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#227: Race is Not Tangential to Meditation | Rhonda V. Magee

2020-02-19
Rhonda V. Magee is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and an internationally-recognized thought and practice leader focused on integrating mindfulness into higher education, law and social change work. Born in North Carolina in 1967, Rhonda experienced a childhood of significant trauma and challenge. Yet, she was gifted with the insight that through a life of caring engagement, self-development, and service with others, she could find a way up and out. She has dedicated her life to healing and teaching in ways that support others in a journey to wholeness and justice. A student of a variety of Buddhist and other wisdom teachers, including Norman Fischer, Joan Halifax and Jon Kabat-Zinn, she trained as a mindfulness teacher through the Oasis Teacher Training Institute of the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. She teaches mindfulness-based interventions, awareness, and compassion practices from a range of traditions. Plug Zone Website: https://www.rhondavmagee.com/ Book: https://www.amazon.com/Inner-Work-Racial-Justice-Transforming-ebook/dp/B07PLDQFYR Twitter: @rvmagee Show Notes Page https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/rhonda-v-magee-227 Ten Percent Happier Podcast Insiders Feedback Group: https://10percenthappier.typeform.com/to/vHz4q4 Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail: 646-883-8326
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Four may be seen as the ten percent happier vodka in her big eyes. Of course, it is great to become better administration on the cushion to get to you to have your practice improve over time. That's at the real point, a share in salt, The great am meditation teacher had said. The point of meditation is not to become a better meditate or proceeds to become better person too big to get better it at your life, and you know I often for myself described just becoming less of a moron, and so the point is to get up from it. from one minute to minute five minutes, twenty minutes, whatever you're doing and then put it to testing real world with other human beings, how you doing at the damn v, how you doing at the office that's why, on the show we once in a while, really try to dive into what is, in my view, one of, if not the most tricky and contentious,
social issues in the United States, America and in many other countries in the world which is race and would take away from me from this week's guess, is that race really is not a tangential issue to your meditation practice. It is the crucible in which you can test your meditation practice and, as such is races. How do you deal with different regions Can be pigmentation, it could be chromosomes. Allah can be ideological no matter how homogeneous your from a racial standpoint. Your environment may be theirs. There's difference around you all the time and how are you dealing with that? What kind of assumptions you're bringing to the test and can meditation untangle things in a useful way. For you. so Rhonda Magee is a professor of law at the University of San Francisco she's been on this show before. If you want to hear about her fast
in aiding upbringing back in listener episode, one hundred and twenty four but in this chauvinist I got her new book, which is called the inner work of racial justice healing ourselves and transforming our communities through mindfulness, and we talk about whiteness what it's like to serve: wake up to whiteness, both as a white person and somebody who's non white. We talk about something that I think is fast, any discussion we have discussed before the showed the disutility of shame. When look at your own biases, practical ways to use adaptation in and mindfulness in these often incredibly painful and awkward conversations about race protect, but some of the trickiness even among the tricky issues, even among people who are really committed to this work like, whereas the law I am between political correctness and what the Buddha would call right speech will
to talk about predatory, listening and cancel culture? So we really cover a whole range of but an issues in a really thoughtful, and I find incredibly practical, meaningful way and also run this just super fund interesting. So here we go. Here's random again practice you great to see to Africa, you ve already laughin unsmiling organs, we talk about tough stuff, that's a good site, its life. Yes, that's it useful things. Actually, I kill him get asked this question. I've tried never task this motion because two cliched question, but here we go. Why did you write this book? Ah, I think it this book actually kind of wrote me incense. I think I've been look where working toward the content of it for
many many years he now. This is my twenty first year teaching law in San Francisco and teaching all those years, I've taught in traditional courses like personal injury law on insurance law, immigration, but also intentionally taught courses Invite us to carve come on gathered around the camp fire and look at how basin, racism intersect with long legal history in our own lives actually- and I think in the course of that I certainly outnumber one started I'm very cautiously on my own in our work to support that kind of our work. So I was very intentionally. Relying all those years on my own mind from this practice
and then at a certain point. I realized I needed to try to figure out how to bring that explicitly into the classroom, to be of greater support to my students and then not just into that classroom, but just into the legal. Conversely, more generally, and so I just began exploring with that and at worst way back in two thousand and three two or three. And then I found the network of other people who both in agony, me a generally or interested in bringing this inner and our work together for the service and work in the world. For a more refined twenty first century way of thinking about what it means to be an educator human being. On the one hand,
also in law in particular, because if you think about law, it's just this profound enterprise aimed at trying to as best we can create a structure for holding difficult conversations and dealing with difficult issues that can help the Society Co. Here. the time is say that said, I think of words is the people who do like the annoying super detailed contractual work that I really don't want to do that. I only want to talk about with them. Understand that and yet what is the purpose of that is too can facilitate the work that you want to do in the world. They really helps of right, so Yes, I understand that send the rules of the road for me and my employer about what I'm expected to do and what they and what I can expect of them too absolutely if you
Why, in the lives of the little where this is what we do and as a lot faster, I get the wine the lines elopement and help. You know how I see that the big questions in the big functions, if you will of something that seems pretty Monday enough, the elements of the negligence of action due to reach causation in damages like how that really that particular as one example of what laws trying to do is real. A way of looking at what is what sort of the best way an offers, a society as a means to support resolving conflict They just occur when somebody unintentionally injures another person. So what we got you know and it's it's iterative. We train, you know iterate dominate over time. That's what the common law system is about, changing as we need, to taking into consideration changes in the culture changes in our sense of what right and wrong is what's the right way to deal with a particular kind of suffering
changes, overtime, whether met to colonise or recognise a certain kind of suffering changes as society does so so at the beautiful thing actually about love, for me that it is, as you know, this human effort in human project that is aiming toward a kind of you know a kind of perfection if you will a kind of making the best use what we have in response to it. Conflict which is inevitable in human community and so on. For me, this book was about bringing that bringing to that conversation that profound human progress, something of some tiny bit or some some thing of what I ve been learning
as I have been working to bring together this contemplative practice a set of commitments that I called mindfulness, bringing that, together with the particular part of law. That's that works at the intersection. Racism and racial injustice as it and have sex with glass and gender and sex orientation and all the other sorts of isms and schisms of our time, but for me, just workin on that over time gave me a lot to do also gave me a certain way of holding these complexities. That certainly help MRS name. the word. Frankly, I had a moment where I was gonna leave law because I felt like if I can do it in a way that was much more holistic. Maybe I should be doing so. It was partly me feeling my way to a sustainable way of doing this hard work, but also just feeling like. Ok, it's help
me, I can see my students are suffering. I can see a lot of suffering in the world around this If you tell me, maybe my hopes, materials or rather it around race and how we respond to racism, racial justice, questions around the rule of law and all of that which has been frankly, both perpetrator, Hope by holes itself out as being the pathway to some sort of resolution, but on the other hand, if we look historically at the role of law, it's been, you know. People rightly point to it as really one other. The kind of core forces of oppression, codified, horrifying images exactly codifying, raise codifying her racial hierarchy at every level. Three fifth, it three first right in the constitution, and so many two three four,
fugitive slave clause, so many different places where compromises were made right at the founding right, so we move from the Lilting beautiful language of we hold the truce to be self evident in the declaration of independence. All men created he could but this project of trying to expand on the promise of of the declaration in the founding documents expand on the promise, this implicit and all of their in ways. It really include or more and more again and again, more and more people, so yeah, so so there's a way that then for me the struggle was. I love this this work of trying to be in this rich in these rich conversations, Rama fire about who we are ass, a society and how we resolve this or that and
really seeing how law can get, can really literally in ways that are really create a lot of pain and suffering the law itself can be that vector of oppression and so rare that that complexity of that seem to me to be to call for a much more profound engagement with it. Not just cognitive, not just the intellectual project of you know what people think of lies. Memory zation think, like a lawyer, argue certain skills. All of that, but another level of awareness that I that for me, my mindfulness and the allied disciplines studied
