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#105: Leslie Booker, Activism and the Dharma

Leslie Booker was working as a wardrobe stylist, dressing models for a living, and was looking for a way to transition out of the industry and her winding path -- she lives a nomadic lifestyle -- eventually brought her to becoming a meditation teacher. A Navy brat who grew up in Virginia and Japan, Booker is also an activist who was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement and has worked with incarcerated youth, and she shared her thoughts on how the Dharma has changed the way she approaches activism. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey, guys could note all new episodes of ten percent happier are now available on the tunisian APP new episode will be released every Friday on tune in that's five days, early judge, for tuna listener, so download the apt day and check out for free from ABC, is it a ten percent happier vodka in her before we get to the absurd this week, Layton Unabashed Self promotion. I got a new book coming out. It's called meditation, fidgety sceptics, it's how to meditate book, but it also set up a story. It's it's the story of me and when my favorite meditation teacher Jeff Warren going Cross country in a stupid, orange bus meeting, people who want to meditate but aren't and really helping. You know, create a taxonomy of reasons why people are meditating and then thrown a bunch of practical advice of people about how they can get over these various obstacles like not finding the time or
I like that. You can't clear your mind, etc, etc. Anyway. I really happy about the book really proud of. It comes out the day after Christmas, for a new year new you and you can get it on pre order now so shameless motion on the way to get to the episode this week, Leslie Booker, I met Leslie Booker at an elevator a few months ago on the way up to a book party for a share in Salzburg, who's, the famous meditation teacher and let loose next to me by the way I polar Leslie Bit. She goes by Booker, even even though that's her last name, so Booker was standing next to me and dropped in F bomb. I think in conversation with somebody else and as like who is this person, We got to talking and turns out she's a really interesting yoga meditation teachers done a lot of work with incarcerated youth and
on lots of other fascinating issues, all of which you are about to hear about so here she is Booker. Why do you go by Booker? He said of lead is a great place to start so people who is called me Booker as a nickname throughout my life and high school, and I was never something that I religious beliefs. She one way or the other. Have simultaneously informal and formal yeah yeah yeah totally so it? you know I thought it was something cute and then, when I was the fashion industry for about eight nine years here in New York City and what I was a worker stylist, sorry trust models for Ireland, really when we talk in retrospect. Us are really strange job to dress chain heartbeat off when the nice, their amazing yeah, really my transformation into the work they do now, but, but so I, was why to transition that industry went nutrition school. And am I really is
very soon on, I couldn't keep when this fashion thing full time is life on a part time jobs at the New York Open centre. What is then Europe open? is a an urban less dig spiritual centre a mega or a salon or anything institutions, but in New York City, so others onto weirdos all of them and so when I got there are the why, when you go there, why? What why? Why did you want to get a job there? I mean there's a second job: yeah you're already into this stuff. I was years for I gotten mice, ratification of but reflects ology, because when I press working in the dream like out. Oh yeah, you relax. Ok, like the other, really really into feet. It really yachts, Tully, fine, ok, yeah! So,
sorry, dad no note of meditation by gas reserves the right to take you down when it really terror. I want, if I didn't know you ve no guarantees here. This is this is what I ve been told. I care You're yeoman models, but flax, algae in unison and now you're, like I'm, going to add open centre into my main yeah to do something that allow me to have some flexibility, my schedule and also allow me to kind of move into this world a little bit more and so on. Out there. I said: hey my name's Leslie and they said we already have one, and I like. I don't know what you mean and they said we already have a Leslie whatever named when I go by and so I was I well. I guess you can call me Booker and let And that's when I met her in Salzburg, and I met a lot like my friends and colleagues and teachers and so Booker sort of stock, and I try to break out of that people like well, that's who you are, and a dear friend of mine, said
that Booker's, a woman whose kitten than in the wrong and Leslie is the one you can like picky cookies, and I am happy to do both. I will make you some cookies and gluten free cookies and then we will go out and get in the world, so both things fill a very appropriate for me. Gabby like what I meant I met you in an elevator going up to some fancy. Apartment do go to a book party for sharing Salzburg and then you introduce first of all, you used it dropped in F bomb, which also includes this purse. I've never been the elevator every day, which I, like all of you know where I was like this person, but we never met. I didn't know you and then set you. We started talking and You introduce yourselves bucker out like an ethical how to get around my so that vanka behind the first things I said to you, I'd like China, I kind of squeezed Europe Read out of you another go, this person is a teacher down on the show
having bugging you ever since then, but it was a while ago. It was in July June July. Will let me just start? Oh, but you get a little bit of your backstory, but just tell me a little bit how you got into meditation to start with and then and then, in terms of busy summer, you were specifically referencing stuff that we ve, seen in like Charlottesville and in Washington and you're intimate involved in a kind of ringing meditative principles to all that we naturally want again to all that, but first set for contacts hugest, describe how you got into meditation the first place yeah, so I was working at the New York Open Centre yup as Booker, and I met my first meant or their amazing human him stand career and he just really took me under his wing you know right away and he was working for the lineage brought it Do you really want me to work with lineage project, so teaching yoke and meditation to incarcerated system involve youth at the time I wasn't. A yoga teacher did know anything about meditation, but he kept Kunak nagging.
