This time on the BHNN Guest Podcast, Francesca Maximé sits down for a conversation with Professor Rhonda V. Magee about bringing attention to systemic injustice.
Rhonda V. Magee is Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and is an internationally-recognized thought and practice leader on integrating Mindfulness into Higher Education, Law and Social Justice. Learn more about Rhonda and subscribe to her mailing list to receive updates on Rhonda’s upcoming book: rhondavmagee.com
This conversation was recorded on September 26th, 2018 – nearly four weeks into what has become a historical Supreme Court judicial appointment and confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh. This hearing became a national conversation as focus quickly turned to multiple accusations from women in Kavanaugh’s early adulthood who claim to have a witness to and victims of sexual abuse by Kavanaugh. Francesca and Rhonda look at the bigger lessons to take from the hearing and what role contemplative practices play in healing systemic abuse.
Fruits of Inquiry (Opening) – Rhonda reflects on the allegations brought against the recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She discusses the broader implications of these allegations with Francesca and the two look at what lessons we can take from this hearing moving forward.
“There is so much evidence. This is the era of the #METOO movement, but even before that there is so much evidence if we are willing to pay attention; that these traditional ways that women are vulnerable to being taken advantage of across a broad spectrum. We have known that many many women are vulnerable and have been victimized in some ways at some points in our lives – I am one of those women. So it’s a difficult time to be reminded of how prevalent it is and seeing the system responding in ways that are very apparently self-protective of the nominee, just to see that level of defensiveness and unwillingness perhaps to be open to what may be known is its own shocking revelation.” – Rhonda Magee
The Wide Lens of Mindfulness (13:45) – How does mindfulness allow us to shift our perspective and more effectively approach the systemic injustices and deficiencies in our society?
“One of the reasons why I am drawn to mindfulness, as a modality for supporting work in the world, is that I have personally found no better set of tools for preparing ourselves to see more clearly what there is to be seen. Coming into some kind of a more authoritative self-authoring relationship with who we are, understanding the agency we have and the role we play in creating a world that works better for everyone. Mindfulness is a key, if not THE key frankly, to engage in my own ways with what might keep me stuck and not seeing the opportunities that are available for me to make a positive difference. Starting with myself, for myself, but then extending that out to others.” – Rhonda Magee
Owning What Is (25:15) – What kind of ownership and attention needs to be brought to the history of systematic injustice in our land that goes back to the days of colonialization in the New World. Rhonda and Francesca look at how, with the aid of mindfulness practices, we might begin to repair and reimagine a better way to live interdependently and harmoniously with one another.
The Depth of the Moment (42:30) – We close with a reflection of the many aspects that make up “the moment” that we need to be present with, which includes an awareness of the deep history which has led up to that moment. Rhonda looks at the insight that mindfulness can give privileged communities to their responsibilities and relationship to communities with a much different experience than their own.
“None of us are free until we are all free.” – Rev. angel Kyodo williams