with teachers there that the community of sound out, if you will, the kind of being with other people, but we call it signed, are not who are also working towards being more present in their daily lives and working and living with awareness. All of these different aspects of my from this practice, just seen so for me, critical to me being able to stay with the complexity of trying to work and learn how to make a difference to LA. I was just talking about this with your friend and colleague, John. Habits in the legendary meditation teacher you, whose talked about his own, who I was interviewing, em talk about. His own struggles with you know, really waking up to whiteness and I I had to start that I suspect there and we talk it. He and I talk about this. I suspect there are maybe people out there perfectly white people who
listen who see: ok, where you were dead, doing another episode on race and me a scan that it may scans of them as important not necessarily central to their own meditation practice. and there's another is unaware of the book. Emily as my view is as I you know, theirs. I was able to hear the last part of this conversation you have which, as I said here just for the record, I would just finished recording they had ever so with Josh Round. It was in the next room and could hear the conversation. So so you know definitely this this piece about. On the one hand, race and racism whiteness different ways of kind of being with the fact of race in our lives can often seem like a tangent to what we think of ass. My offer and yet
for me that in and of itself that we think of it, that way is an indication that we deal with. You know legacies of racism, as is shown up in what we call like for us, because in fact you know if we talk about being aware of all that is, and we, no reason racism exists and has not been a man. I know in the construction of what we call this american experience and all of them on our identities, whether we are cautiously thinking about that or not if we know this, and if we want to be more aware and our lives the fact that what we call my voice has somehow not centred on this is an indication that is grown up. Through the lens of whiteness is grown up through the The end of a piece of
visualized experience in this is not you know. This is not meant to Greece. in a of shame or blame area is just be the wake up to what we're looking out and so so for me, because I you know felt during the the over the years that I have been in this beautiful conversation in community around my practice, in working with John and others. John was indicating in whose conversation with you I come in re, alas, desert in American. You know criminology as a black woman, racial ass, insist, ginger black female were not born in North Carolina and I always say because I think it matters in nineteen sixty seven right since my fifty second year on the planet, but born in nineteen sixty seven in segregated North Carolina, where ah
You know the legacies of this history that we ve been talking about we're just not abstractions re week. This does the town was still quite rate, quite segregated, a kindergarten that our school class that I went to a nineteen. Seventy two had not been desegregated, despite the fact that Brown versus Board of Education to come out in a really by that time, the generational, you could say fifty's. So here you know, for me: my own experience. I made it very clear that in a race and racism in that cortical, history is still with us and still structuring opportunity in profound ways. My grandmother, who I think of as my first kind of contemplative teacher by the way, born a nightmare six in North Carolina, nineteen o six, the early twentieth century, such a clear period of like the reinstate institutionalization of
What the reinstatement of, or the restoration of white supremacy following the civil war, and that brief moment of possibility that we call reconsider, so from the latter part of the night of the nineteenth century into the early twentieth there. really for black people at my grandmother and grandparents and the people that I you know wrung from in a real sense. This was a time of like profound racial oppression where, again, all of the kind of promises of the reconstruction had been pulled from the bottom of oh you know, the foundation of people thought we could stand on. My grandmother was only go to able to go to school, to, like the second great again very deeply in that kind of working class. Almost like you know, peonage kind of
that that playing basically the same role in society that she would have under a slave society in my grandfather's? Well, so picking tobacco in North Carolina from much their lives. And then, by the time I come along and eighteen sixty seven, my grandmother's cleaning, how cleaning one house again and again, seven days a week this one home which again if we own homes or have our own home right now, we realize you know actually need somebody to clean from ninety five every day. That's a way of maintaining this. This cast, This racial ask so my grandmother's life. Then I'm glad group washing her find a way to to herself before she went off to do that, work sheeting call my from this, but of course, but of course it has so much in common with what would you call my deep commitment, discipline of
ah becoming aware being with one self as ground for how it is that one lives, whatever circumstances present themselves to us, relates to what shows up so early. In my mind, that's one of the reasons that she can get up morning do that practice get us off to preach school where we needed to go at the time and then go into this work. but do it in a way that didn't cut off her ability to have heart to care, for even you know the children that she had help raise in this. And family over the years as one example, and they did also- I could see- gave
a sense of her worth says that she could go out and be a member of the community heaving. Call to the minister yourself, actually so, she's cleaning houses on the one hand, she's also helping teach and support sort of spiritual, just sort of getting by fuel with backs up wall helping people gets through difficulty, so see my grandmother who, His whole life had been like really limited by the ceilings placed on people like me by this system of of white supremacy and racial capitalism. Frankly, that pin and still does on you know, sir, ways of systematically kind of limiting the pie. You know keeping certain people out so that others can have more
so because I was in a very, very bad was formed in that finding myself, eventually fortunate to come along when I did missiles of civil rights movement in a sense, therefore, Beneficiary of changes in law. That would enable me to be here with you go to school at the University of agenda, which is now place create for people like me, whether it be male of any race, certainly not black female, but to go to school. The universe, Virginia take really Greece, undergrad, sociology masters and law did so In the military you now became a lieutenant in the military in the army. I did a lot of different things to kind of take advantage of opportunities that my people had not had before my generation. Frankly,
and yet it was always clear to me that I'm in moving into these places where people like me had previously not been invited or included, given access in fact have been systematically denied excluded prevented From from from a you know, it was just sort of clear to me that that, in those places places of opportunity there was a kind of unawareness there is like a you know, it was his own kind of bubble, and so you know w e b Dubois that they call him the towering kind of social public, intellectual, the 20th century and certainly a person whose work has helped us over the years understand race and racism in this culture.
You know he talked about race and the color line. That line separating really waits, who were systematically privilege under a system for so long from everybody else in different ways. You know that that would be the problem of the twentieth century the negotiation of that line and query, There is still the problem of wafers. But really he was, and also, I think, instrumental in helping us see that embedded in contexts where these sorts of tat meanings and conditioning in barriers and opportunities are so deeply infused in the car, the air were breathing. The water were swimming in that we cannot. Almost fancy creates a kind of consciousness, and you know for him the particular talks about the do or double cautiousness,
it comes when your navigating you moving from world one world in which is, very clear that you were not in the other and but then you're. Moving into that other. So you're becoming a kind of a cold switcher right to use that land as somebody who can kind of sea through different lenses can operate in the white dominant world. I can operate in my community of our enlargement absolutely and, exactly and that is becomes an invitation and something in it in time that I grew up and where we were sort of given this opportunity to operate in the light world Certainly, I wanted to take advantage of that in a certain sense. You know I wanted to do
three would alleviate some of the basic pressure against basically be unable to make a living and take care all of that right. So it there was this opportunity place the or dynamic, like. Yes, there is going to be this invitation to go into this different kind, a whirl. Succeed in that world as best as possible. We can do these things in dumb. Frankly, I think or the people to succeed in American, no matter where you from no matter what your culture of origin this has been the kind of a hidden you know, sort of peace of the dynamic psych. Where did you come from? How do you fit in from wherever you came wherever your people came right cause? Not all of us were immigrants from somewhere, but meant most of us were. If we go in,
so far, nothing so this process, by which we saw me, find our way in the american context has, for all of us, actually involve some kind of navigation around racism racing bidding ourselves in. But if you're in the dominant kind of weight on racial last, project, if you ve rationalization project, it can be it. It has become a kind of hard for people to see the operation of it because it is diamond. How do you mean by racial alsatian project I mean beer races construct, it has not biological and it's a caused is constructed in different ways in different places and different times and up in sociology. Sometimes forgive me from you for use in some cliches or some some some language that is more germane to thee,
professions, but associated this term. Racial innovation and thinking of ass kind of a social project by which we create race races. The felt sense of what This is right often without acknowledging the best. What's going on In fact, almost never acknowledging that that's! What's going on. But just as a legacy of our culture and in the ways we ve been given. That thing about who we are, who matters who this country? What this experiment is supposed to be about again often implicit, not usually exquisite, but sometimes explicit, and so the? projects of racial innovation by which something called race is being created and maintained. having meaning and given in life.
