Ethan sits down with Kate Johnson for a conversation around dharmic social action, compassionate communication and practicing different modalities of mindfulness and meditation.
Kate Johnson is an interdisciplinary teacher, writer and performer, who incorporates contemplative practice, creativity and social justice into her work. Currently, Kate is an adjunct teacher at New York Insight Meditation Center and is on staff at Buddhist Peace Fellowship where she co-created online programs integrating Buddhadharma and social justice education. Learn more at katejohnson.com.
Compassionate Social Action (Opening) – Kate reflects on the meaning of sanctuary in relation to both spiritual practice and social action. She and Ethan address the recent changes in immigration policies, which resulted in children being separated from their families and penned inside chain-link cages, and they talk about ways we can respond to injustice in a more dharmic way.
“Certainly a daily practice is something that I rely on as a way to just make being a sensitive human being a sustainable situation. That’s what drove me to practice in the first place and so that continues to be a refuge for me.” – Kate Johnson
Rethink social action with Ram Dass and Roshi Joan Halifax on Ep. 15 of the Be Here now Network’s Guest Podcast.
Teaching Trump to Meditate (14:30) – With the political left in America urging the public to reject and isolate those who they see as doing harm, an interesting question has been raised to by Ethan’s students – would you teach political figures like Donald Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders to meditate?
“If we were entering into a student/teacher relationship I think it would be a big yes for me to teach President Trump. In a relationship there is an opportunity to relate to one another’s stories, to see one another as humans and to give each other the space to say what we think we believe and see if we still believe it.” – Kate Johnson
Dharma in Motion (20:30) – Kate shares what she has learned about different modalities of dharma practice, like dance and movement, that she has learned to incorporate into her teachings. She looks at the way in which art can be in line with dharmic practice.
Right Speech in 2018 (33:40) – Ethan and Kate look at awareness of language and the harm that can come from biases in communication. They discuss what it means to integrate mindfulness and compassion into the way we interact with one another.
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Image via New York Insight Meditation Center