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#350: How to Be Courageous | Stacy McClendon


Many of us know that meditation can confer benefits such as self-awareness, calm, and compassion, but what about courage? My guest today says, yes. Meditation can boost your courage quotient. And she will talk about exactly how. Her name is Stacy McClendon. She is a teacher at the Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis. She also has a background in social work. This is the second episode in our weeklong series marking the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Stacy has been organizing and hosting weekly Truth and Justice Vigils online, available to anyone, during and after the trials of the men charged with murdering George Floyd. In this conversation, we talk about: a Buddhist list called the Ten Paramis, and how those qualities can support courage; how white people can step up and be courageous; how compassion is not a weakness; and how to be what she calls a “compassionate agitator.”

One technical note, you might hear a little background noise, including church bells, birds, and Stacy’s 20 year old cat, Rain, who happened to share some opinions.

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Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/stacy-mcclendon-350 

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From a b c, this is the ten percent happier plaid cast on Dan House. Taking many of us know that meditation can confer all sorts of tantalizing, physiological and psychological benefits, including, but not limited to self awareness, com, compassion etc. But what about courage? My guest today says yes, meditation can in fact boost your courage, quotient and you're gonna hear her talk about exactly how her name is: Stacy Mcclelland she's, a teacher at the common ground, meditation Centre in Minneapolis. She also has a pretty deep background in social work. This by the way, is this second epoch in our week long series marking the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd Stacy, has been organizing and hosting weekly, so called truth.
and justice videos online, which are available to anybody and they ve been taken place during the most recent trial and will continue through the upcoming trials of the other officers charged in the murder of George Floyd, and they may continue indefinitely you'll hear her talk more about that project. In this conversation, we also talk about a buddhist list called the ten power means and how these qualities the parties can support courage. We talk about how white people can step up and be courageous in this time. How compassion? Contrary to popular belief is now a weakness, and we talk about how to be what she calls a compassionate agitator, a technical note. You might hear little background noise from time to time, including church bells birds and at one point, Stacy's twenty euro, cat rain who was sharing some opinions rather loudly as the parent of a couple of elderly cats.
I get it before it. I've been. I do want to do one item of business if you'll humor me, I want to make a pitch recently. I was reflecting on a conversation I had earlier this. here with La Rod, Owens, whose a brilliant meditation Teachery also wrote a book called love and rage, and we were talking about the importance of establishing a meditation practice during good times. I think this is a quote from Bruce Lee where he says that in crisis we don't rise to our expectations, but we fall through our training, nothing best, precisely the quote, but that that's the just that and a crisis we are only embodying our training, I think. Sometimes we sit and say: ok, worn a crisis, do do ex wines can be really clear and I'm going know exactly what to do, but when a crisis happens actually
happens. Is I just fallen till I practice whatever my practice was before their crisis. That's where I met. So if I dont have a practice in its very difficult, my teachers always said you know, is really important to practice during the daytime practice really hard. During their times, during the times where this is not a crisis, where you're not overwhelmed really take advantage of those times, because when something really happen, sometimes we sometimes we don't have the space to consciously say. Ok, I'm gonna pay attention to my thoughts. I'm going creep spaciousness. that, if you're in a position where you're starting to feel like you have your feedback under you, maybe even had them back under you for a while. Now could be a great time to start building that level of practice,
that can catch you when inevitably your buffet it by crises, whether big or small, as you know, I talk on this podcast quite a bit about our companion meditation app on that app, which is really my baby. I love that up. You can find guided meditations and also video slash audio courses, all of them featuring some of the world's best teachers and scientists. You can also find short talks which are filled with reliable wisdom on topics ranging from happiness to anxiety and beyond. We also have one on one, King from really experienced meditated and those folks can help you keep your practice consistent and of a high quality right now or offering forty percent of the price of a year long subscription to the EP. The offer lasts until June. First solely this discount will give you,