You know our operating on all kinds of different levels. So again go back to We were. We have already named about the kind of structural imprints puts of this that come from law right. The constitution alluded to the different terms in the constitution, but then, right after the constitution, the very first immigration law right, the seventeen. Ninety immigration immigrate Gratian ACT of seventeen. Ninety, in that very first immigration law, whitenesses privileged like so as a basis for becoming a naturalised citizen in the? U s- and many of us are unaware of that. Those of us who are aware of it. Having been given a lot of support for thinking about what that has meant historically in work what that might mean for the challenges we face today. To look at the fact that we know are, then the one
breath created this constitutional democracy that at least created a possibility of rights being expanded to to all. But but it was clearly not at the founding meant to extend to all of us and to just to underscore like the very first federal immigration act. You know makes clear at that, whiteness is a prerequisite for becoming a naturalist citizen. So the seventeen ninety were still in the period of slavery and slave met. Then we have the sort, of course in the reconstruction amendments I buy, wish we kind of remake the entire constitutional project to actually abolish slavery with the thirteenth, except, of course, if you committed a felony, so you know you never really above slavery, but in a way is an enormous number of often
males we're locked up for crimes. You did. I didn't commit, or that maybe I shouldn't have been felonies arrayed in about the senses they had, and then we have now the prison industrial workers. So there's a way in which we have legacy that that were built into the thirteenth men are frankly, Resolving met written on the thirteenth by well what s her name, the woman's erected EVA Eva, diverse areas as on Netflix. Exactly that, so. If you want following then the shoulder yeah, so the thirteenth great beautiful, ending Valjean slavery in a way, but also not entirely. Fourteen member, we all know proof the great, maybe from Jack of ongoing liberation and aspirational kind of freedom making for us, giving us equal protection clause that has enabled ever
thing from the women's rights movement to their eligibility q plus way beautiful, set of race and movements. That is come with the movement for for liberation for sexual orientation, minorities, and so the fourteenth amendment again, like crazy tremendous way of sort of saying this is kind of a different project, now release creating the possibility for radically different levels of inclusion happening right after the civil, or, in the fifteenth amendment, the right to vote. But of course, we all know that, though, all of this happened again, eighteen sixty five eighteen, seventy seven, who or right around that time here when they reconstruction ends those Beautiful promises with these new amendments that could have a Rick did constitute us in a certain sense, shut down, and they
shut down, come intentionally by the. You know the white dominant forces that continue to control the Supreme Court on one hand the Congress, the executive branch on the other, and so we had to have a civil rights movement to say command these fort these. Amendments actually did mean to change things such that we would include more and more of us in this constitutional experience experiment, but that's always been such a contested, And the dominance of whiteness and of white experience has made it all just that much harder for us to because again- and this is where my wasn't coming, because if this consciousness is, is hidden if there were, if the experience of the the kind of racial specificity of experience is not named. I if we don't see that if you know,
this almost entirely light for most of our history. If the presidency is almost entirely way to speak about the race and leave the room under aside for a minute we're not at once, we don't the Supreme Court right, we're not able to really think about that is, like you know, a weight, specific view of all of these things, as opposed to a more we tended we reaping give. and to think of you whitenesses almost like races, Ike, that's that's the human experience and what we're trying to see more clearly and what I think mindful of, can actually help us see more clearly. Is that that's that's! That's the confusion we ve, we we ve always, raised up in its literally confusion, is literally a kind of inheritance. To think that you know these kind of sir,
oh call, race, new short, neutral institutions. Have racial specificity racial specificity that is born of the. domino ratio, identity experience of those who succeed in the system. So if that were true for law and academia, as it has been, my fulness of course, as well as another institution, has come a grown up in society. By beautiful human beings. I friends in Europe that we love but who, as light again as a legacy of our time in our culture and our history have been disproportionate. The leaders of life was why look at the roster of guests on the show you know- and we do our best, but not good enough and is bias. A part of that absolutely buys is part of the human experience, so structure by its very Yorkshire began. I think we ve had a structure in this culture where
the luxury. What, but I think, has been wrongly viewed as a luxury, in fact- is a human right to explore the mind, drain. The mind has been that was available mostly to Whitehall Food trappers, again, I say that with no genuine rather like to joke. I am aware, will enable aside. So no no when I became a really pernicious thing risen to this discussion, but we will carry on, I do think yes did, though the whiteness does carry out. You were about to save your boots. Tugela whiteness in my fullest commits to lay it. So. Thank you, his name. What you you just name, because again the shame peace as part of what gets in the way of us naming what it is that might be seen here, and so it is important to kind of this is again where marvellous can come in really to help us just open up and cultivate
capacity to just see what there is to be seen, putting aside judgment for the least for the moment long enough, so that we can really better apprehend and relate with great Purposefulness and analogy with what is so for me, yeah mindfulness, is, is an incredibly useful practice for waking up to these realities and arm and again I do think that the opportunity, if you will to understand how. How deeply embedded we all are interracial as world.
