The Dharma and James Baldwin

with Ben Hines, Brad Warren, Veronica Borgonovi

November 14th—December 12th

Date details +
  • $40 Program Price
  • Pay what you can afford (enter amount in registration)

Translating the ancient wisdom of meditation into the patterns of our lives, we will read James Baldwin (black novelist, social commentator and essayist on race and racism) and his magnificent The Fire Next Time (1963; 106 pg.) with a meditator’s open mind and honest heart. From an extraordinary spiritual authority tempered to great resilience in the stress of unremitting daily racism, he hopefully suggests that “relatively conscious blacks and whites” can still with “love... insist on, or create” a consciousness that will “end the racial nightmare and achieve our country and change the history of the world.”

The “Dharma” in our time reading James Baldwin relates to the traditional centuries old guidance called Obstacles and Antidotes for people wanting to deepen their meditation. The Obstacles to working with the mind are similar to those of opening to the realities of race and racism; so are the Antidotes to those obstacles, whether of mind or race and racism.

Through working with the six Obstacles and eight Antidotes, sitting practice can enter much further into our being and our lives. There is the potential of becoming “processed” in body, speech and mind, stronger in mind and heart. With honest exertion and a gentle, light touch, we can possibly become more calm, decent, sane, kind and level headed. We could become more mindful of racism and the ways we can disrupt it. This benefits our world.

Over four evenings, there will be discussion of The Fire Next Time, video of James Baldwin speaking, presentation of Obstacles and Antidotes and participant presentations from Fire. Committing to self and one another to sit meditation 30 minutes daily will be encouraged. 

All are welcome. 6:30 p.m. sitting meditation, 7:00 discussion. Meditation instruction will be offered to those interested at 6:00 at the first session.

Please register below. Prior to the first class, you will be sent guidance and materials on preparing for the first discussion.

Prerequisites: This program is open to everyone, and no previous experience with meditation is necessary.

Location: Seattle Shambhala Center, 3107 E Harrison St, Seattle.

Our Generosity Policy: We have a generosity policy to make our offerings available to all who wish to participate. If the program price is an obstacle for you, please consider what works for you, and offer as much of the program fee as you can.

Registration: When registering, you'll have the opportunity to pay online through PayPal (or by credit card), which greatly simplifies the process for us. For further details, see our Program Policies and FAQs page.

Questions? Please contact Brad Warren at [email protected].