And he were not yogi teacher. I was not Look at you you're behind. What did you have? What what did you have to offer in the story was a random percent have been working in the fashion industry for a long time and was trying to find a different way of living. My life, you now clearly saw something in you. Yeah yeah and his complete bodies offer this really amazing human defined not for people may not know it yeah. So bodies outflows when who chooses to live your life over and over and over again for the liberation of all beings, and so he was just like this ancient, You know on this earth to say kind of guiding my life, and so we would talk a lot about nutrition and in yoga. Meditations has club dipping into that world a little bit but didn't have a lot of information around it and he invited me to the New York Open Centre in part to the New York insight, which is another
you're in downtown land, where they sage meditation, yeah, meeting beautiful centre and I, as a people of color and allies potluck, and he took me to who is now- may teach Regina, Sharp and music Gina Booker book Regina just walked away, and that was in a close to fifteen years ago and the June, a sharp then became your main meditation yeah yeah yeah yeah she's. Still, my teacher she's, I'm doing my four year retreat, teacher training right now, and so she is Mina our guiding teacher in that as well. No it's a four year process during which you become train. Be somebody who can teach retreats. Yes, they just completed a two and a half your training to be a community dharmu leader Does that mean so? Can you normally? There is somebody who is teaching meditation end centre like New York and sight more on the country can have eaten rent start your own group's your unsung heroes, work in a centre.
Take the practice you know anywhere within your community after, Stan did so after that you also get into yoga to it can happen very simultaneously use take a slave happen cannot at the same time, and so I came to both practices, so they could of mingled an integrated and intersected with each other, and so I always taught yoga through the lens of the dogma and taught Burma through the body and it's so funny, cuz we're so caught up in my teeth left. My phone is mindfulness to be kind of forget about the rest of the body. It becomes says neck up practice, and so I'm really, I told Jack Kornfield that my intention for the next four years. The drama back to the body, you don't, I vigorously, really think there's I took out a budget levels. In fact, I have hated yoga? Robot is my book that that when I was a little kid parents were hippies in and they then I have used anymore, but they devil over there.
They send you yoga class and the teacher made me take off my tuscan pants. Do yogurt, like my daddy, why do I have had a bad attitude? Were yogi ever since a trauma thing yogi trauma. Tat really is the thing: ok, we're lately definitely have an eye. But I have this bad trainer. Her name is Jade Alexis, Google or she's amazing, and she I I I met her cause. She did, she was teaching, speak this economic recycled, I believe that whatever I was gone was in vain class and by Jim and there is this credible. Woman at the front. Who is just, come around getting your face in their turn up your resistance and your bike, and I hated her, but I loved her and but I thought I was scared of her and so one day actually got the courage to talk to her, because my wife at the time had had had had our child and she wanted a trader, and so I said,
Would you be willing to work? My wife internet, actually, when she wasn't screaming at you about the bike she's like really beautiful, nice merchant and so she ended up. Work on my wife is trader, but then I got an answer now. I see her once in a while. We did Sheikh that beats the crap out of me. She also former golden, those boxer and three I ve been talking about she's woman is amazing anyway. She, reopen teacher like a serious years younger children only because up somebody like her, whose off and serious and whose scares me I was. I willing to do yoga and I've found that it makes a big difference in me if you're on. Actual, while your first on a couple levels, if you're comfortable, you're meditating a necessarily why why be uncomfortable, surly, absolutely correct and creates and have com and relax in order to meditate and also yeah, we are we, we love around our bodies as if we're not connected to them and I can see after a lifeline resistance, how the two can
intermingles, arrives at a lot, even though you're the first news mostly being interviewed today, a long way of saying, I think, you're onto something The Buddha wait you know hit the poorest plantation unmindfulness is my awfulness of body, and we keep forgetting that. It is the first thing that he taught and we kind of like skip over there and go to the third. Birthdays were really talking about the mind and so We really have to get that body sort at first hand the breath really knowing where we are before we can move into the investigation into the mindfulness practice so You just grab the four found nations of my fulness are because I dont know that most people will know what that is. Yeah, as the fourth foundations of mindfulness restrictive in the basics, had put his hands for the phrase foundations. My from this breath and body. So knowing where the body is knowing how the breath is, if it's new breathing deeply for deep breathing shallowly and just going to give you a lot of pain for me.