Is something that my voice is really perfectly attuned to support us with? It hasn't been presented that way, because we ve been so deeply embedded in a Rachel S work. We can't see it. It's often used, though I think you talked about this to the fish can't see the water just as a resource for why people there I mention this before on the show: there's a podcast, it's it called seen. White recommended me by a former guest on the show several multiple appearances on the show and also very popular teach her on The ten percent have Europe. Seventy Selassie, really recommended. It was in his pike ass if you were a find it the pike s themselves. He called seen as c e and e seen on radio and so that's name of by podcast search for that and up will come couples. Here, is they ve done? One is called seen why he has called men the hosted a man, a white guy who has looked at the whiteness, which
In naming a thing that I think most why people are even really aware of what causes you said before than white people. Think of themselves as the absence of race, not consciously languid and so cautiously, and then he also did something about me on this. which is both were excellent, is interesting, as I have said this to unpack, guess I apologize for the repetition, but I shared it the entire staff at night line and the white you on the staff. there are like this is so good and then my black colleagues were like There is nothing new here so without a visa to good data point right, because this is this is something that we all need to you have to end and why I just get back the beginning coverage. Why? I don't believe this is tangential to the project of waking up writ large meditation ten percent happier whenever you want to call it
it is for all the reasons that you just point it out, which is your waking up to a fundamental off and on seeing structure or set of structures within our society, use because its reality, we we gave him meditation report want to see a reality and also because, if we want to be useful and helpful in our world, we believe, the other wing of awakening one wing is wisdom. The other is compassion. Then it useful to see the structure so that we can be. Couple, but is also useful, just at a much more down to earth moment to moment level if you're, we sit in seeing all you're neuroses, because that We do in meditation practice well try to look at whatever thoughts. Then your head around race yeah and get ready to be humbled. Yes and this. It is true by the way, if a white people black, we follow us any pigmentation. If people because we're all racist,
No, I mean that because in that this is not our countryside controversial, but it isn't infuriating about the way we have all we evolved for bias, so this I think shame so use less in this context, because we evolved in a homo genius and environment where we're in our little villages- and we needed to be able to tell the difference between often dangerous outsiders and our own folks, and so we have by as we need to be, without ever through the snake, an estate couldn t do it. We the mind, is quickly sorting in an environment of applause of inputs and absolutely so go ahead. Take a look at your mind so ex you get ready to be to see all of the things you think. but you minded and fair you are and put that to the test by using my fulness to see how you ran and with what kind of judge you come to upon, seeing a face of a different pigmentation, whatever color you are
No thank you for river that met because it so again, We need down to earth it's it's in us, Peggy Mackintosh, who wrote a beautiful essay on. You know why white privilege, unpacking thee, the invisible knapsack right so looking at whiteness and and and the privilege aspect of it that can come can come with white experience and other types of experience as well, but her essay specifically on that. She also talks about how systems how all this is about, not just about individual points. Election and individual cycle psychology right, which is the temptation in our culture, hyper and develop visualizing at all. How am I how good my? What am I doing and so therefore again to be sorted defended again,
The idea that we're all that we haven't seen the work on because it can seem like a personal attack- and I do think, they're very helpful than to think about the system. Systemic structural pieces of this, including whiteness as a construct in the structure, all human beings who are brought into less aid this culture. I do know something about other cultures, but this is my culture, where all invited into some kind of negotiation and relationship with whiteness in US I'm sort of way of so white This is a zone is what I think of it is not just about our way of thinking about The identity of some racial ass people became a weight identity is, is it may be a piece acts as a sort of thin diagram sort of thing happening, so how one I didn't. Five
as oneself to through language of race and in recognition of the fact that there is a racial alsatian call. Whiteness is one piece I think of whiteness whitenesses, also kind of this philosophical idea of who matters and who doesn't enough. A kind of a way. It's a legacy of white supremacy that has helped structure notions of success. Notions of you know, productivity that again, all of us, if we ve been successful, have figured out how to navigate even if we're not racially identified so I will stop here every second together using a lot. Their first of all, I've always had some problem with the use of white supremacy as a free is because I hear that night they people market, marching Charlottesville, those are white supremacist,
I use the term white supremacy in many negative mix, used the term white supremacy to talk about whiteness being the dominant culture. but I just call it out because you know would get into this mess I think there many reasons why. What are the reason why you come back? Shame and he about in the context of political polarisation and racial polarization it receives country right now is that, shame, shuts down reason here: right and disable people's ability. It seems to me no evidence other than just looking at how it plays out in a larger culture and looking out plays in my mind when I feel shame I'm not in defensive, I'm looking for be able to agree with me in on our really thinking in the most bra fair minded way and I agree, and I worry that white supremacy is just like unhelpful in that kind as the term anyway,
but the point you are actually making there is that Pardo whiteness is this: let's succeed, think what you're saying. I think what I hear you say, and I wonder how you out: let succeed, what's its it of its kind of not quite satisfied with happening right now. I need to get the next thing. That's urgency asked the urgency, Productivity Aladdin well. Isn't rights right, Canada, but hardly hold out who apart, yes, it had a white thing or is that a human thing? That's a good question and an because I didn't. I heard this critique of whiteness and I've always had this question of book. I look at the Chinese and you know that their they seem pretty standing the nominally capitalist communist government. They seem to be adapting capitalism. The robustness is that, because of Colonialism, or is there something in need to the human
Udo was talking about suffering being this had many facets, but one of the vessel was there's a hungry ghosting you that can never be satiated into the. He was talking about this stuff in the context of some of the indian Sub continent. Yes, twenty six hundred years ago before I believe whiteness, was that much the thing in that part of the world. So I guess I wonder about this critique so yeah known, and I love this so I'm just gonna say that we're gonna in this conversation, and only just beginning to talk about all the things that we were right. We're just gonna begin to light, beginning beginning of some juicy star, and because it is this rich. Everything that we're talking about can be his own. You know seminar me no practice, commitment. because whether we call it whiteness or dominance, Maenas, whiteness
because innocence in this culture, the dominant class has been racial, ass as white and all ino in that kind of capitalist structure? First, with the clearing of the land, and On and on all everything that we build on top of it has happened to benefit that diamond racial group. So yeah I mean it is a feature of maybe dominance, not only whiteness but in this culture that dominates has has kind of on again fused with this been colored. If you will, with these notions of frankly whiteness, and so it is it is. I think I appreciate you kind of troubling besides this kind of way of naming this as whiteness as such as a kind of them, because it came it, may be a committee. Can we
need refiner or we might do better. A bit more nuanced around this, but really, if we think about the patterns but by which dominates, constructs, cautiousness and recognise that that's a culturally and contextual specific said a processes and projects we are in a culture in a context where whiteness has been white supremacy, the history of that legacy of laws and cultural commitments. They said it in every important institution ways matter most. That is what I mean by way supremacy it's like its it. Yes, you see it in your useful, but I wish we only saudi jobs this this little legacies of this very deep commitment that we as a culture me in in point or tried to you know we in this conversation we for some other touchdowns, we decide what is an example of it
and there's another in immigration law and constitutional law in who got to go to conversely, Virginia etc, etc. there are so many ways that our culture is really gave itself over to wait, supremacy and we know it, and so an insult for me. If it really is, is key, and of useful to kind of be able to name that an yet, as you point out, shape again whole another seminar home though the conversation I actually think, rather than sort of, I think part of what we are up against US We don't we haven't, really explored shame as much as we might cause, as you point out Anything that seems a get us anywhere near shame threatens humiliation threatens all
profound human neurobiological defences against you know being rendered vulnerable to a sense that you know, I don't matter and I'm worthless right all the different ways we think about, what team does and humiliation does cop are at risk because of the way our culture has not seen the legacies of our history or has
You know been resistant to Jes again again. Some of it is not cautious, I think the resistance but ass. If we don't see, as we talked about before the white specificity of all, these things, then yes, defendant is in defensiveness is predictable. Psychologically predict was kind of a cognitive dissonance. Someone comes along and says: well, you know whatever the place universe. Division is predominantly one Has the legacy of whiteness run in all the way through it? I e mail. Must, of course, do if you have been thinking about that at all that can seem like a cognitive dissonance thing. Why would you Thinking about it, your whole life has an interest in this. You ve been in the in the water you can. And then somebody comes along pointed out you and you're like resistant dip.
and save and over fame and jailing threatened noon. Filling Verona when you don't want that, and of course you do so, but for me you know really bringing my promise to these things. We call these these this ass, this complex of emotions at touching around what we call shame is, we quite important hole? We could do a whole lot of work on it and I think we should try to really be but to do this kind of work, the we're talking about really invites and cause is calling on us as a culture and as a mindful of culture, to figure out how to how to relate to the this complex of her emotions in an reactivity that we call shame how to relate to that with, with with with more skilful us cause. For me, there is at least a kind of something that look at around neurotic shame, which is just about right. Any time any of this comes up. I feel shame and not about me not about what I've down over, on the one hand, verses.
