The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. Resmaa Menakem speaks in a compelling way how this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white body supremacy, and create a truly anti-racist culture. This conversation includes a powerful and provocative guided reflection.
Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP, Resmaa has served as director of counseling services for the Tubman Family Alliance; as behavioral health director for African American Family Services in Minneapolis; as a domestic violence counselor for Wilder Foundation; as a certified Military and Family Life Consultant for the U.S. Armed Forces; as a trauma consultant for the Minneapolis Public Schools; and as a Cultural Somatics consultant for the Minneapolis Police Department. As a Community Care Counselor, he managed the wellness and counseling services for civilians on fifty-three US military bases in Afghanistan. Resmaa studied and trained at Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, as well as with Dr. David Schnarch (author of the bestselling Passionate Marriage). He currently teaches workshops on Cultural Somatics for audiences of African Americans, European Americans, and police officers. He is also a therapist in private practice.
My Grandmother’s Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not only about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched radicalized divide.
Great spiritual leaders of social movements teach that true transformation arises from realizing our interconnectedness, and the light of the divine in each being. Sadly, through human history, much suffering has come from perceiving others as bad-others, flawed humans who are excluded from our heart.
This talk looks at how our stories and mistrust of others—in personal relationships and in our society—can lead to cycles of violence, harm, and deepening alienation. We then explore the inner process that helps us shift to “bad behavior, not bad human” and allows us to respond to suffering with love-in-action.
When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection.
I Am That, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Hatred never ceases by hatred; But by love alone is healed. This is an ancient and eternal law.
Radical love arises from the purity of our awake awareness, and cuts through the delusion of being separate and not OK. It comes from and brings out our intrinsic goodness.
These talks explore the barriers to this embodied, inclusive and active loving, and include reflections that can help us to free our own hearts and bring true healing to our world.
I love everybody, I love everybody in my heart. And you can’t make me hate you. You can’t make me hate you in my heart. Because I have love in my heart, I am going to treat everybody right. ~ Ruby Sales
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~ Rumi
The world is having a difficult moment. Each day we learn of a different conflict or crisis, which threatens the lives of so may people. It is easy to live with a lot of fear right now and it is even easier to react out of that fear was well. When we react out of fear we tend to create much more harm in the world.
This is a time of darkness and war and fear lies at the heart of much of the violence we are experiencing. How do we befriend our fear and offer it permission to teach us how to move through it into a state of freedom? How do we use our fear to connect to the fear so many other people are experiencing? Ultimately, how do we begin to love what is unlovable, especially our fear?
During their time together, Tara and Lama Rod call on the teachings of Buddhadharma as well as their own intrinsic wisdom to lean into fear with love.
This event was American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted.
This meditation brings the clarity and self-compassion of RAIN to the suffering of self-aversion and/or shame. It helps us see the conditioning that shaped what we judge about ourselves, and helps us remember who we are beyond our habitual and painful self-narrative. This helps us to look with fresh eyes at our conditioning, and align our life more fully with our awakening heart.
Spiritual hope opens us to possibility and energizes us to manifest our potential for love and wisdom. In contrast to attachment or egoic hope, which is the grasping for what will benefit a separate self, spiritual hope arises from trust in the openhearted awareness (bodhichitta) that is always and already within us. This talk explores how, as individuals and as a society, we can nourish spiritual hope, and create the grounds for healing and radical transformation.
“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.”
All transformation arises out of love; it is the energy of caring about life that moves us toward inner, relational and societal healing. With a primary focus on our radically re-enlivened movement for racial justice and equity, this talk looks at ways of remembering what matters and consciously nourishing our care.
When anger is held in mindfulness, it can energize us to respond wisely to challenging situations. This meditation guides us in meeting personal or societal anger with RAIN – recognize, allow, investigate and nurture.
[NOTE: this meditation was given at the end of Tara’s Anger and Transformation talk on 2020-06-10. A brief context is given, then the meditation begins at 4:56.]
The purpose of anger is to let us know there’s an obstacle to our wellbeing, and to energize us to act. While natural and necessary for survival and thriving, this powerful energy often possesses us and leads to suffering.
This talk explores how we can use the RAIN meditation in our personal and societal life, to meet anger with a mindful, compassionate presence. Freed from the identification with a limited, separate reactive self, we can listen to the message of anger, draw on the purity of its energy, and respond from our natural intelligence, creativity and care.
In the deepest way, when we get possessed by anger, we’re really cut off from our full humanness – our full spirit. Let’s reflect together: How do we navigate anger with awareness? ~ Tara
Anti-Black racism is the core wound of American culture, and we each have a role to play in fighting racism, a medicine to bring to these times. This talk explores how we can offer an honest and courageous presence to key domains of this suffering. We then look at affirming that Black lives truly matter with our dedicated and wise action.