Intuition. So you really know what's happening both internally and externally, with your body and her breath, second foundation is working with a debate now, which is the feeling tones so knowing it, there is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral happening in the body The third foundation that you have made knows, I it easy to write off there this is a foreign sounding word and inhaling tone sounds county. I feel myself out book, but actually it speaks to our habitual ways of interacting with the world. We either it's either pleasant, meaning we want it Wasn't we don't want or neutral we don't care actually live on? This is a fourth way of just of actually just being present, with whatever their non judge mentally. And all this noticing something's pleasant? We reach for we want more grasping, were clinging, whereas hatching ourselves to re in a something, isn't But we don't like, like your spin teacher, see hump bringing back down the iron curtain came so there
without a virgin and pushing way. I don't like it, I don't like it. I don't like it and they were a neutral. We don't even notice, what's happening and neutrality such a beautiful place to be an but we're. So using three. Do these extra means? I love it. I wanted a heated. I wanted to go away so being in this place of neutrality, really yummy juicy place too. To be an ant. Secondly, knows that renewal, I love and the trends and pleasant recover tricky little tricky little bugger. There was a third foundational. Mindfulness said third punish them This is my fullness of a fast, really understand the attitude of. What's going on as I was always in this kind of tricky maiden quite understand what that meant, and recently my friend of any Ferrara said were UK. Are you ok? Will you be ok and suggest collect checking in with the attitude lake this is unpleasant, but I can, but I can stay here. You know
not dying. I can be here. It's ok for right now that the foundation of my political they get into all the list. You know the three poison support, hindrance, five hindrances and These things are really again to leg to dual all a lot of the investigation, so the buddha- you know you know this better than I do was a little bit oecd feasible. That may not to say that even light man, I words is all, but they again I sent a little through few like out of a fortune cohesion like then, when you say them: allowed and casual conversation, but these Sir meticulously crafted like that, round a table of the mine in some way. That's a cool with bring it and I want to miss it. I did not make it up. As I forgot to Dr Mark Epstein, a friend of mine, they were really categorize the way we feel about things that we will react to stimuli, and so the fourth foundation is to use those list to investigate our own,
yeah and is often because you are like it helps you to vessel You're crazy, like we welcome Oh I'm just doing that thing again, where I push away armed when that thing again, Raymond Delusion or I'm doing the thing again where I to really useful to help us to keep us was spitting out. It gets his pistol land and to understand. We are more that's coming from a Desir habitual habits budget year. Which will have you ve made your point. One that that we we tend to skip over, especially like those of us who are like into Buddhism. We wanna go as deep as possible. We skip over the body in a breath, which is the most obvious step, all the information, as is all in the body, the path newgate discouraged endemic to our culture, our disconnected from our bodies, absolutely
absolutely. I am, I moved away from New York recently after eighteen years and I am just passed into NATO and that I live nomadic really what ya but now to come, and I beg you carry on but I'm always amazed from walking down the sidewalk and nine out of ten people, all are walking on the sidewalk looking down and texting if your the subway, everybody will have headphones on. Ninety percent of people on at least on the somewhere, having headphones on completely shut themselves, out from humanity from life around them, and I think that such a shame. I moved to New York in the late nineties and before all what's going on, and it was just so alive and vibrant. And down, I feel pieper- does so shut down. We're not paying attention to us happening. People need support or help or asking you a question. We don't
it's just not on our radar too, to take care of them to look out listen. How do you the idea? You know getting out of your head and into your body sounds good to people that how do you actually do that and it's complex to have a lot of different kinds of trauma? You know that those are living with other, be historical trauma or developmental trauma and oh being inside ones, body isn't always the safest feeling place for folks say more about what White went up, because windfalls have experienced trauma wit to the body. It's because oh you mean if they ve been physically abused. Yeah, for example, yeah, so there has been like this creation and non trusting other body so sometimes putting that wall up and put in the body of her here in me over here creates a really safe environment from here to live in
and so we know that Sunday when were teaching to really be mindful of other. You know what might be happening. Somebody's body, and to keep it really basic and have been mindful. The body is just knowing where the feed are like winner sitting down. Do you know that you're feed or resting on the earth below you. You know that you're you're sits, bones are connecting to the earth. Can you feel that just really knowing where your body isn't space. Do you know where your hands are now is your body? Leaning forward is, isn't back, so just really simple things at that can began to bring wine to our body, especially when we are jumping out of the body or jumping into a reaction coming back to the bottom of the table, where my feet and that could help when you're in a difficult situation. Absolutely, if need be interviewed by somebody in others ivy. While I finish,
