like that.

  4. Ama Crystal Eubanks February 20, 2021 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    I am not a Buddhist but I find it so inspiring to know that we are doing this work as Afrikaans. We have long be silent. I know that in the communities that inhale our culture but not our presence it is challenging for them to hear of our perspective. I admire your words and bravery. I am interested in Buddhism and will continue to support this movement as a woman, Afrikan and as a interested spiritualist .

  5. Tina DeStephen February 20, 2021 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Question: What is a “sondah”?

    • Ruth Klein February 21, 2021 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      I wonder if perhaps the word might be “sangha”? It’s difficult to know out of context. “Sangha” refers to the “family” / community that practices together.

  6. Winsome Joyong Pommells February 20, 2021 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Hello my Dharma name is Joyong, I am Winsome Joyong from Toronto. I am a student Teacher-in Training, Zen Buddhism Korean monastic tradition. I’m interested in connecting with practitioners and Teachers.

  7. Nicholas February 20, 2021 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    I am appreciative of the people giving voice to their life experiences in these sessions. It is a tapestry woven in such a way that calls out to other threads, giving space and place and voice. I totally appreciate being able to come and view at my pace and timing ~ I like this approach of spreading the talks over a number of days. It gives me time to process and reflect.

  8. Sarahann Kolder February 21, 2021 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Hello everyone 🙂 I’m so excited to be [here]. I went to a Black Women’s Buddhist Meditation retreat last winter, and one of the attendees forwarded this conference (link) along. I’m 25 and live in Iowa City, IA. I’ve been practicing for about 3 years, and having Black community (whether in person or through books/media) has been inspirational and a large part of continuing dharma practice. If you live in Eastern Iowa and (or otherwise) would like to connect, email me

  9. Jack Huynh February 21, 2021 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone, I am working on a multimedia project about Buddhism in the west through the eyes of lay practitioners. It is a work in progress long term project and I would love to include more voices from under represented groups that practice in america. Please check out the website here and contact me from the website if you would like to add your voice to this unique project.

  10. katherine westmoreland February 21, 2021 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    A sondah is called a sangha. It is one of the 3 jewels that the Buddha speaks of. The Buddha who shows us the way, the dharma that teaches and guides and the sangha which is the community that supports and guides us together with love. Hope that helps.

  11. Cecilia Noble February 21, 2021 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Hello My Name is Cecilia Noble and I have practicing the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin for the past years now . I live in Ashford Kent and I am absolutely delighted to have the fortune to come across this summit. I have just purchased Black and Buddist and can’t wait to get reading and healing . Thank you so much .

  12. Vanina Katz-Lahaigue (Vancouver Canada) February 21, 2021 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Why is it so difficult to fin your speakers ???? I have always a hard
    timer to find you…

  13. Ravi Chandra February 21, 2021 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful summit! I’m resonating with so much – this is all on-point for our times. I wrote about Lama Rod Owens’ work here –

    Memoirs of a Superfan Vol. 15.2: Lama Rod Owens and the Emotional Body of Asian Americans

  14. Alice Leeds February 21, 2021 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Hello from Bristol, Vermont. Earlier this evening, I was inspired to hear Larry Ward speak about America’s Racial Karma. Looking forward to upcoming events!

  15. Mary Stancavage February 22, 2021 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Deep gratitude.

  16. Dunja Moeller February 22, 2021 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this summit. I learned so much. I am wearing many hats. I am a Medical Anthropologist, cathartic breath teacher and therapist, Buddhist practitioner, Gnostic practitioner non-religious but spiritual, love permaculture and the spirit of plants. Steward a piece of land in VT and love eating from my gardens and sharing it’s fruits. Just became grandma to a beautiful half German half indigenous grand baby and am thrilled to visit her in the redwoods of the lost coast in CA. Loved all the presentation so far and am overwhelmed by the courage, beauty and sincerity of each presenter. In the Dhamma. Dunja Moeller

  17. Upayadhi February 22, 2021 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Much appreciation for both of you, precious teachers. Upayadhi

  18. Jocelyne Mayfield February 23, 2021 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I am so thankful for the Black & Buddhist community, for restoring the tradition of access to public Intellectuals. In the 60’s when I was a little girl
    Black Attorneys, Physicians, Dentists… lived in the neighborhood side by side with the working class and the poor. Their presence provided a knowledge base, tax base, and stability, part of a healthy aspirational ecosystem for legacy building. As many of my favorite teachers often share, Mindfulness is about REMEMBERING

  19. Dai Sen Mike Pavitt February 23, 2021 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I do not know how I was invited to attend this conference, but I certainly have enjoyed listening in on the presentations. I am a member of the Dragons Leap Meditation Center in San Francisco, a very small Sangha in the Soto Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. It has been an honor and pleasure to be able to see and hear from so many excellent Black Buddhist teachers. Nine bows.

  20. Vanina Katz-Lahaigue February 23, 2021 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    impossible to watch you !!! Vanina Katz-Lahaigue !