a shame that my appropriately call forth inquiry around. Why have I've been not willing to see what viable, not willing to do Where are my responsibilities here? The Cannas? Shame that we is raised up to account. I feel like as a human being with agency. In wanting to again, as you pointed out, the compassionate wing of the practice wanted to do less harm. How have I been not willing to see some things? I don't mean to say that she necessarily might attack that, but some of something some element of quickening that says. Oh, I actually have some work to do here. maybe I don't want to call it shame wherever that word is, but so do
there's a way in which I think my from us can help us recognise the ethics of what it means to be alive. Ah, this idea of karma I dont use that were very much But if you read the teachings of the word her this idea that our actions in the world you know are relevant and to me this is partly what we're talking about the ethics of what it means to not just become more where, but to live with awareness, and to do that in a way that, ideally, I think, minimizes that calls on us to be a little bit more robust, a little bit more to have a little bit more? What I call like fortitude or resolve, or this deeper capacity? You know we're not gonna kids anymore to be able to,
toward things that really would otherwise trigger us make us reactive, maybe threaten this. Shame, reactive but rather than saying ok, I can't go there instead to say actually, maybe couldn't have gone there at a different point in my life, but I've been doing some work and I probably can go and let a little bit more of the San just enough. see where my own work, what my responsibility. What I re action here might be around this increase in racism. More ten percent happier after this better Help offers licensed professional councillors specialised in a week. Array of issues like depression, anxiety and grief conduct with their profession,
counselor and a safe private online environment? It's a truly affordable option and listeners can get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com, slash happier fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with the counselor you'll love. We talk about doing the work In this book is not yet ripe, for all peace were all of us right Fisher. So what would work? Look like? How does mindfulness help? So I think it is just what we ve been talking about is a part of it. Recognizing accepting investigating with as much non attachment of tissues that rain acronym that a famous teaching acronym in the work of mine from us, rain are. I am as a way of this
summarizing what it is that in some sense, mindfulness practice and end, the allied disciplines is meant to give us in our world. The capacity to recognise to see what's happening, to accept for the moment what it is without being at war with reality is some of our teachers have put it right? in other words, we might discern might come to some discerning judgment about what to do, but for the moment, We just want to accept it long enough to say this is actually a feature of the world that I made. Not have seen or might needed, learn a little bit more about so recognise, except I, the investigate peace, pausing taking in expanding what might be called enough right effort to see. Where am I being reactive? What is the aim is the specificity of my reaction, Emma gaining angry AIR freight What's underneath this anger at what? What is
Well, what am I really filling threatened by air and what is a different moves on Canada, suddenly doing that, I'm might not have even been willing to been able to see or willing to see or willing able to name willing to me What are the ways I might be not wanting to admit the kind of feeling state the let you know what's happening underneath, the reactivity was happening, underneath the resistance was happening other. Neither the Nile so recognise accept investigate. a game with as much compassion, is possible all of it for me that who that call compassion is the only really right. It seems the only right way to be with all this, because we then create this world. You know what I mean like we are, inherited the world with all of these, so called projects going on with recent racism, the sexes,
right now does not say that were not also not responsibility for evolution. Exactly that too. And yet that is also that's true, all ass, true ass. We, we do have some agency and we do it right or whose circuits like this, both in that radical complexity of it. All though, to me, you see the radical complexity of all of that in our compassion is like other. You know, others who sat with these sorts of things over time is very clear. To me. Compassion is the only way response, starting with ourselves, starting with ourselves, because of course, we are going to be no flinch and ouch and feel you know when we, I see, for example, the way or have seen, and you see the way that my own upbringing, train my ears for English, and so that when I moved to San Francisco from the South and suddenly found myself in the DE envy or on film
our street? Having no hearing people speak languages that I didn't recognize with English? There was that part of me that was sort of like Vienna Reactive felt a little bit of life we know is this girl? Is this ok, all of it, I am not proud to say that that those where some of the reactions I have had win thinking, I was in one kind of place where one kind of language should be the than what I would be, but my ears we'd have to work with and to find myself like either haven't people speak. languages, I don't understand and whatever can come up with that, will what are they talking about? If there are any doubt about me, and am I safe Here, whatever that is all of that can I that honestly growing up in North Carolina Virginia where in particular places and that I live at that time. We didn't hear a lot of different languages around us by identities.
at me feeling like I'm an open liberal like I, you know, I don't have corpus I want, one I learn French want to learn the languages, but Am I a human being whose biology and neurobiology kind of makes me pre figure and cognitive? We predict what is gonna be present in them. React when something shows up that, I'm that out in expects yeah. So for me the work looks like that. The worthless like recognising noticing, oh, that in an office very embody Dan is like, is about being present, to the by, like is really literally a move that can have a friend like when something shows up. There were now used to that. We weren't train to see your train, appreciate or trying to accept? Or? Be ready to open up to.
And today comes up in so many different ways. It's it's the intersection of race with gender ins and sex rain station and last in an immigration status. Its test is coming up all the time before I to see it and to see that that's what it is we might I realize or be willing to name the it's really kind. Another legacy of being trained to end in patterns of dominance and to relate the dominant, sent it and I say, relate to dominance again to invite increase around how all of us who want to succeed in this context are being invited to relate the dominance and pay. Turns of dominance in ways that imbibe and play it out. This is why these projects are not the progress of racial justice, the projects of waking up to racism, the work of because
mean more committed to minimizing harm in these areas is for all of us, because again you see it all the time. The mere fact that you hire cops doesn't mean you won't have not pick on cops sit back them. the fact that you diversify any institution does not me like by fate what we call in the diverse work, facial diversity, just he opened the door, you look around the table, you see. Ok, we ve weekly, I have only wait here does I mean that the processes policies, work of that institution will necessarily change its actually, not that simple. We know that the system can select for people who look different but who have been train tis to succeed by imbibing and playing out practices of televisions and war. Yet stillness.
Archer, cultural context? You are, you might look a little different, but you know the people in that place are still being rewarded for maintaining the status quo and maintaining those patterns of dominance Bullshit you, because you took his pre far down the road interpretive. We know where the rubber hits the road will we. Due to you as our practice to to explore there's no time a rain ready, I say, is accepting or allowing investigating the end is Wilson has not identification Likes another, seeing that it's not you, it's not! You can't when are going on you can't really claim ownership. Is is not really about you and we don't want to make a new story like I am this whatever I'm. This way privileged? I am this whatever it is, not identification holding its with sunlight
yes I'm sometimes I'm not attachment issues sometimes with sailor nurturing- is another way. People are thinking about the end these days and for me again. How are you bringing that compassionate piece, I'm happy to put it there with the end, but in right, beside you have like all of the rain process is to be held with a kind of commitment to being with the suffering that comes up when we have the with all the steadfastness to stay in these difficult places of inquiry, so yeah in can sometimes be about nurturing as well so I s incredibly useful, but just to take even another level closer to observe practicality. Would you recommend that we I've taken? I took a course on race and the Burma taught in part by
the aforementioned. Seventy selecting one of the things they recommend was served take a day or even of five to ten minute section where you just really the close attention, whatever thought come in your mind, based on whose in front of you or what, what can a practice that would even take this into reality. the doable zone. Would you recommend I love You just name that in your asking this question, because there are specific taxes and, of course, as one of the reasons why I wrote the book to help us think together about an laboratory different ways that we might make ourselves up more to these things. There's infant
number once you decide, I think the first and most important thing is to make a decision have an intention to bring awareness and this aspect of our experience. Then there again, like anything else, there are so many different ways. You can do it. I asked my students, for example, to take one of these implicit associations have right where you can look online and get us LISA Fettes little cod. I know that well aware, and yet I think it's even with the controversy worth looking at worth being in that conversation being in the conversation around how pervasive biases and how we, how again our brains, are structure for biased, as you put it before, and how, therefore, as best as we try to become aware,
It is a challenge for us, as an onion yeah may make you cry so yet so different ways of like really looking at bias figuring out as best we can, where we are biased tracks. For recognising stories. Telling stories, I think is very very important in this book is very much about that. Actually it's about normalizing, a kind of contemplative storytelling as part of the practice. So I mean like opening up about moments where you have a thought like I just did like a monasteries of or amend the dim Vienna, your other languages in my wow, that's a kind of what I call a re story. There can be a I'll give you one I had a rough I've told us during the past, if I may have been out at last year to my sentence, he frozen the Norwegians largely actually see
yeah. I got it. I get to see the play. Thank you for letting me no, unlike whose Elsa yet so items the play. I had already seen a movie route. My wife and I don't see the play our four Disney, so it is, must and in the play in the first? intercepting like that or one of the first. Elsa manner. prancing around the stage, and then their parents come on in the play, the parent of black, and my first thought was: who are your act HU. I actually computer like up up up up up there and, I think, was not long after I had taken steps, the point that she quota, better than its. I really want to see that, but I should have been put into a mine stay where I was a little bit. More welcoming of it in so near the shore It was all there's, like you, told me self, a bunch of stories about her races. I was with us like this is interesting. I didn't invite that thought.
