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Black Buddhist Approaches to Healing Intergenerational Trauma
Rima Vesely-Flad, PhD

Black Buddhist teachers from different lineages recognize the power of breath meditation, somatic practices, and meaningful rituals rooted in the Buddhist tradition as they turn towards healing intergenerational trauma.  In so doing, they also imbue their practice of Buddhism with African and African-American cultural symbols.  In this lecture, we will hear how several contemporary Black Buddhist teachers – in the Insight, Zen, and Tibetan traditions – make relevant the practice of Buddhism for their psychological and spiritual well-being. 

Dr. Rima Vesely-Flad is the author of Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition: The Practice of Stillness in the Movement for Liberation (New York University Press, 2022).  She is the Visiting Professor of Buddhism and Black Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she teaches classes on Buddhism and social justice.  She formerly taught classes in philosopher and social theory, and directed the Peace and Justice Studies program, at Warren Wilson College.

In addition to teaching classes on Buddhism in the U.S. context, she writes and teaches on mass incarceration.  For several years she directed the Inside Out Prison Education Program, a partnership between Warren Wilson College and the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women.  She is the author of Racial Purity and Dangerous Bodies: Moral Pollution, Black Lives, and the Struggle for Justice (Fortress Press, 2017).  You can learn more about her work on her website  


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