If you need one, of course nothing is permanent. So, as I said, the deal ends on June. First, if you wanna get it go to ten percent dotcom. Slash, may that's ten percent. One word all spelled out dot com. Slash may for forty percent of your sufficient, Ok. Having said all of that, lets diving now with Stacy Mc London Stacy. What kind of they phenomenon thanks for having me and so, as you know, we're doing a pair of episodes this week is looking back at the past year since the murder of George Floyd an object curious, since you are in the Minneapolis area. You have a memory of the first time you saw the video I do. Actually that was actually quite recently. I. is actually not in the Minneapolis area. At the time George Floyd was murdered due to my mother, passing away
and I made the choice at that time to keep my focus on my family. Than returning to the Minneapolis area, resuming work. I didn't do for around the city and saw a lot of their destruction too many communities. but I really had the sense that my heart, my just shatter I seen the video Hearin description of those nine minutes and twenty nine seconds seemed really Clare, and certainly I had seen, pictures are clear
ups on the news, but I decided to watch the trial and part of opening arguments today. One was watching the video in its entirety, and indeed my heart shattered and I wept adds would appear to me to be a blatant absence of humanity. Care for another living being respect for community, an absence of humanity and most all levels, What motivated you to watch the trial
remember watching the video of Rodney King being beaten in the streets and aware of the subsequent acquittal and all of the cradle set of happened in the years between. And wanted to believe that at long last this would be the case with this undeniable video tat, word halls police officers, law enforcement accountable for The abuse and murder of unarmed black men- and I wanted to be a witness to History-
and it would be a witness to history either way the verdict went, and fortunately the jury saw that their children's treatment of George Floyd was excessive, I could not not stand with my community and whatever way that I could watchin the trial sand in loving kindness, support energy to those testifying those that were present in person bearing witness watching the life leave charge Floyd's body. So there is an aspect of your buddhist practice. That seems to me quite prominent in this witnessing you are doing here. My buddhist practice, I have not been successful, add separated from this lived life. I've, sometimes I'm bath,
old by this term engaged Buddhism. My practice such to allow me to bring the fruits of my practice, into the world, which is where I spend most of my time. I did not spend most of my time on the cushion, and so this lens of living at the Cle, treating others with kindness and respect and patience and being generous All of those are not separate from my daily life and in fact, listening to the trial watching the trial? I was quite surprised, Add one day what arose for me was actually compassion for Derek Chauvelin, really interested her curious about how he got there, how he got to the place where he could.
Vietnam to his own and humanity, Vietnam to the life of another human being supposedly a human being that he knew, and I also became you're sick people who support police brutality or the police having authority to manage particularly black and brown bodies, but the great deal of force really curious what their experience is or has ban that allows them to overlook the harm that is cause and realize any really. The only way to have some understanding is to actually be in relationship to actually have a conversation, and I
I started trying to create a way to gather folks, other who were of differing opinions. Mindsets, too. come together with an interest in understanding, not the aim to change anyone mind at all, but simply to understand how we arrived here and also peak into ones understanding of the impact of such a perspective. One of the things you here as a push back against cultivating compassion, rapid For people who have harmed you or done harm more is otherwise seen as bad actors. One of the push back you get is that it could be weakness,
Make your pushover did your experience of compassion for dairy chauvinist scan to you as weakness? No, I didn't feel like weakness. I am also not confused that it's sad about endorsing that behaviour. I'm acknowledging that there had then this behaviour that's already occurred. In my opinion, it was excessive, it was ruled excessive compassion is about real It aims to another human being, someone else's sign or possibly brother. What were the circumstances not only of his life, the physical circumstances, but the condition of his heart and mind and big as I am a buddhist practitioner and sit on this commitment two, no harm in that killing and watched it grow over the years,
Change for many years, I was it bothered by killing ants and spiders and flies, and Mosquito Father thing said, man, I didn't want. In my space and the deeper my practice became the less distance I saw between one life another bad killing and aunts could use Same story that a white person or Europe officer might use for a black or brown person. You don't belong here. This is at your space, MRS my space. It's virtually the same
precision and been aware of that, and not wanting to put that in motion that is the karma, and so now it's not a softening units also and accountability level of accountability. We don't have to distance ourselves from someone who has done something terrible awful. We likely all now someone who's done something terrible. It's in the family is usually kept as a secret friends that maybe we fall out with her grow some distance from because they did then unethical collar. That we at least believed was wrong. But what is that practice? What allows us to stay close to that per said. To understand how they arrived there.
