All Sangha Big Read: Be the Refuge by Chenxing Han

  • 26 Apr 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM


  • The first 15 people to register will receive a free copy of Chenxing Han's book, Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists.

    Please do not accept a free copy of the book if you can't commit to reading it and participating in the book group discussions on April 12 and 26


IMCC's Big Read: Be the Refuge by Chenxing Han

Hosted by Liz Reynolds

April 12 & 26, 7-8:15pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 869 2779 6260
Passcode: 265979

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+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

About the author:

Chenxing Han is a Bay Area–based writer whose publications have appeared in BuddhadharmaJournal of Global Buddhism, Lions RoarPacific World, Tricycle, and elsewhere. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MA in Buddhist studies from the Graduate Theological Union. After studying chaplaincy at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California she worked in spiritual care at a nearby community hospital in Oakland. Her first book, Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists, was published by North Atlantic Books in January 2021.

About the book:

A must-read for modern sanghas—Asian American Buddhists in their own words, on their own terms.

More than two thirds of U.S. Buddhists are Asian American. But you’d never guess this from mainstream representations, which all too often whitewash the racial and cultural diversity of American Buddhist communities.

Be the Refuge is both critique and celebration, countering the erasure of Asian American Buddhists while uplifting their stories and experiences. The Oriental monk, the superstitious immigrant, the banana Buddhist: dissatisfied with these tired tropes, Han asks, Will the real Asian American Buddhists please stand up? Her journey to answer this question led to in-depth interviews with a pan-ethnic, pan-Buddhist group of eighty-nine young adults.

Weaving together the voices of these interviewees with scholarship and spiritual inquiry, this book reenvisions Buddhist Asian America as a community of trailblazers, bridge-builders, integrators, and refuge-makers. Encouraging frank conversations about race, representation, and inclusivity among Buddhists of all backgrounds, Be the Refuge embodies the spirit of interconnection that glows at the heart of American Buddhism.

Other Resources:

PBS Newshour, The Long History of Racism against Asian-Americans in the US

In Lion’s Roar, “Erased No More” by Yenkuei Chuang: 
In Tricycle, a 1992 Letter to the Editor by Ryo Imamura:

Five-part PBS documentary on the history of Asian-Americans

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