Konda Mason, Mirabai Bush, and Raghu Markus come together for a conversation on Cultivating Resilience in the Face of Racial Injustice and Disparity.
Dissecting the lie of “not seeing race” and the “Privilege of not knowing”, our speakers examine the intersections of land, race, money, and spirit, and the roles they play in the framework of our society. Through compassion and finding ways to accept unsavory truths, we can learn to open our hearts and realize our interconnection with everyone.
Konda Mason is a social entrepreneur, earth and social justice activist and spiritual teacher exploring the intersection of Land, Race, Money & Spirit. She is the Co-Founder and founding CEO of Impact Hub Oakland, Strategic Director of the Runway Project Oakland, advisor to the executive director of Education for Racial Equity, and co-founder of the annual COCAP conference in Oakland, focused on “Building the We Economy”. Additionally, Konda leads eco-tourism trips to the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador in order to wake people up to become active stewards of this vital earth ecosystem. Konda is a certified Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation teacher, an accomplished filmmaker and artists manager, Academy Award nominee and Grammy Award winner. She sits on the Board of Directors of Krista Tippett’s On Being, Lions Roar Magazine, United Roots, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center where she is in a four-year Dharma Teacher Training with Jack Kornfield as her personal mentor. She is also a Trustee on the Board of Mills College in Oakland, CA.
Mirabai Bush is the Chair of the Board of the Love Serve Remember Foundation and is a teacher of contemplative practices. Mirabai develops programs through the application of contemplative principles and values to organizational life. Her work with individuals and organizations includes entrepreneurial project management, compassionate staff-board relations, organizational leadership, public relations, communication, networking, and strategic relationship building all through the lens of contemplative practice in action. She is co-author with Ram Dass of Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying and Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service, and she is a chairperson of Love Serve Remember Foundation.
Her spiritual studies include two years in India with Hindu teacher Neem Karoli Baba; meditation in monasteries with Buddhist teachers Shri S.N. Goenka, Anagarika Munindra, and IMS guiding teachers; and studies with Pir Vilayat Khan and Tibetan Buddhist lamas Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and others; and five years of intensive practice in Iyengar yoga and five years of Aikido under Kanai Sensei.
Shared resources included in this talk: Educationforracialequity.com | “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” By Robin DiAngelo
Seeing Our Shadows
How can the inner work of mindfulness and meditation allow us to cultivate the awareness necessary to see our own shadows? Can this work provide the resilience needed to persevere through a global pandemic, economic crisis and the wounds of systemic injustice? Konda speaks about how our perspective creates the world and how racial superiority has become the lens that has shaped the world we live in.
“We need to dismantle the system, it is underneath all of it. It leads into all of our crises, which – the way I see it – is this hierarchal crises and ideology and lens we have. A world view of the global north over the global south; whether it is gender-based, male and female and who is on top; whether it is racial, which is what we are talking about right now; whether it is our species, looking at the Coronavirus and thinking about how we have dominated this planet. That tree outside my window we have dominated. This whole mentality is what is being pointed to and how we see the world is the world we create.” – Konda Mason
The Intersection of Land, Race, Money & Spirit (20:20)
Mirabai shares the institutional racism that she was a witness to from the inside during her time in the Pittsburgh, PA education system. The group looks at where we might find a resolution to systemic injustice at the intersection of land, race, money, and spirit.
The Work That Needs To Be Done (43:00)
The work to undo racism in ourselves and in the world is a lifelong commitment. Konda, Mirabai, and Raghu speak about the long term and often uncomfortable work required in order for us to truly open our hearts and realize our interconnection with everyone.
“This is a lifelong work. This is not, ‘I read a book.’ This is not, ‘I have a black wife.’ This is none of that. This is a lifelong work.
Like what we have been doing in tandem with our mindfulness work, it is lifelong. One thing leads to another and another. If you are someone who is concerned and staying in this concerned place, but not actually acting and educating yourself and letting go of resources then you are still a part of the problem. Bottom line, you are part of the problem.” – Konda Mason