even when they ve done something horrible and that is this practice and I am sure many other faiths as well, but it really is the test pudding into motion? One were sitting on the cushion machine. everyone, peace and happiness and acts to haul, but goes is then, maybe the accountable for their actions. That is the easy placed for the practice and a smart challenging in the face of someone who are struggling and the Buddha didn't ask that we then kick them out of our heart, that we stay with. We stay close to nets, indeed been intimate with suffering and difficulty that allows us to melt. Those divisions to me
that distance between us as human beings must remember that, maybe to one another we are essentially the same some of our horrible deeds are more and horrible than others, but we ve all done. Things said we perhaps regret, or at the very least or not proud of and now that feeling, someone we now and care about comes to us and says: I was bad. That was real bad and I'm still here, for you don't do that again and I'm still here for you, I'm not going to be the person for Derek shoulda. That says I'm still here for you, but I think it's
important that he and everyone else now that there is a community that cares and believes in their capacity You better not just shame and blame and punish. You talked about the Buddha. If memory serves one of the Buddhist followers was a reformed serial killer, whose name is an unduly Marla and EAST. Aware, like a necklace of like I fingers or something victims, or if you believe that with this text and whether that story is literally true or not the notion that we can all change, I may they are two sides of the coin:
one there's the notion that you ve just articulated that we have it all in us. You know like we have no matter how good we might think we are. We have it in the right conditions. The capacity for truly pernicious actions is there in us. If we look for it, therefore, being honest with ourselves and the other side of that coin is we can change and that that's not like a statement of faith in he shows up on the brain scan of people who meditate you can change your brain. By extension, your mind that can have lots of psychological physiological benefits, but also behavioral benefit yeah. Now I love that story of vine girly Mila, and not only did he changed FED it was as a result. of the Buddha coming out to find him to look for him. So the buddhas was well aware and he was out hairs-
in people about the sleigh, his own mother, even and the Buddha was that passive had just sending while wishes went out because he knew that, like all of us had the seeds, he had the capacity to live from this place of goodness from kindness, and he was given a second chance and they became enlightens and even still the village remembered, for he became enlightened when he wasn't such a nice guy did through things Adam refused the otter HAM and the Buddha said Bear problem.
say, you're karma doesn't get. He raised his so accountable for his actions. Psyche I'll stay here and you sit here and you we'll take it. This is the fruit of your choices. This is the fruits of your path and oftentimes radar, that part, especially after we have woken up and acknowledge that we have done wrong. We wanted a fresh start and its main set in motion. There's no fresh start. We can read held from where we are. You talked about the Buddha not being passive You notice at all these serve proclivity for passivity among people who get into meditation and Buddhism and EU reference before this term engaged Buddhism, which is a term of art and the buddhist community. It certainly, but social activism and for you you said your kind of mystified by it always like that.
It should be inherent in the word Buddhism that you're gonna be engaged back to my question: do you notice that sometimes people get into this practice and it's all about like take care of themselves? And it's not really about being active in the world? I think that it takes some time to first understand the complexity of what's happening. What this heart mind and come to arms, with the way that we respond to our mind away that we respond to the world and then mean that could be years of practice. I often talk about meditation practice. Spain, like there be intensive So really looking deeply at our habits, and can be most skilful in this outward expression of our practice. Once we have some signs of understanding about our own habit tendencies and yes, a lot of the practices that matter practices were reset quietly and peaceful.
I wish you well, for others makes the heart feel so good makes us feel that were sent goodness out into the world and its fair The easy practice long enough, even with the difficult people on the cushion, were able to get to a place where we can send them while wishes and that's an easy place to stop and go back to our constructed and protected wives and some levels, its political conversation and Dharuma centres. How involved with social issues is appropriate for an organisation or how an alliance with the teachings and now. There are organisations that are grappling with those questions still today, and so
each organization and their leadership defining what's engaged Buddhism looks like or how to foster personal accountability, individual accountability to one another, and I think the teachings compare me is are those that lay out the action steps that are necessary to bring this practice alive and our relationships. This is the crossing of the river. This is the action We can engage in. We reference the pyramids there. Can you describe what what those are movement so the party is, are this list. Ten actionable items are said to have been developed after the teachings of the Buddha were finally written down and
our described to be what we as lay practitioners can call today. in our daily lives so that we too. And be awakened. Generosity is the first in the list of TAN generosity is often thought of in terms of physical generosity, offering money or tangible goods, but a deep part of practice is also this generous, offering of ourselves into. Himself, listening being generous and our kindness, generous and our patients, and integrity, which we find a noble, eightfold path, and so it's really one of the pillars, the ethics with which were living our lives. We engage with one another fight, our action in the actual action, so our speed,
How we speak to one another by there were willing to stretch the truth. Tat. Little white lies are bigger, lies the precepts, Sir, Sir have shorter than there also how we engage with one another sexually neither were still learn from one another. So really are ethical behaviour. Renunciation, which is the flip side of generosity, is really this practice of looking ads all of the places that we are holding on clinging to write, desperately related to greed. And really being clear about that which is unnecessary to live a life that is wholesome, live a life where
The problem of the horrors are at the centre, so all of the visible, tangible things material. That we hold onto houses and cars in jewelry at all of the things we hoard in our lives, our people and relationships or status. well, I've been willing to look at what is necessary to love a good and simple life was done simply the truth of the way things are being open to receiving that not again as the way I like to think about it and wisdom so we are willing to stop thinking and sexual in the body that we
their stand or begin to understand the complexity of the opportunities We are living in energy, so I think of the hindrances. Slauson torpor is one of the hindrances that there has to be this balance. Certainly the body needs rest. Sloughing torpor is just sleeping through life, not and but this path, stained diligence stayed awake being interested in this exploration and create him balance and the mind. Heart requires a great deal of energy, wholesome energy, not striving energy, but the energy to stay interested and committed on the path to peace,
to explain patients a whole lot, but we are talking earlier about the children's trial and in the protests, and all of the expressions of outrage and hurts? Perhaps folks have some ideas of no proper way to protest or improper tying to protest. I think it s a great example of the slowing it down having some patience again, not for things to work out necessarily. But have understanding of how this came to be not to jump over others experience and perspective in that's a significant part of patients.