I'm just down down know for real of emu. It is, it is you know even a view as your saying that are less my posthumous. Harold talk terrible at that moment and the way in which actually, if you said with some composure and your connected to it you're much literally less likely to be to float off like headless balloon. Yes, they say that be the psyche follows the body. So if the body is at ease in mind at ease it, the body is agitated and disconnected than so as to mind, and so often especially during all the things that I too am always. They seem right, whereas my body right now, I can, I stay present right now, I'm back to Europe biography, when you do you want from me. I guess a reasonably conventional career fashion, dread people know what that is too, like off the d,
Ben Fulla, yoga, meditation teacher trainee. What did your father? family where they do with ace. Surprise alarmed what was the reaction? My parents have never quite understood. Do for a living even working in fashion industry and I'm a stylist for like you, do, hair No, I address model than that was still confusing were. Where did you grow up? in Northern Virginia in Japan. What you are you, storing why Northern GB it where you with your family, the motor near my doubtless the Navy, ok and so there still kind of MR mystified befuddled. By what you're doing now, my parents are happy that I'm living spiritual life there, You know you grow baptistin in there being a black American at the Baptist heard. What is a foundation
of my of my life and my family, my parents and grandparents, grandparents, my great grandparents, etc. My parents live in a small talk. What Ivy Virginia and the church they go to is the church they may grandparents, great grandparents, everyone was baptized and married and generalized ends. We have deep roots in the Baptist church, and so when I left the church, when I was twelve years old, there is a lot. Inks around me not having a special life, something to land to land me, and so, when I came round to produce some, there are pretty happy they don't My mom actually came to my very first time. I talk it New York insight, which is very sweet. She happened to be visiting and I was like him teaching you want to come and it was sweet.
This year. I believe everything you say, as it has committed spot. A pencil lies whose only goal you like Dharuma means is the truth, and she was like ok. Why did you leave the church? Meanwhile? a phobia, INA labors hearing a lot of from the pulpit. I was hearing a lot of a phobia alot of racism, alot of hatred and at home? My parents were saying: don't listen to that, listen to semi parents would always say. Does it matter matter like who you love on the summit like restructuring, takes care of you and I'm just getting two different messages: I was like I don't seem to get it together until you do I'm going to leave the church, but it's not resonating with me. It was. Predominantly black church in hearing racism against against anyone who s really yeah it can happen, and I know it can happen. I'm in MID may be raised his eyes and uranium were well. Definitely e E. No, and the thing is I:
amazing ministers and clergy archbishops? I have done my activism- has always been connected with a spiritual leaders and Oh, I love ministers, preacher thy surround myself with them, but there's a few bad eggs out there and unfortunately, that's what I was a predominantly exposed to, and so I am really grateful that the kind of parents who could listen to me in respect may be used in the way that I wanted to live life so ass. I looked at her twelve chevy by God. Your parents recalled letters have sector, even if, even if their don't foot, and what you are nowadays this. So I once I withdraw activism, but I can't leave alone the fact you live nomadic lifestyle area. They are you like it to bed She would have found it
it happened very organically. I have a few friends who are also on this path and live nomadically had been for many years and I never got it. I was like. I could never do that the Torres, I love a beautiful home, like I was a person with the big apartment. It would have dinner parties, and I went in a host friends and let people stay with me from at a time and down to stir it happen very slowly where I was assisting in offering movement more and more on retreats. Assisting in offering woman yeah so assisting the lead Roma teachers and then offering my We ve been on meditation, retreat, Graciosa teaching your letter, the retreat, Mindful Movement Dan. How was it Why didn't they yoga stigma about it? People think of yoga like having a yoke of button blue Lemon MA am I'm from moving surrealist integration of dogma and said Durham. I mean that the buddhist teachings into movement practice anybody can do it
It was not an accessible absolute success, not only about easier, but anybody can do it like it. Yes, intimidate. Absolutely zealous accessible to a body. Types is too and trauma informed and something I hope everyone can can explore and experience is really great support to hadn't been while you're on retreat again to allow the body to leg ground test, rats to have some space before you get back on the cushion hundred percent have a treaty and its great yeah yeah. Absolutely so, no not being no matter! You remember. You are thrown dinner parties you relevant than conventional, like home, owner owner or home resident rental earthen lifestyle, and then you gave it all it. I guess yeah I was just looking at my? My life had been just a lot of leaving town
