Larry Yang

September 22nd, 2017

Our nation is angry, fragmented and fragile.
How then do we reconcile, repair, rebuild and reimagine community and civic pride?

What can we do to engage and transform what is broken in our society at large?
What can we do to foster inclusivity and community for the benefit of all?

The following is an excerpt from his Commentary: This Nation Needs Our Awakening Together.

We can work to change the world because we hate the injustice, because we cannot abide the abuse and despise the corrupt immorality, because we resent the harm being caused, because we are enraged by the disparity and oppression, or because we are driven by the immediacy that the urgency of pain demands.
Or we can be inspired to change the world because we love it so dearly, because it reveals its precious value each and every moment, because we hold it with such wondrous awe in its resiliency, creativity, and courage. And with our hearts open as wide as they can be, we cannot do anything else but alleviate suffering in the world and pursue further freedom for as many beings as possible, knowing it is never too late to have compassion for ourselves, for others, for the world.

Larry’s recently released book expands on his lifetime of practice and teaching.
Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community is about processes of building, developing, nurturing and sustaining inclusive and diverse communities. The book explores and develops skills that are so needed in a world that can feel fragmented and separate. The practice of community always takes more time than we think, more efforts than we can imagine, more issues than we are aware of, and more contributions than we think we need. However, the outcomes also produce joys and achievements greater than can be wished for, expected, planned, or predicted. Awakening Together is a personal narrative and a historical record of applied learnings concerning how individuals and multiple communities both aspire to collective freedom, and create the actual path towards that awakening together.

Larry Yang teaches mindfulness and loving kindness retreats nationally and has a special interest in creating access to the Dharma for diverse, multicultural communities. Larry has practiced meditation for almost 30 years, with extensive time in southeast Asia, and a 6 month period of ordination as a monastic under the guidance of Ajahn Tong. Larry is on the Teachers Council of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and is one of the core teachers of both East Bay Meditation Center (Oakland) and Insight Community of the Desert (Palm Springs). His current focus is training spiritual leadership within Communities of Color and LGBTQI communities. Larry was honored for his work in equity and inclusion by being selected as the community’s choice for Grand Marshal in the 2016 San Francisco LGBTIQ Pride Parade, whose theme was “For Racial and Economic Justice.”

Larry’s bio and all images are from Larry Yang’s website.