and I found is setting aside my own narrative, which is really robust. Stand doesn't require the input of others. Too often, and therein lies the problem. So having the patience to accept that I doubt necessarily now, and that there is something else for me to hear, learn from grow from, I think, truthful. This was the the part of me that really got me thinking about the truth and justice vigil that I started with common ground meditation center yeah. That seems like the definition of truth, is pretty straightforward but this is handled very delicately. I will say in Buddhism, so and studied sands
relayed energy, Alain were that which, in accordance with reality, that's equanimity. We understand that and practice that when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and scattered, bed, complicated or prickly or uncomfortable the dance becomes. A bit more elaborate around. What is appropriate amusing. My air quotes appropriate to share and disclose than not. And I'll, be on our side as a queer black woman not from I sought asylum that deep into this Minnesota nice culture. The truth is what I am interested in, and my relationships and sometimes that may come out skilfully
they are and that harsh words I think, with good intentions. We can find away through together? And so that really is what inspired me for the truth and justice vigil resolve its much like energies, sticking with their having their determination to stick with course this path to understand awaken loving, kindness and equanimity meeting our experience the entirety of our experience with kindness hatred does not solve hatred, and living in a deluded way, refusing to see things as they are refusing to acknowledge the deaths. Bread.
Of racism. That is very much while alive and systems in this country. gotten us precisely where we are, and so when people say, while this isn't who we are as a country of course it is, how could it be? Otherwise how could we have landed anywhere else, given our trajectory, even in my lifetime till this refusal, to see things. The way they are has us, tangled in this tangle bad in some way we have to come together to and There are certainly different schools of thought that white folks need to do Their work on their own and by park need their space to.
began to heal from this collective trauma, and I believe that there is some truth in that, and I also feel that at some point we have to come together to heal together and try its form, this healing and to a community that can live, is parliament's, can live with courage and truthfulness to transform. This hurts his atrocities to create the world for your grandchildren, future generations that can meet the swirls flay transforms and with greater.
understand in and tenderness, just to check. Did you just rattle after ten parties from memory Not exactly as that was pretty good, I ve been studying for a number of years, so there's a few less I have down and some honestly- and I consider myself fairly young and my practice and some are just foundation I'm really ok, not moving beyond the foreign noble truce, the eight follow the path and the pyramids I can do a lot of work there for a long long time. None the less respect by around me to try to sum up what you said, but please correct me where I go wrong, but I think what I was here you say he gets it it. It makes sense to get into meditation. To take care of yourself be little less stress.
We must develop the better angels of your own nature, but, as you go down this path, the point is not just to be in your own little bliss bubble. The point is to be a more constructive actor in the world's writ large yeah, then that saga and my doubts chuse signed, there's nothing. That's excluded! I like to think of a sort of in terms of suburbs. so some of your saga is going to be your first rang signed there there, there you're, studying together your practising together and then there are four to our further out. Maybe it have last engagement worth, but still we belong. To one another and rain
membrane that takes much more commitment. An effort is re, forget and then they become other. We began other them. Well, it's those people who live in those suburbs or that look a particular way, and so a lot of what I am working to do and by other sort to do, is cultivating a courage, cultivating courage to stay and our practice and allow us to be transformed again dropping out of the head and into the body. And its leaning into this faith. This trust that what were culture, Dane and our practice, Well, yield a useful impact and others will be the fruit
of what is needed in the moment for personal transformation for social transformation. Perhaps theres many ver goes out there like me, Create a plan he devised, the plan identify the key stakeholders, you implement the plan. and then you move on and For me, and that sounds practice as this challenge all of the time it spin open weight in collecting dance not only externally but in the body, checking in what the heart- Understand in the typical route that I go, but is that what is needed right now in this that out of ego, A sad out of need: what exactly are we responding to hear
and responding at all, because we could not in many cases, systemic structure? all races and gives a great out for people like me who want to have a plan and employee. Mad correct the problem and move on, and it's so large and spent in place for centuries. And the SAD News is, we won't see. Resolution in my lifetime likely not work Jane for is a different one. As for your children, hopefully and your grandchildren and can. We sustain our diligence, even though we want to see that result and thus in the teaching where
sharp kind compassion is sympathetic, joy, not because of a particular outcome, but because it is essentially the right thing. There's what's needed right now, Can we march in the street or write letters to our legislature? Wherever we are empowered unable to do from our particular station. without knowing- going to be a particular guaranteed? How come I want a key and on a word, you use there, which is courage, a? How do you define or think of courage and how can it be generated through meditation