on being on retreat travelling speaking at conferences across the country and when to them in seventeen had I just started a new relationship in December and she lives in Connecticut and so we are looking at. Our calendar is trying to figure out when we can see each other, and I realized, I was gonna be gone about seven months this year and soviet in being gone and in an office spending my my home time with her. Why am I living in New York anymore? So I gave up my home in February So how does that work? You will you? How do you do but where you stand tonight, I'm leaving here, I'm going back up to heart for Connecticut to teach at tomorrow. I am teaching Copper Beach Institute and so a stay on their properties may teach their tomorrow and they'll. Get back to Bridge Britannica to stay with. My honey, then were back in New York for the weekend
is it a lot of that is stressful, just kind of constantly planning, where you're going to stay let me mostly I'm staying out retreat centres, and so these places are places that I've been teaching us sitting at four years, and so it feels like home and the thing about being nomadic as every places your home. Now, where do you keep your stuff? I have made my opposite storage, some as out my girlfriends sum up. My friend ends in Washington hates and What is needed in this backpack right here are you at all connected to we've had on the show that guy, from minimalism connected to dance, and why not at all? I am not a minimalist anyone need. Will you take just what you need and so there's a few books re need on the I'm. Staying on return, a little tiny put a statue that one of them
you'll be made on retreats at a couple. Little things, my little touch plants but yeah. I am a minimalist when I travel, but I my home is always very full and very Bunda, and a lot of art in a lot of ya mean us inside definitely will be back to that. At some point, though, is that you're not gonna forever be another now now I am not, you know there s not in my nature, is not maintained, nature and such like a home person. I love having a home. I was actually sitting as it turns out, just as a coincidence, with the guys from minimalism or on the pike. Has many months ago, and then I was actually in the documentary which use weirdly, they sent a crude office dinner. May I had no idea what I was going to do. What I can nobody's ever gonna see it than that, ecumenical went crazy, Netflix and actually there not minimalism. Their version of minimalism isn't like ants.
Having any stuff it. Just like the stuff you have should mean something to. You have saved leisure. Absolutely, since then, really interesting as I had the whole floor of a brownstone which, as he knows, a lot of space in New York City and had a deck in the backyard and the holster bang, and you know what I actually used in my apartment. Same fight books, the same two pounds the same in. I wasn't utilizing all the stuff that I had, but I loved it reminded me of her. I travelled red Ban, but I M not necessary tried doing over to Europe. My son is a maximum. What's all this, however, may all of it all the time so so activism wended that become up part of your practice in. Is that a fair way to say say it that is part of you practice said I one of the critique, some of whom we haven't erratic. Get
know each other now or the critics. I've heard of modern mindfulness is that it is in some ways something at a price abed, and can we even like solve cystic and self indulgent, something that people do on their own and disconnected from larger social problems. That's it that's a critique of maturity, no one to fully agree there or agree with it, but is it. Is that your view and there you kind of trying to introduce something differ, into the mix or how do you approach all this dimension and seen and these rivers, the buddhist teachings like he spoke about engaging in life. You know another Polly Cannon, which are his teachings, are all about being and relationship and being relations with others around you, and so you know the Buddhist for some people. They think that the Buddha was with an activist himself. You know speaking too All people are different cast. It took a while, but you know allowing where monastic order that with that was no women bikinis, but none
which is something that no one else was doing up at a time and so a lot of books to consider him to be an activist and was your was activism for you, something that you were doing when you were in fashion, or did you have a more of a political awakening when you go into the rack? I was not a fashion activist really gotcha. So what happened then? That made you add, of, engage in this way. Will I was a pre activists before the fashion industry, so my late teens early twenties, I was invited activism I was given as living De Sea area and so in a really interested women's rights and when a marches and screaming and yelling and shouting and not less.
Did anyone shouting book something if they didn't agree with what I was saying that kind of walked around. With my eyes closed, my ears close, my mouth wide open, which turns out didn't serve any when no one was listening to me, and I wasn't listening to myself and I completely burnt myself out, I quickly, and so I kind of just run by I literally ran away to the fashion industry. That's like I don't worry about it like no one care if it was going to be pretty, and so it was as well a vague healing myself from this kind of and being in the fashion industry. Spending a lot of time there's a lot of one a one time with folks, especially the models are now a our team, and so just listening to a lot of people are suffering.
You know and hearing a lot of people not being very happy and not really knowing what the way out was and so being in the fashion industry made me want to investigate all who is happy how how do we leave the suffering which led me to put Buddhism And when I got there and I began to do deepened to my practice, may movement practice may my dorm practice. I found that this fire, you know of flag hearing voices that were typically not listen, to lack knowledge in seeing people who are typically not seen this fire of walking next to hearing their story started to really come back up in my body again and am soon after sort it working in jails.
