Dharma teacher Sebene Selassie returns to The Road Home for a conversation about her new book, and why we all need to respond to the call for connection.
Sebene Selassie has studied Buddhism for over thirty years. She received a BA from McGill University in religious and women’s studies and an MA from the New School, where she focused on cultural studies and race. For over twenty years, Sebene worked with children, youth, and families nationally and internationally for small and large not-for-profits.
Sebene lives on unceded Lenape Territory in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has taken her everywhere from the Tenderloin in San Francisco to refugee camps in Guinea, West Africa. She has been teaching meditation workshops, courses, and retreats for over a decade and is one of the most popular teachers on the Ten Percent Happier app. Her first book, “You Belong: A Call for Connection” was published by HarperOne in August. Learn more about Sebene’s offerings at sebeneselassie.com.
The Truth of Interconnection
Ethan welcomes Sebene back to The Road Home, and asks about her experience as an immigrant growing up in America. They talk about Sebene’s new book, and how it explores the paradox of the reality that everything is connected, we’re all one, and at the same time, we’re all obviously different.
“Some of us lean too far into the absolute truth of interconnection, because that feels great, it’s harmonious, we don’t have to deal with complexity; we can see that with a lot of white folks who have never really had to look at race.” – Sebene Selassie
Ethan Nichtern talks about love and rage with Lama Rod Owens on The Road Home Ep. 41
A Call for Connection (13:44)
Ethan and Sebene discuss semiotic vigilance and using mindfulness to work with unconscious bias. Sebene looks at the delusion of separateness that leads to the ills of our society; when we don’t recognize the interconnection, we fall into patterns of domination. She talks about using mindfulness practice to help see the dominating patterns within ourselves.
“We live in a world of signs and symbols, we think through language and metaphor. Growing up I was surrounded by symbols of whiteness as supreme, and that is the manifestation of white supremacy.” – Sebene Selassie
Working With the Body (32:57)
Sebene explores the role the body plays in our ultimate liberation. She and Ethan discuss ways to keep evolving dharma teachings for the modern world so that the full truth of liberation can come to fruition. They end by touching on politics in America, and how we can prepare for potential turmoil with mindfulness practice.
“What I didn’t realize until I paid really, really, really close attention, is that emotional irritation actually started with physical irritation.” – Sebene Selassie
Images via Sebene Selassie and @criene on Twenty20