now what I said that courage staying in practice to inform our actions. I often talk about turning toward versus turning away from that. This active, not only lookin, for peace and harmony, but also understanding that turning toward difficulty turning toward chaos, even sometimes There is harmony and peace available there as well, and so cultivating courage and power we have to be willing to look at what happens when we are consumed with fear and fear the natural, unhealthy and appropriate response and many situations most of the time, most of us are not fearing for our lives for safety. For our well being
in. What we are fearing is a repeat of some previous. encounter or experience and maybe not even our own. Perhaps the tree of our ancestors resonates within our genes, and so we are activated when we see a person that is a particular stature or race, or has particular movements and being able to recognise what Spain activated is of old and we are responding to as it there's a new and fresh and current, and it takes a hell of a lot of fortitude to make that discernment and set aside that fear very much rippling through the body right now and fear
organizing how limiting constricting fear is, keeps us from speaking for one another for ourselves said keeps us from standing up what is good and right what You're talking about reminds me of experience. I had recently that is not to have to do with race per se, but I have a fear. I've many fears, but one one of them is pretty seriously claustrophobic and I did a shoot. The video shoot with a great anxiety, therapists out of Harvard Doktor Luanda Marquez and she special is in helping people get over their fears, and so she- and I rode elevators couple days in a row, and I don't like elevators and I don't like small elevator
and I don't like when they stop, when I'm not expecting them to stop between floors or the doors don't open, and even though she doubted station teacher said a lot of things that are similar to what I heard from your release. What I thought I heard, which was okay, so weird, do as we're gonna get you used to this end when the fear Comes up, I want you to drop out of your head in your body and just noticed how it feels. And then noticed your thoughts and kind of cross examined them. You know out my thought: would I'm never going to get out of here. The walls are closing enemy. It's like that. Seen from star wars were the trash. Compactor is, you know, come in on our gang of heroes and jests. She was like you know, you'd come sense to say: have you ever not survived and elevator ride? What are the odds that these doors are not going to open and if they don't open. What really is going to happen to you you'll tell me if I'm way off here, That strikes me as a way in a completely different context of using the practice to cultivate courage, testing it out
Like is this really true, and we can ask ourselves what is this really true and it becomes very intellect exercise, and undoubtedly we will put forward some evidence that, yes, this is true. It is dangerous to get on an elevator and here's an example like we can find that in conversations around race. For example, many of us have these stories. This narrative that people get Angry someone's going to get hurt, I'm going to say the wrong thing and all of those things might be true and in that context, and that's all very rich and dynamic dialogue. Can there be something useful that comes of it, and so really isn't until we find space person that weaken tests that out
Now you might get on the elevator for five minutes right up three floors, you might say to and are currently very racist uncle. I'm just not comfortable with that, and maybe it's the very first time that you said something to me I raise this all spouting off and check in with your body like hearing uncle, didn't kill you probably. I hope that you didn't die. It was physically uncomfortable as are most new things that are really edgy and dangerous for us. and can we rest in that discomfort and be interested and its peak and its fade away, because it will. Is it arose, it will peak and it will fade away. We think that will be stock and that
pig feeling of anxiety or despair and that that will be the entire day of our experience, whether aside, the elevator or speaking, to someone and differ Our conversation around race So there should be certainly times where we have these stories about what is safe and what is not particularly around race, and many of us have been conditioned people are threatening and violent white police are threatening and violence, and we adjust behaviors. Accordingly,. And it can be challenging, but not impossible Find environments to unpack that
common ground meditation centre and clouds and waters and centre or just com In seven months, books, study of rest, my manner comes my grandmother's, hands, an intentional. I took seven months too, really talk about. This embodied experience, and perceptions, particularly around interactions between black folks, white folks and police spot is an all. The history that we carry and act out without exploration, without care about care for ourselves and certainly without care for four others. Much more. My conversation with Stacy Millennium come up right after this
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huge issues here and that its incumbent upon all of us to play a role. But what is that look like? Have you heard this these noises beforehand, and did you find it to be a frustrating question? How do you answer it? What what are your thoughts on this? Yes, I heard the question depending on my mood at the fine question and it's an earnest question- and I think it has taken a bit of courage for the wife oaks setter approaching me at least to ask that question and I think much like meditation. And mindfulness practice where were really coming back to the simple US elements of our lives, sittin breathing been mindful action can be ass straight forward, so each of us has a unique station and our life we have
says to power authority, or we have the resources to Dive into a difficult relationship. All of those places where we have access linen lean end to those places. I have a friend whose father in law by on account of racist and spouts. believes freely in front of the family and it's absolutely enraging for my friend who has chosen to say nothing for years and years and years, because it will be uncomfortable, disrupts the family, dynamic And on and on she goes and she's still very interesting, and being active and her on this,