With you and working with folks who are experiencing homelessness, swimming living with addiction, and then that kind of just deep and my my passion towards this work again to getting back into active assignment. It's weird me to say activism causes it doesn't feel like there, the on the classic way, we think of an activist. Sometimes it like that, sometimes I'm holding a sign in and marching them pumping my fist. He, though, in a lot of times, I'm in preparing folks to go out into action- or I am supporting folks in doing- network, a major Jim in what you said before about how you are doing a lot of shouting and not allow listening. Has that changed? Sometimes Heath now in absolutely absolutely save. I realise that if we listen to each other, a lot of us are having the same needs were having the same needs, but we're just coming from a frontier
the angles, so we actually come together and engage in dialogue in a relationship that we can actually come to some sort of agreement, as opposed to your screaming. I am screaming Emma screaming and no one can hear each other and so for me, is really about shut in my mouth opening my ears and in listening very deeply yogurt able to like listen the folks. At this point we with whom you disagree deeply, I don't know who those people might be. I can take some getting an area you find in those situations like either whether you're at the barricades or whether you're I don't arena media you're able to enough Satan like here? What folks had to say who disagree with you, I'm a human so deftly strong feelings that arise, but it does give me more space to listen and a group of with a father who love Ronald. Again and so at a lot of practice as a child of listening to abuse. It always agree with, but I again with my family
Allow me to Lake voice my my views very strongly, and so a lot of that was listening and then big yeah. I hear you and also here's my side, and so I think, there's a lot of practice you think, there's enough of that in the circles in which you move of like being willing to listen and the circles, and wit, I move Amis. I'm gonna get my guess, left leaning circles. I would say that yeah yoga, Do you think, because, with some of the sum of the criticism at the left of late has been, you know. This really dogmatic political correctness that can be taken that can shut out other viewpoints. Fact next week, I'm following this kid, whose name forgetting that guy goes just provoked. Riots at Berkeley. I am for getting this person's name, but he's up the popular pocket
our conservative, whereas you, has taken a lot of heat from the all right you, even though he is a conservative and as he is anti Trump, but he went to we recently to give a speech to a small group. Servative send the biscuits shut down down, because it is this. Kid was going. In his early varies not you know anyway, he The criticism in the wake of the incident at Berkeley was Firstly, you give much more attention when you threatened Much violence at the police had to basically shut the play. Down in order to make it secure? the second. Why not? Just here with the person has to say I don't know I'm not taken a view on any this, but I'm just curious yeah there's something caught predatory listening her. What does that mean? Predatory listening? Is
people who will listen to what you say and then, if there is one thing at a time they don't agree with, they will attack that thing and disregard all the other night. You know the ninety percent of things that were actually an alignment with them and in it something that's happening with a lot of you know of his left wing. You know younger books. I don't want a young folks means helping. The lot of folks are like. I am right, there's nothing you can say, and their ways waiting for someone to harm them, Well, you know how that feels right me, you were, you were that person for awhile so you're gonna, uniquely situated to be an interesting voice in this max yeah. It's It's something that I am when working with so many different population, a popular, and having some many different colleagues that I that I do work with
interesting to see how we hear things through our lens, depending on our age or gender expression or identity. Race, it is just as so many of it is filtered through these lenses, and so it's really interesting to sit next to a friend, hear the exact same conversation in here at two different ways. Those been in a really big part of My teaching, my listening, my training mentoring is too, you know reflect back and to really listen to you, What's interesting that you bring to the table aside from the passion, is the we know which does teach it in the end that we are all equal in. Then, and that we all have you know we are all sentient beings, lira sentient beings.
We always make me anything you who have different access and are different access based on again are gender or race are age? That's what makes the difference said this I come by all we are all wine and yes, and also if I were a white man, I have a very different light than I do as a black woman, unquestionable yeah Unquestionably, but just talk talk a little bit about how the Dharuma has changed? How you show up in this in the in these activists situations for lack of a better turn here,
had completely stepped away from activism for years and was going to occupy Wall Street that I was able to step back into it? I was doing another training through Spirit Rock, the mindful yoga meditation training. So I was deeply in my practice and I came back to New York and occupy hit just started and I was going to the park every day. I have felt so drawn to this event and I didn't want to jump in and start screaming and yelling. I really wanted to figure out what was going on, what were the views? Who are the players, what their viewpoints were in so I spend and I went to the park every single day for hours and met people. Twenty different trainings lot of teachings were happening, that it was different working groups and find out you had to find out how they were doing their work, and I was hearing a lot that people were exhausted and tired and
there's so much energy and their bodies, but resting lobby. They weren't they were eating bomb they're, just going going going going, and so I started asking people you know about what they rejoined the power they taken care of themselves and no one was taking care of themselves and down actually share in Salzburg comes into this I was so I reached out a lot of the different song is in New York City and I said: hey, let's gather Oliver resources together and how the big sentenced Cati part on this was still very early on silver. Wasn't the part with a completely full? Yet so we were able to collectively grab about seventy five people from all the different on this in your today into how to set in the park- and I did want to view weirdos sittin there being silent and ignoring what was going on around that's good. That's me was just not what we want do within about shutting down is about actually being really a week to what was happening.