So where's that compromise is again and there's a quote actually that I'm tired seven. Nor did she was. I think that the automatic foot around her emails farewell, which is something like you're, not thinking your thoughts, you're thinking the cultures. Thoughts which is important they make hammering out, because I guess a somewhere that God embedded. Obviously, this confusing that whatever raise their parents would have been if they wore white people I'll. Take you a minute its argument. Nonetheless, I went quickly to their different at the parent Who are these so yeah? I mean it's a ban, but it's also like it happened happens. Let me
I mean and as a version of what you just describe can happen any in a given day in America somewhere, where, for example, over before people might show up or even a couple for reservation, but they happen to be a different races at a restaurant. I so short at the residence rather reservation desk, as has happened to me as part of a group does not moderation. It can happen that the person behind a desk found look up call for the party near here we're here. They looked down the loop. If so, what are you looking for the party, the party, if it does Not show up in that manner racial what I've been trade, what the culture is trained me to see as the two people at the top table to operate, or the group before they will. All looking from. All walks of life is going to happen. It just takes a minute for people to realise
These four people will be seized. It kept and have dinner together, despite the fact they're coming from these radically so ginea mindfulness is bringing awareness, creating some space for looking at what we need oh in our bones about how we are in this all the time we are in these systems and the systems are in us as pegging, like Mcintosh, he'd say we are in these systems and they are in us. So, yes, these thoughts had come up, unbidden, every again how what was it like in the body that moment that mom, when they serve one sage. That moment, when you know we hear some some language and we would like he added. I don't know about this. Just using this is one example. Looking back in what is happening in the body is important, it's such an important source of I've, guided folks in doing these kinds of reflections telling these kinds of restoring moments you know
and in creating more spacious around noticing, if there's a bitter, that Shane Complex coming in whatever it is. Recognising accepting listless create space where we can name that we know something about this and through that dissipate some of their colonel resistances and kind of places where we get stuck and hurt them shut down and confusing in a willing to say ignorant. Thinking about a workshop where I was in conversation in inviting this kind of reflection. Often, what I'll do is ask people you know what comes up for you when you are invited to look at race in mixed company, for example, or to look at a resume think about the last time you saw resume. Did you make any assumptions based on the name you saw or when the email comes? In
did. You have a moment when you had a notion that this person was of background in the you learn that they warranted what is going on there, so these their backers. They have also answer the question. What are the There are many different ways we can sort of challenge ourselves to kind of brake us out of the trance. If you will of the cultures training about these things, invite that kind of chance. When this one in session, which I was inviting that, for the group had a young white man say. I'm noticing here for the first time that, whereas up until this moment. If somebody asked me where it comes up for me, when I see racism or think about ways, I would have said, I dont see race, I don't know anything about it. I haven't eight racial ass man in his thirty's, his weak. His his report in that moment was
He was in the practice the practice of the spacious compassionate space for just looking, The very subtle ways that, when this topic comes up, things start to happen inside, even if the face doesn't change, something is going where he was able to see, was that, whereas he traditionally said I haven't seen- and I don't know there was a movement in the direction of not seeing and not wanting to know avoidance which he and really slow down enough and given himself enough space to name erect, Ass to me, on the one hand, this like a very subtle thing, is not like he's going out in changing the world right, he's not rewriting law, but that level of awareness and to be able to have us some place. Where you can say
This is true in my life that most of my life have said. I don't know anything about raise is something I guess I gotta turn and learn from other people. In this moment. I realize I actively have avoided this conversation when it comes up. I actively collision, move away to me to see. That is an opening that is, that can change a trajectory We don't know what follows from that, and so that to me is really how my from suppliers, nor what about speech. So, I think, a lot of political correctness. yeah, and I think you're really compelling argument and both sides were. How do you think about political correctness, as it relates to the buddhist concept of right speech, which is often described, as you note, save that which is true and which is useful at the right time, acme question:
bring me a good questions here. Oh my save more for fake. You too, I mean a week. Every moment of this kind of work is an opportunity to be reflected in a certain sense on what this means acts as a living thing living in some sense, like whatever government, whatever way we're trying to make this real, absolutely what you just described in terms of you know really trying to speak the truth and tried to speak in a way that I mean. Often this idea, like not being disagreeable, is what can get into the conversation around. Is it right speech due to kind of
Paulus, into conversation about these things, if it will as again specifically to talk about the intersection between political correctness of political correctness, the sort of way we have in this culture sought to heighten our awareness of how language can do harm by almost sort of creating these codes of what we can say what can and then, on the other hand, like. Anna right speech, which is a carbon. I think a more radical invitation to trying to to be present with what is in speaks the truth as best and sometimes that lies with what we call political correctness and sometimes meet me. Not enough it's more than I can really unpack in this moment. But what I can say is, I do think For me, everything comes back to what,
Am I doing this moment to seek to act from and speak from the ground up. being as clear as I can, and seeking to minimize harm at centre or not to do no harm as best I can. I want to be clear. I don't want to do I might do harm, I know this to live in the world to seduce Marmite destroyer things, but our foot down somewhere, where crushing the world, so it mean you know, there's got to be radical humility around it, or else we can do anything. We're gonna make mistakes were going to say things that would ruffle fellers etc. But if we are, you know willing to acknowledge
what we have tried and put into the world as best we can from the place of wanting to speak the truth and not to hurt. Sometimes it does right, recognising the difference between intend an impact in certain such an important feature of this work of justice. There is a difference between I've, tried speaking the truth and promise me greatly, who somebody heard something in that careful humility and compassion for myself and for the other person invites being able to hear. You know into create a space where we can. We can reflect on what has happened there, which has happened and really again.