resolving a race relations, and I just talk with her about how I imagine how difficult that will be. Given that she has, not been able to make her voice heard, but someone that she is so with someone that she knows and that that is a great place to start psych matter practice. Don't doubt the power, of such a seemingly small interaction that the impact rebels out so talk to your friends and family who articulate perspective There are a few points that is different than yours without trying to convince them, that their way as wrong, without trying to change their mind again,
genuinely engaging with interests? How did you come to have that respect How do you imagine that impacts these people JANET when lay with interest to understand, So courage doesn't necessarily mean flipping tables or be no throwing cutlery. It can just be. inquiring with real interest, as opposed to just an outright confrontation. Absolutely, and it may have that same intensity for that friend, as it were for me I say in my work play- is proposing a hall antiracist curriculum, so we have to let go of any ideas that we have of what courage or a trance formation- looks like our now. That's not big enough. That's not significant enough, and it all matters at all. address whether you're part of the
rising and your mar chain, or your writing letters or you're, making phone calls or having conversations or perhaps you're talking to your children. and having the talk with your white children that many black and brown parents have with their children. So at all matters, and it is all part of the transformation that will take many more generations. So you have to look up where Europe and say But you can do not that's going to be the easiest necessarily or comfortable those two things uneasy and uncomfortable problem They point to where you could squeeze in and make an impact if you have access and yet I think a lot of us well
I conceived the desire in my own had you known as a pertains to meditation too kind of you know. You said this before, but Toccata and precise the good stuff for the feeling of being concentrated the feeling of having goodwill or friendliness all of the goodies that you can get on the cushion the hard stuff is less appetizing. That is what is your practice inspiring you to do. That's a question. I asked myself every day like this garden. so I've cultivated in my heart and I am able to kind to the lovely people around me and nicer, and so much nicer now to the neutral people. In my life, like I on a wave to them and no their name and the difficult people that are far off, I can imagine
kindness and goodness to them as well, but right here where were in the stew and something needs to change, rarely have to look at what is preventing me. What is keeping me comfortable in the place where I know that action is needed And what am I willing and able to do and again without judgment in this work there will be no steps. I said to someone that appear: stick your foot near Mount, that's good thing! That means your mouth was open You were saying something because we now silence oftener centre where did as in complicit question is why what is my practice.
Supporting made to do. How am I being transformed by my practice when you say without judgment? Do you mean taking action without judgment of yourself in that you're gonna mess up or doing without judging other people will certainly not all of it, but yeah judgments not again south. We have this tendency. I think many of us in this culture where conditions get it right. If you can get it right, don't do it all, There should be a whole lot that we won't be doing if we wait to get it just rightly building this as we go. So if can when we can. lay in an step forward with good intentions, of understanding of being kind and patient building bridges
then we can also meet the fall out any unintended consequences from those actions with the same mind of kindness, patience, curiosity, Tunnel being willing to set aside the notion that we will get it right is a difficult one Clearly, when we feel vulnerable pretence, There lay when we are accustomed to getting it right or being the right one or holding the power have a judging other people, because it seems from where I sit. One of the pitfalls that I see people falling into certainly see myself falling into. It is self righteousness. That is a symptom of other rain. So this
seeds that, where better than less than equal to, if we are all the same We will make mistakes We were all step into it at some point in time and it's a useful question too ass currents, You ve judge them near better than them now. How does that help toward this intention that you set out with so holding their intention centre I can be humbling. He has been right in situ San, where your genuinely trying to help someone it's more difficult for that self righteousness to blossom
genuine commitment is to helping to aligning to close that gap where other ain lives. You have used the phrase a couple times in this conversation that love to hear you unpack. You ve said a couple times we belong to each other. What do you mean by that? We are response. both for one another. I have now traveled a great deal. My understanding is that the United States here in North America, we are one of very few cultures where have moved away from this collective responsibility for one another. Their fans Systems that are
bland dead and caring for one another or even non related communities I think, an african american culture. Many of us have stories, of visiting relatives, and some relative we didn't even now just walked us when we are doing something out of line or even a neighbour of our relative, because there is this collective responsible ready for one another, and we have ground to this extreme state of individualism What's yours is yours not share, and I won't even help you get yours. I might point you in the right direction. Someone should a cartoon with me the other day, Sir black utility worker, who has a plate no cookies.