And so we had Agrippa folks who are meditating group of folks who had posters and that a group of book that were talking to people while Bobby rejoicing and after we finished and that day people said that was amazing. Can you come back and do it every day and ass again, of course, like having? No clue has cute that and simultaneously I was at a chimney centre caught Charlotte's place, which was on by Trinity Wall Street sure in Salzburg. I got me a part time jobs there during the same. I'm an Sharon was doing a talk in somebody was telling Sharon, but there went through an icy sharing point to me in the past
came over to me, she said sharing said you could help me, and so he sat down and we talk for two hours about in her exhausted and and this fear of saying that she was burnt out this fear of saying that she needed to sleep, no fear of saying she disturbed by the park for a little bit she was the information she was given the store. She had been told that to be down with this movement, you had to be a martyr you had to harm yourself in order to show how community work the cause, and so we spoke for two hours I took no and then soon after I started the meditation working Group of Occupy Wall Street with some other friends, for there is a group of us who started this sum. You sit musicale work every day. Every matter illimitable started when I met her. Yes, so
is one of the four Brahma horrors which means best homes to live in some met, amused loving kindness. There is Karuna covering now, which is compassion, there's more sympathetic, joy. There counter intuitive active. Pleasure in other people's exactly ass. He got promotion, oh my god, I'm so happy for you in actually truly meaning, as not being my tat, my hunger and then the less than is package, which is equanimity which is added this equalizer. That does it. Any of them to sentimental into savvy, and so we were off They met a loving kindness in the park. So just wishing, while for earth, often wish him well for even the people that we were. You know the one per centres So wishing well and that really gay people, some energy, it really believed them and gave him a moment harassed. And then we also
really began to engage in conversation after we were practice together and then people want it to continue to talk and they want move and do more stuff with her by his cause. For sleeping on concrete, you know the weather was getting quarter, and so I sort of a song or projects to support the sustainability of frontline change makers. So these were to our work shops of mindful yoga meditation, a compassionate dialogue- and I started these initially just for occupiers and at last for four years, and so people started hearing about who educators started coming in, and social workers and people who are in law school who were in medical school, every anyone who's on the front lines who needed to step back and be a human for a minute and to say I am tired, I need a rest and it being a community. People who also needed to step back and rest so became this really beautiful community of of
Well that run these from my change makers, who were changing the world and also needed to break every now and then so evil to to create that for them. What issues you are young gauged and now what which, on your radar? What do you really think it about you know? For over a decade I worked with incarcerated youth, and so I am always so concerned about our young brought. A black men might interfere tuna use here in twenty years, and I live in a constant state of fear for them and for their safety. They know it's like this. This extra level of stress that looks of color move the road with I'm going down to the March for racial justice, I'm gonna be on the rolling retreat with picky booty. What is that the rolling?
unlike what does that make you boating whether his work is dickie, amazing, he's a scholar and monk? Yes, yes, but a scholar and monk when it, my dear teachers, major activist, Really amazing phenomenon. Human and so here Caesar rolling retreats where he gets a bunch of dogma, teachers and some folks and we get on a bus and me on the bus and we go to Dc March. How do you view the events in Charlottesville and subsequently Through your specific land, especially as near the meditative part of it, the Charlottesville hit home in a really specific way. May so the church s tongue. Thou rain or from attaining its literally ten minutes from Ebay is campus, so
that area I grew up in my grandparents- sooner live there, and so that's where I I spent a lot of time growing up in my parents when they retire moved back to the land. At that my mother grew upon, and Charlottesville has always been this southern city. Where lacks anyway. I wouldn't say Legend leg, tremendous harmony, but there is this. There is getting together. Theirs is living alongside each other that had kind of an historically the culture there in separate something to happen on Evie's campus was really shocking for folks who are familiar with that area. It was also shocking. Mc wait, Nazis leg. Nazis, like eight it so surreal that we're talking about Nazis and two thousand seventeen who have websites
like they're out there openly and click ok, and then our yeah they're, not in their hoods. It's it's terrifying and also, but yes, leaf. Of course they ve always been there, I'm not as surprised because again as a personal color like we see bigotry and hatred all the time in these. What Vauxhall Micro aggressions, which I dont think I ve macro, aggressions thoroughly micro aggressions to them. Who are this from the receiving end? They are macro aggression. Europe needs accused her father, my brother of a micro aggression, that's right minded Look at
Oh, you know, I am not surprised and you know we are living under an administration that is the embodiment of the three poisons of greed, hatred and delusion, and so there is this allowance for this behaviour to not be in the shadows but to come into the light. So I'm not surprised- and you know it's scary had he, the president took a lot of heat justifiably when he tried to equate the both sides- in and made things worse by saying there are good people among among those out supporting the confederate statue cause. I think, if you Either a nazi remember, the k, K Harrison is willing to carry torture march alongside them. Questions can be raised by your character, they're. All that you do see some violent on the left,
