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Be the Refuge: Recentering Asian Americans in our Understandings of Buddhism and Mindfulness

A Discussion with Chenxing Han and Holly Hisamoto

Presented in partnership with the Hundere Endowed Chair in Religion & Culture and Grass Roots Book Store - where Chenxing's book Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists can be purchased. 


In honor of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month, this online event will feature author Chenxing Han in conversation with OSU Academic Advisor Holly Hisamoto. They will discuss Chenxing's recently published Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists (North Atlantic Books, 2021), the first book to center Asian American Buddhists as a pan-ethnic, pan-sectarian group. Be the Refuge counters the erasure of this complex and diverse group by resisting essentialized tropes (Oriental monk, superstitious immigrant, banana Buddhist) and reimagining Asian American Buddhists as trailblazers, bridge-builders, integrators, and refuge-makers. 

Two thirds of U.S. Buddhists are of Asian heritage, though it's hard to guess this from mainstream depictions. What is lost when American Buddhist sanghas and meditation communities decenter our Asian heritage? This event provides a space for honest exploration as we delve into this question and consider what it means to be a refuge for one's self and others. Informed by chaplaincy work, Holly and Chenxing will lift up themes of identity and culture, power and race, anger and grief, ancestors and ritual, and other topics from their perspectives as Asian American Buddhists. In the face of ongoing anti-Asian violence, this timely conversation holds a space for connection, resilience, and healing. We hope you'll join us, and we look forward to your questions and insights during the audience Q&A portion of the program.

Accommodation requests can be made by emailing or calling 541-737-4785.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

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