the older Wyatt, wealthy man with a plate full of cookies and the White blue collar worker with cookie, honest plates and the wealthy man says too, though his fellow white man watch out mate, he's going to try to steal your cookie psych You have all of the cook is right: we can't air for one another and this this tug, that we see right now that. This generosity, this care for one another requires a lot go. Hide this renunciation of what I don't need, what I have an access, but this condition is such that, but I earned it it's mine it doesn't matter if I need it. It's mine, I think
every religion. There's some phrase. Mother Teresa says: if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Ultimately, our possibility is to be in tune with our own heart and our actions are choices causing construction and tightness. Scarcely greed Eachard delusion or do we feel light free, happy A teacher told me once said: spoke of residue like I didn't want residue, I wanted my actions to be clean, feel good and then they said it's going to be residue. The matter is, is it unclean oily dirty residue, a feelin tight
has not been honest. I'm not leaving an where we had the opportunity or The residue of sunshine feeling good, so I try to go for a clean residue, Let's talk about this phrase, you have that I like compassionate agitator. What do you mean by that speaking truth? Still with interests and care and respect saw, there seems to be this culture and Buddhists that we dont speak to directly thing said difficult or upsetting, and I really find a way around that I'm in
dinner conversation or in a situation and their span a micro, aggression and or Heaven forbid something bigger than a micro aggression. How not to speak to that that is going to make some wine uncomfortable, the intention is to make someone uncomfortable intention is to help someone understand the impact of their actions, so it as an example I recently I was on retreat, Hawaiian Santa Solo retreat was all set up. So I have no contact with anyone. Everything was arranged on mine. My could would be left unlocked with the keys and be able to have my retreat and never see any one which is great for an inch over me and I ve been to this retreat centre. Many times
the same cruising down the driveway super slouches. can at all, then the good memory is I arrive at my could see in getting out of my vehicle slowly and startled to see a monk approaching me no mask so sometimes Clearly there is an announcement approached me, and this is a no contact arrangement than they introduced himself. Not by his name but by its title- who's the junior monk and wanted to make sure that I was in the right place now. Folks, listening probably can recognised by my voice that I'm a black woman. I think I said that earlier and so that had an impact on me. I suspect that he crushed, and tat, I may not be in the right place, because I was black.
Even though I arrived at the precise, Heaven and at the precise time they were expecting someone and so as a moment for compassionate agitation. I could be passive and respectful of the monk say. Oh, it's me it's state hey I'm here this my cabin, no need to alarm you, or I could name it for really just ask: why do you ask why you think I am not in the right place.
so I've, been willing to ask the difficult questions again with the intention of understanding? How we got here, often mostly, were trying to point out how someone is wrong, where they fall off the tracks, where their bad but really understanding. with kindness and compassion. I have their own condition and just as we do and so can we can push the envelope pushed the edges, there's lots of different phrases, I love compassionate agitation cause I could just be agitated and push and so compare agitation reminds me that
whose care involved in this dialogue with this person, whom I want to cultivate care, an interest for trust in. So how did it go? And you asked him? Why do you ask me a question while I'll tell you the truth, and I was so stand. That is not what I said I saw my own conditioning is to not scare people not scare view I'll, make sure everyone's ok and so my response was actually the former like I'm Stacy everything's. Ok, no need for alarm. And then what came with that? Was this self reflex? kind of, did you sell out what happened there? You're, not a good blah, blah blah blah blah but at the moment, and that speaks to
how, in the moment, our training doesn't ways arise as our default response. And I was able to arrive at some compassion for him ass, an indian man, and this is the heights of hate crimes against he's an american sand in the fear so bit of compassion, I fear that I imagine that he and his fellow monks were working applying what then, maybe they thought I was a black man even more threatening riding down in my suv with my balls, her in my smoked windows, you ve reference perforce of understanding, Or conditioning and other people's conditioning the sensors in their lives circumstances in their parents lives or show many factors that led up to what we do in
right now. You know what I'm at my best, I'm able to recognise that. If I were in that other persons, shoes or in this case files in that person's robe, given the same today, meaning. I might well have done the exact same thing and that's pretty humbling and it does from a shave down on my self righteous impulses, and I think that's also another example of there's not that much the distance between us in terms of our conditioning and how we respond to protect Miller scenarios, environments and when we can admit that that this isn't personal, how this isn't a character flaw for Stacy or Dan. This,