there's a whole set of teaching. I write about him to some degree here around mindful communication, because his right speech and his right reception or, if you will theirs, piece of it. That's about how we create some spaciousness around this beautiful but challenging project of human communication sake. You gay, Athens, ages have one person there there's a whole radical opportunity for disagreement, but certainly any two people it's the fact of our very different position. Now these radically emulous, like it's like almost mind, blowing the different paths that you and I, for example, of what I said this morning, I mean, I know that without knowing your whole story, you know that without knowing Ministry for any two people, and yet nevertheless we come together. We use
words. We speak the same language and we in it in a way that to me is very poignant and beautiful. This effort communicating connect across these radically different bases of lived experience. I like to name that whenever I try to bring people together for communication round anything, and so it does touching concern this conversation about political correctness to me is really just about you know the language has gotten caught up and in an in the discourse around politics, but if you just gotta unpack what's going on there, so it's an invitation to to be intentional and to being in an intentional and dynamic conversation. Mindful converse station a meadow conversation about how you gonna be with each other. It's always gotta have for me some element of that compassion, so it does for me anyway, invite of riff. You know
both unintentionally an agency recognizing at there's some work. For me too, you to try to minimize harm in the way that I speak with others about these things and Emily issue with you and with others, I'm gonna You know no, that might make mistakes. I'm gonna ask for your holding of my imperfection. You know with some kindness and I'm gonna- be willing to offer that to you so that this can be a more robust space where you know you can't miss, I myself and the we might need to do some work. Repair we
can apprehend doing work to repair, ah heavy. I do think that there is a lot of Britain US that is like a legacy of some really well intend intended as social justice work around these topics lot of em. Righteous and self righteousness and of the right right yeah and you know for me Once again, why my from us and in the broader project of of of let's say, contemplative, if not Buddhist, to speak to him of traditions that I drawn most frequently now The broader invitation is ultimately about freedom, and that, for me, includes freedom even my own. You know self identify ways of seeing my wounds and
see new relationship to me right, I mean it's like to begin. the conversation about racial race limitation? Is is, is also too began an opportunity for waking up and for deeper human human connection. And, fourth, you know letting some things go actually some healing, ah M, beginning again, and so for me, there's a flow to them. there's an equanimity too that there's loving you know, there's all the different their sympathetic, joy right off The different abodes, if you will that are the common core teachings it about what my infamous might, how that might live in our lives,
you know we want in a certain sense everything that I read about in the field of racial justice and am and identity based work. Allow mindfulness is a pathway. Waking and a pathway to freedom and joy in equanimity and and love frankly so yeah that's really what it is and that isn't about Pollyanna that isn't about bypassing its. I smiled some thousand. I say this people might hear this while some time it for me, recognising that, in our view, miss out of fuel and misled and say this part, You know every minute there were alive as a kind of gift and you were gonna turn towards some of the harder uglier the stuff that can you by some shame. This conversation gets us there.
and my goodness it could be. Otherwise we could I have the privilege of having this breath. and on this earth this this radically beautiful planet right, it's all there and to me you know I don't in the work But I do it is an invitation to go into these hard conversations, but stay in those conversations from a place of opening up to the mystery of what it means to be alive and to the responsibility we have to help each other work each other back. You know how and when we get car loss and stuck in these more limited, fences of what's here: must you I asked you a question you answered in than elevated to the different place, but
down down and you'll get internet political correctness, so I don't know that I have a viewers and enough- to really know that I have a view, but I've just some shreds, shards thoughts, so the best arguments. I've heard for political reasons, you kind of articulated it's like what happens when the culture gets more heterogeneous and groups that was easy to be who do or dismissive of are saying: no, you can't call me that name out. Yes, so yeah ministries, I see the validity to that argument how to see the validity to the you know. I don't haven't ever. Forgive me everybody if I got the poll numbers wrong here, but I think that I saw phone number something around like eighty percent of Americans. Think political correctness is, too far and it touches on the search. Shame the thing that that it should?
down the more constructive part of our brain, which you activate the reptile fear based part of the brain, the higher order funk. of the brain, the rationalism, the rational, rational component, the reason and part of the brain. Just doesn't operators so if I were in an environment where all of us it were. Many of us are made to feel like we're just incorrigible. Then it's it's it's. It becomes harder to engage. I think we're seeing that play out and our politics, I think you re an end till I do know people who worry that too much political correctness just quit, while the intention is, is, I think, really a positive one thing you can have really negative outcomes and yet I still see the reason for to be careful. So it's yes tricky. It's really tricky in a world where the thing I'd say is that I really like when you talk about.
Sort of common denominator here being used a big grandiose word, but it's actually doesn't have to be used. The word love, but love me. He reaches defined in a rare down to earth matter which, as you know, wanting the best for having basis good will basically war any any other that sentient being right, and so, for example, like it. you're in a situation where the agency to a dogmatic, either knife from a great maturity when he does Arco The medication teacher in the insight community who's got a background in social justice work. She and I dont know each other, but I was listening to the talk shut up to you when he and she he had done a lot of observe social justice, for she was it the community organizer and a little bit of lemon isn't here, and she talked about Some of her I took from her talk, and I apologise, money from Miss characterizing, but I took from her I can part some misgivings about this.
aren't environment on the left, and she talked about this concept of predatory listening. Where I'm just listening to you to mess up. So that I can shame you, and so I work, that too, and I see the complexity Missy, I guy see at least a fraction of the complexity was Oh yeah, it's hard for me to tell to really come to reckon with really. Thank you so much. I you know, and Maybe this is why I do you heard me: do it you were kind, this characterize. It has like elevating, I kind of shift the little bit off, of the specific language of political correctness I certainly understand, I think, understand what people me when they talk about the problem of Cornwall cancel culture, which is another way of thinking about this kind of predatory, listening thing like I'm listening,
and in the castle visas in the minute. You say it, then I'm no longer or the minute. You know, see this in you, then you are no longer acceptable in some way. You can organise twitter mob and then you you're going to be deeply formed and if that yet or were not weaken it. I invite you, because in our own wrangler involvement by the military, which happened to me real yes, universe, any school group at a loss. who, in San Francisco a left, leaning law group, literally someone's on the resolution that I had been in the military and decided to decent bite me because of their so. Yes, I completely think that there is a way that the social justice left culture in. I wrote this book for the four that group too. I often you
mindful communication as an alternative way of talking about this. Specifically. For this reason you know the temptation to self aground eyes into. art another kind of identity around are away. Killings are woken, it's sort of way It is his own. It bait, that of our time, a bait forgetting hoped a bay for getting stuck a bait for being caught in ways that you know the teachings of the Buddha. Invite us to become more aware of that's true for all of us. None of us is giving a pass given a pass on this. In my view, my humble view and in particular I do think this book and what I am, what my work has been about has been about inviting all of us
from wherever we enter whatever door, we come in to kind of common to that same room of reflection of ethical engagement with how we want to be with each other. I use a phrase personal justice. For this part, personal interpersonal, in other words justice to me, is there's a convent ecology of what we mean by justice. It apprehends work that we do within ourselves and for ourselves and with and for each other on a one to one so that to me calls forth its commitment to the right speech. Yes, but also as best. I can write listening responding to you know the things that someone says it might make me flinch a little bit and wonder widen, and it was out of court action her to try to reduce risk. Choose, recognise, reactivity and choose to respond. This is not tone police
right. There are so many different ways. People dismissed I'm saying is: not being you know, sharp enough life, no fierce enough for the time I right now. We need to really push back and all these way and I do think oppression is so real and it has hurt. So many people that there's reasons why people are feeling like. I dont have why? Why? Why as the black woman I can hear. The crisis was a black woman, counselling compassion. You know. Why are we always the ones who have to go? The extra you? Don't it's a question of how you wanna live Guenaud, yeah We have been now, we are up against some things in our time and place and were free and were free,
