Creating compassionate communities takes more than good will--it requires a dedication to respecting cultural differences while remembering the fundamental spiritual kinship that exists between all people. Activist, counselor, and Buddhist teacher Ayo Yetunde creatively unpacks this condition through the metaphor of Indra's Net--a universal net in which all beings reflect each other like jewels.
She offers a practice path that acknowledges our deep challenges--challenges that increasingly give rise to the temptation of group violence, which she calls mobbery--while showing exactly how we can still listen, learn, and heal together. Drawing inspiration from the Black liberation tradition and from stories from various religions, Yetunde recasts Indra's Net as the network in which we all have the choice either to succumb to our impulses toward division and brutality or renew our civility and love for each other. The more than 20 practices in Casting Indra's Net include:
- Five commitments for healthy, nonviolent living
- Guided contemplation to water the seeds of your spiritual potential
- "Mirroring" and "twinning" other people
- Tonglen (receiving and releasing) and lovingkindness meditations
Casting Indra's Net: Fostering Spiritual Kinship and Community, Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Shambhala Publications, 219 pages, $19.95
PAMELA AYO YETUNDE, J.D., Th.D. is a Community Dharma Leader in the Insight Meditation tradition. She teaches pastoral care and counseling and has taught at University of the West, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and Upaya Institute and Zen Center. Ayo has written for Buddhadharma, Lionís Roar, Religions, and Buddhist-Christian Studies. She is the author of Object Relations, Buddhism and Relationality in Womanist Practical Theology and Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, U.S. Law, and Womanist Theology for Transgender Spiritual Care.