human nature, and we can re sad. Our response to that condition in whenever arises and learn to be more patients, more forget then, but I'm leaving them in increasingly trying to be a bit more understanding myself here, you said a few moments ago that you know sometimes our practice does a sharp as our first instinct. Well, I am a little less concern these days with first instinct in blue, more concerned with sir and instead, you don't like okay so far and yes, the lizard brain is going to get me to do a bunch of stupid stuff. And you know I try to get better at not listening to all the terrible ideas of you know my fight or flight. pollution. Airily, wired instincts might offer up at any given moment. I gotta cut myself some slack in
really fall back on some faith in my second instinct. My second thoughts will be a bit more evolved can well. That is the practice practice not to become these perfect bands and Oliver all condescend habitual ways of risk, binding melt away an area like how you went on retreat do feel different better like it's still me. I still have the habit to be. Charging what I am becoming scale. That is recognising that recognising those thoughts or even the worse, if they make it out of my mouth sooner and choosing a different course. or when I have taken the path and folly of being sarcastic as this my tendency to sought myself even apology is so it's not like I'm not that person any more than there
is greater intention. Energy towards balancing those habits were shot. Harmful or at least unskilful words, something that is to yield greater connection and understanding next time. You come on the shore one I wanted. I want sarcastic Stacy to show up, because I, like sarcasm, Hath, exceeds the hostile, where's the lie like that and we can be friends. A Buddhist anytime beds. Before I let you go, you talk about these. Golly, truth and justice, vigils that you ve been running through the common ground, meditation centre in Minneapolis yeah, so at the start of the trial was really interested and provided some support to both Practitioners are anyone really who's interested whose tracking their trial and wants to
To maintain some sense of balance and not get swept away and the heartbreak of it all and So in talking with my friend. I owe you ten day member the order of freedom and created the Buddhist Justice reporter group of leaders who are reflecting on the trial and really wanted this companion peace because like said earlier there something for all of us to do. Some will be writing some postal be martian in the streets. Others of us need to Who come together and talk on the cushion and be clear about how we can strengthen relationships and next step. So invited a number of Africa can Buddhists teachers from all over to calm hold space on Tuesdays every Tuesday from sixty seven, thirty central time to support.
and engaging in dialogue as we exe. Nor our collective intentions, leaned forward and also the indwelling suit and Ford unravel our habits are conditional that prevents us from leaning in and hey can compassionate action where we can then are these I'm going in. If I don't live in Minneapolis, can I still join there I'm goin, I think we have teacher scheduled out through September, so every Tuesday ran SAM? You can visit common ground, meditation, dot, org and checks, the calendar and you can see who's coming up to teach what we also recognize Is that while they are originally slated to help support folks during the course of the trial that now that we got one verdict and the preferred verdict for many
work, doesnt, and so I know that there are spent months of dialogue about whether this is a victory or theirs. Finally, justice I think most people are willing to agree that, at the very least, there is some accountability, and we have a great deal of work to do individually. As community collectively across systems to transform the way Add black bodies, our police and our biases and race, structures are enacted and causing harm. So we will continue to hold space until all of the trials are resolved. And I hope, honestly, in some fashion, beyond I'm quite proud of common ground, to be willing to,
hold space like this. I don't know that there are a lot of buddhist spaces that are willing to step into it, It's not easy and it gets messy and is sets clearly the way forward and claim in one another and again all of us can join. everyone can shine. We don't have to be in Minneapolis, you don't have to be black, you don't even have to be Buddhist, be interested be willing to engage in a conversation so some session. Traditional teaching model where there's a sit and talk, and maybe Achieving a more and more what's happening is that there are small group third Dyad stairs question and answer. There is open sharing about
it's gotten in the way and what it feels like to began unravelling that tangle stays a great job and his good to meet you, I'm not being sarcastic. Thank you dad to get the Stacey. I really enjoyed meeting her. They show is made by Samuel Johns Dj. Kashmir can buy comma Maria were tell and gent point with audio engineering from ultraviolet audio, as always, A hearty solely to my ABC News, comrades rank Hassan Josh Co Hand will see you all on Friday for a bonus.
They were separated body. This is Elsie Grandison here to tell you about my new pot chasm agency. Audio called life out loud. This show is all about preserving the history and honouring the contributions of the odes beating you community each week, I'll talk to some of the most fascinating people paving the way towards a more inclusive world. These conversations can get heavy, but this shows also gummy. Bill was so much joy and I mean, after all, we are car gay people, rights of gaddi, some happiness in there somewhere check out life out loud with me, Elsie Grandison, wherever you get your pockets.
Transcript generated on 2021-07-05.