I am really hearers alien, and I think I really here we are saying that I don't want my air at my thinking about. This is definitely nebulous at an early stage, but I don't think I have a problem with ferocity or strength or calling things out. As you see them, he think it goes back to What you said before that, where is that coming from and having some humility and some clarity visa mindfulness till it was, is motivating. You know what, whereas I come from, and yet there are a lot of things that there's a lot of injustice at there, and I think that prosody and and and and volume makes a lot of sense. Yes, I think there are a lot, but it gets. I just cut. Keep come back to this great expression from animal feed, your roof, King Eddie, ok to Ruth spin on the show em. She has tried to get her to call her last book, this budget, but it's a phrase:
to use it, but this work, which is messy at best. We hear the exact- and I guess that's where I kind of land with all this, because I like it. almost every argument from on every side? I see the I see the validity and Again, the need for so much one nuance there that I don't see the validity of the argument that the people in charge or making just that's, like you know, cause literally? What this can we be about is about actual vulnerability to violence and trying to protect us from there. actual physical violence on the one hand, but then there are decrees verbal, thou, so new ups and needing to be fears when we need to be found Yours is not an excuse for right. You have you have a bazooka. Everything is you know,
the Red Army, in other words, you have you, know, hammer everything's and they'll know every it's marvelous is about really developing over the course of our a lifetime's as best we can. No more always gonna fail this kind of capacity. You know act from a place of was called for here now and to have that kind of skilful means. Engagement with was up, and that's again you know our culture than this really do nuance. That will so this, and this is why I've been drawn, and so I feel so just feel like right at home, actually in this place of inviting for myself and with the full so privilege to work with
this deeper capacity to just be messy. If necessary, be fierce mean you need to be be quiet when you need to be asked for forgiveness, when you need to ask for permission, maybe, like just because being in human community is hard is harder than is advertised it. You know we call ourselves the diverse nation. We do all these things we bring people together is now been easy and probably never will be. and so again, and a legacy of dominant culture is like. Nobody messes up, there's no conflict. We mess up in this conflict and we keep saying in the conversation, that's Yeah- and I also say just in my experience- is messy, as it can be a times in his. Pain, is via the experience, which is just a tiny bit of painting of as I've experienced having these conversations life's March
better. With the english people around the table. There there's a joy that for me, it a way again. I smile because that's life, it's it's! It's the alliances that I don't want I personally venomous on this. Whatever how many more passes I have around the sun on this beautiful planet? Last question, which is: can you just plug look please I'll get. The book is called the inner work of racial justice healing ourselves and transforming our communities through mindfulness, and it is in patient to take any piece of that title in critically sit within reflect on and challenged me and others about it, but to come into the conversation, and to bring what you bring cause. I do think all of us, every single one of us, every single person listening within the scope of the hearing of this
as something unique, some teaching that we all need to hear from your own particular experience, and we can all learn from somebody else and so yeah. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about and you have a website at Eu Level- and it is just round of E Magee dot com in I'd, love to see folks joining me there and elsewhere I'll be teaching at Spirit Rock May God S eleven different places this year, go around and I'd love to being conversation with anybody resonate with this autumn bridge tat. You like you, thank you again, big thanks to run always great, to see her
later, we got one voice mail this week here we go. I set up a kind of cool New York, I just finished but think recent Parker you had it with John Cabot's them and I feel like it. The first time I heard a white man who has success in the western world with meditation Unmindfulness talked about white privilege and social injustice, and so found. There is quite a cop in other the contrast with the top the lot at the beginning about not doing versus doing and regards commodity shed, unlike having a practice and, at the end, John talked about turning towards it with integrity and I'm curious how this social justice,
In the end, I find that a lot of white privilege to keep all count meditation and its ability to be enacted to do nothing and, as we learn more about white privilege and what it means to be antiracist, tend to take action and to not be a part of the oppressed her I just in Hungary for more conversation about that and for people to be courageous and breathe and like really died in their. So I I just one more if you could do more, that would be great. Thank you. So much by greek question, I'm really glad you that's it I'm going to take a shot at answering it because I think it's so important, but because I think it's important. I also just want to give the caveat that this is something I thought about, but not so deeply that I would hold myself as any up is any store. Expert. There is a rich tradition of. I think it's called
socially engaged Buddhism, big body is a leader in this area is another group, while the Zen peacemakers share in Salzburg has a book coming out about enjoy, aging in short of activism, and how did you know, keep your head While doing that work, so there are people who know much much much more than I do will have shared, come on to talk about her book and will we'll get at this very issue. But let me give you this sort of cheap o version. Just from from me a little bit off the cuff show up. I see an immense value in in now, undoing or doing nothing, but I don't. I don't think you want. live forever in a state of meditation were you're doing nothing. I just think that the did not doing informs the rest of her life, which is mostly doing or sleeping in really profound ways. And makes you more effective. So I I didn't region, Cabot's INS comments as hey you shouldn't do any
Ever I read it as periods of time. We're are you are sit and watch sitting in watching your own mind a k, a non doing, watching the mind, instead of getting involved in the mind to the best of your ability cause you're gonna get caught up in your thoughts, etcetera, etc. But Best of your sitting there watching your mind that can really true. Form the way you are in the world. A couple of things can I've been one. Is your less sucked in I you're habitual stories and dramas. so that when you're out in the world doing hopefully important work you're less reactive, you're, more effective, you're, better aid, but a tune in and listen to other people and other thing that can happen in my experience as a consequence of doing this, of not doing anything of doing this now doing is that one. You see how crazy you are.
You understand that this is universal. We all have this mind and depending on conditions in which we, lived our lives. an enormous range of results can come out? that, and so you get a sense- it man, Take makes you just a little bit less judgmental I'm still judgment, although I wish I was less judgmental, but I noticed that its take the taken the edge off, because I know what it like now in my own head in a little bit more within with more intimacy and hopefully with him more sense of humour and therefore unable to not judge people and have some compassion and empathy when I'm seeing other people losing it as it happens, just totally serendipitous Lee I was more devout Buddhist. I would maybe call it karma. As I was I was thinking about.
I was going to answer your question this morning earlier this morning, as before I recorded this answer and, the interim after having thought about a little bit, I was then eating breakfast in listening to a dharmu talk by Joseph Goldstein. and he started talking about the very same thing. Any quoted. Taoist expression, which is non action, is not inaction. That you can respond better out in the world if you have a clearer view, not only of your own mind but perhaps as as a consequence of having a clearer view of your mind, a clearer view of the overall situation. which then allows you to respond wisely instead of reacting blindly, As I said, there are many people who know much more about this issue than I do and I recommend you check them out, but hopefully that provides a little bit of clarity. I really appreciate the question and.
while I am on the subject of appreciation, let me just to appreciate the folks who do this. Podcast, Rhine, Kessler, Samuel Johnson, Grace, Livingston. Lauren Hearts activity of a hundred Layton is operating the board's right now Did you want to say you know pied castors at the at this point in the shower often saying hey no mention as on Twitter. Etc, etc and Allow me to say something like that, which is that, if this show or any other show, is useful to you personally extending you can share it in a really doesn't have to be on twitter wherever, even if it's just one on one or if you're at the We are talking about your favorite chosen podcast with people, a conversation that happens all the time. A conversation I love to be part of. If you happen to you drop our name of the ten percent. You know happier pike into that conversation that just really helpful to us. It helps us grow and ensures that we're gonna, be that that my team and I can t-
are you to do this work for a long period of time, which would be great, is the isle of doing so. Thank you for that, and thanks to our pike, ass, the insiders would give us incredible useful feedback every week Also, amazingly helpful and I'll see you next week with the new episode. There's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona I was pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people who were soon
every day this is my last day of the cylinder stretch to drive off about photos from one of our Visa or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new programmes. From eighty see news you gonna hear from damage. I she went back to my office and so unkind because he is not here, and I can assure you that our community has found faintly worrying. This is essentially inside the from the emergency room. The police cruiser to the Czech outline Yuki one. This pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves no one's way, there's always a risk. Brain is home to re. Kids are my husband or maybe errands, listen to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, river, pod, costume.