  21. Pamela Williams February 23, 2021 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Much gratitude for this summit that brings the connection of teachers I’ve practiced with, those who’ve I’ve wanted to know, and the echos of the soulfulness and courage through the Buddhist traditions, that is not often brought together in retreats and teachings. In the 40 years since first practicing, my path began with Zen and Insight, and deepened through Shambhala to Vajrayana, instructor training and dharma arts, interwoven through practice as a Quaker. I am in a transition as to how I view my root teacher affiliation, at this time, but this summit shows the strength of choosing liberation through the path. I am an African American woman with a multiracial family history, currently living in Vermont.My aspiration is that sanghas will make this form of teaching integral, so that practitioners of color will continue to seed the dharma with confident compassion, with awake leaders who understand the wisdom of action and self-liberation.

  22. Glynis Neslen February 24, 2021 at 6:14 am - Reply

    I am in awe of the wonderful Teachers, Healers, Authors, Musicians..and much more. I’ve understood more about myself and a different way of being spiritually that has sustained many amongst adversity…Being Budhist and Black. I salute all the ancestors of my fathers and all POCIB people in the USA who have had to fight to become human. Its led me to see in the UK too our walk and sometimes crawl, to recover our full Humaness with the Universe. I am on a recovery journey at the moment and thank you for the wonderful Authors and the healing powers of singing and focussing unease that I witnessed last night. Ashe.

  23. Donna Johnson February 24, 2021 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Hello: Thank you for organizing this Summit. I entered Buddhist practice through SGI and I have been looking to learn more about Buddhism, to address questions around race and my practice, and to link with other Bodhisattvas. I have had many questions which are being addressed here.

  24. Carolyn February 24, 2021 at 7:05 am - Reply

    I’m white British my daughter’s Chinese, when I adopted her I learnt about othering, we have always been noticed. Until all of us are free none of us are free, especially, in some fundamental sense, white people – all white supremacy, all methods whites have of subjugating people of colours other than white has to be acknowledged and made illegal.
    Beautiful summit.
    Thank you for all the wisdom, love and laughter.

  25. Tenzin Tsepal February 24, 2021 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Hello Black Buddhist community,
    Thank you for offering this summit, and opening my eyes to the many Black Buddhist brothers and sisters out there. I’m a long time white American Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Tradition.

    Listening to as many of these talks as possible, I rejoice in adding new perspectives to a limited but ever growing acumen of the Black experience in America, especially as it relates to Buddhism.

    As His Holiness the Dalai Lama has emphasized lately, and especially in light of the life threatening climate crises, we are all one family. Summits like this help to connect us to know one another and ourselves more deeply.

    With gratitude,

  26. Murina Marsden February 25, 2021 at 3:08 am - Reply

    Hopefully this beautiful summit will be made available as a gift and resource for the planet ❤. I missed the beginning but here now all ears.

  27. John Rockwell February 25, 2021 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing such profound, heartfelt truths and personal experiences. I felt pierced, awakened, enlivened, and tearful to hear your stories of pain and trauma and how you found the path of dharma. I have been practicing on the Shambhala path for 45 years now as a white male who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, feeling the often unspoken but nakedly present history and presence of racial discrimination and violence. I feel humbled and grateful to receive your teachings. May all benefit from your wisdom and compassion and power!

  28. Techa Smalls-Brown February 25, 2021 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    These sessions have given me life! The conversations are rich and relatable. As Black people, this is the medicine we need now. Ever since I was a teenager, I have been drawn to Dharma and its teachings. In my twenties, I began to learn Buddhist philosophy. I am grateful for all the teachers and all the wisdom.

  29. Yvonne Buchanan February 25, 2021 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you to the organizers, moderator and Participants. I am so filled with hope, and gratitude to have this. It’s been a long time coming. I look forward to reading the books produced by these scholars!!!

  30. Dottie Branch February 26, 2021 at 5:22 am - Reply

    Thank you so very much for this Summit and quite a summit it is and has been! I have enjoyed every second and learned the things, the concepts I thought I already knew. Excited to attempt my walk down the path of a Bodhisattva!

    I gave a rather negative review to an employee– in a positive light, though it was “truth”, I had a difficult time presenting it and waited several days. After this summit, I’m thinking she’s a person I want to “raise up”, to awaken her to a more enlightened mind when it comes to humanity, to behavioral and interpersonal communication with co-workers. Now that I’m retraining my mind, I think I’ve done a good deed, genuine, and with good intent. Can’t wait to send Brother, Rev, Dr. Larry Ward’s book y’all to my NY representatives. Thank you with my whole black-bodied self!

  31. Maite Doran February 26, 2021 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this summit. It was powerful beyond believe.
    Yesterday Vimalasara left my very down to earth and non Buddhist husband in tears.
    Which he couldn’t understand.
    I told him, That was Buddha talking.
    Such gentleness and compassion, and so immense powerful
    There are no other words to describe that experience.

    Thank you Ayo for showing us this Path,

  32. Amasu Evans March 8, 2021 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Wonderful to find community here. My white friend from California saw this and sent me the link, today. Sad to have missed the talks but will watch these. Will you be doing another summit?

    UK England

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