…Because they interfere with how we see one another, our ancestral and karmic tendencies help to create what we learn about each other. So, we must explore the tendencies that blind us to true interrelationship. If we continue on unaware of the learned tendencies regarding race, sexuality, and gender that are stored within our mental lives, then our ancestral and karmic tendencies will simply ripen again to confront us with new forms of racism, heterosexism, and oppressive gender roles. We will continually become subject to new forms of oppression and to new notions of supremacy among living beings.  Day by day the list of peoples who are pariahs will grow, and rarely will it shrink. Once placed in the category of inferior in terms of image presented to the world by those who are “superior,” rarely are any ever released.

Can we halt the ripening of past prolonged and cruel mistreatment between us? Yes we can. We can use direct, unlearned, experience of kinship to sow the seeds of new ways of seeing and thinking. It is possible to cultivate an awareness of the erroneous interpretations we bring to race, sexuality, and gender.  It is possible to set aside the attainment of spiritual supremacy or supremacy of any kind and the attainment of political power over one another to exist personally and collectively in this ever-present, spontaneous kinship of life. There is a spontaneous undistorted interrelationship between us like the waves of the sea.

—from The Way of Tenderness by Zenju