Home Is Here: Practicing Antiracism with the Engaged Eightfold Path

North Atlantic. Aug. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781623179045. pap. $17.95. REL
Ordained Zen priest and Access to Zen founder Shutt recontextualizes traditional Buddhist insights and practices as tools of antiracism. Using the Indra’s net metaphor that the world is a web of connection, the book asks readers to focus on what connects people collectively. The author emphasizes that racism moves its victims into harmful conceptual, emotional, and spiritual locations. Her aim with this book is to equip Buddhist practitioners of color, along with anyone else wanting to heal, with a framework designed to affirm their own wholeness. Shutt advocates for practicing certain Buddhist philosophies that can shift perspectives for the better. This book gives new insight into applying the Four Noble Truths philosophy that suffering exists in life, but it can be stopped. The book also presents the Eightfold Path, Buddha’s specific instructions on how to end suffering, in a fresh way. The effect is a much more robust and engaging explication of Buddhism.
VERDICT What initially looks like a reworking of Buddhism becomes a recovery of it from the dominant culture. A great and intriguing source for readers to work through, featuring stories, analyses, and proposed exercises.
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