What is your view on that in and how much a positive role, do you think the Dharma comply in terms of. Of being a positive force among the activists with whom you allow yourself. I think that there is this misconception that those on the left are peaceful, and you know it's like left versus rate were all human beings, And we were all there's a lot of fear on both sides. So there is this way that in this culture we have been taught to respond or react when we are in fear, and that has to lash out to harm others less happy. In the left hand,
the right? This quote by Adria Lore like keeps coming back to me over and over again, which has the masters tools can not dismantle the masters house, and so these tools of hatred and greed and harm and oppression. We can't do that on our side and expected inspector went to overpower like those are the masters tools like we have to find new tools. We had the funding. Your way of approaching the same situation, and so you know that
Is there a right answer? Is there a right way of being? Is there the magic key, the magic words in that a teaching is going to make all of this go away? Probably not because there are people who are always going to have their ears shut, their eyes shut your mouth wide open, and I know that I can take care of myself and I can offer tools and practices that can help others take care of themselves. So we can do what we know. We can work with these tools to support us in the way that we can find a better way to work with this. They found it very round about, but now I've, uh, yeah, and so when these yours yoga meditation can help people do what they want to do more effectively and about. Seven.
Cushion or get onto given. That in practice is about really understanding the wisdom practices setting the folks think of mindfulness meditation, as just those like using earlier solitary thing that you do you dont, speak. You don't talk to an inner, you don't look at any you're sitting on your cushion. You have his whole internal experience, but we how that internal experience. It really affects how you relate to the outside world and then again if we are investigating the actual teachings of the diamond, if you're, really understanding when we break apart this big lump of anger and our bodies when we investigate and get curious about it- and we know that others actually not just anger, but there is fear in their sadness and there's not enough and that some user to break these down and we can see them in our selves, weaken them again to see them and others so hopefully
we can connect to the human as it was a scene than ass, our enemy right, where you are getting the initially close to one. Is there, though, notwithstanding what you said earlier about how you know that can be little combine, but the fact of the matter is there is a universality to the human experience there. Absolutely. Things can buy, are at all can appear that way, depending on how, when here said again through the lens of hearing it from red room, but my understanding is that I cannot go into. I cannot live my life with anger and my heart because it is nothing but a story This is amazing and review when Dave Chapelle came back from Africa that I don't know where he was on the continent of Africa, and he can I have to speak with an elder to get some advice about what to do, and he spoke with my Angelou Emily.
This international Simeon. I mean rabid, Dave's, repel firm rabbit, and I am very disappointed myself. Having this, this should be ashamed of yourself. Maybe he's the best. There's is beautiful, her in the interview where the sun iconoclasts on the Sundance Channel and so data pal is talking to my Angelou about anger and music. How do you do anger like even Sisler Rights movement, and he saw all your brother's Pollack, Malcolm fell and Bobby fell, and you know like Nedda Kennedy, like? How did you deal with Martin Diana? Had it We will deal with all of your friends getting murdered. You know how did you overcome your anger and she says if you're not angry, then you're, either stone cold quarter too sick to be angry. She's she'd be angry. You know get out there
in March at you write it, you sing it you both at you, do everything about it, but when we allow our anger to kind of take over that, it becomes a cancer that fees upon the host. And so she's saying yes feel your anger allowed to be the catalyst to Ward's move into words. Action, don't just live with anger, cuz, it's going to rot you out on the inside, and so I I take that. I take that with me all the time I love my anger. It is so important, it is irrelevant catalyst and knowing in my body that it's time for me to move into action, but what that action is We inspired by my understanding of the dogma. My understanding that I am not trying to harm might suffer harm. Others well said probably pretty good place to live. If people want to learn more about you gonna do that they can get your Leslie procured, dot com and
can find out what I'm up to dig into my newsletter find I'll be. Thank you for coming here. Thank you. So much for having again did you grow job think here. Thirty two Ok, so that does it for another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. Please take a minute to leave us a rating and a review and if you want to suggest topic, Your guest for the show just hit me up on Twitter at Danby Harris Special them to learn. Efron go hand in their essence. Team here ABC who helped make this thing possible and remember, were now on tuna, and you can hear our new episodes there. Five days early on Fridays, the end of this year. Thank you for listening, attacked you next week There's not a person in Amerika who hasn't been impact it in some way. The corona virus pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people were soon
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Transcript generated on 2020-05-27.