Konda Mason and Tara Brach join forces to bring awareness to the treatment of non-human animals, and talk about how we can attend to this crucial domain of compassion.
Tara Brach has been practicing and teaching meditation since 1975, as well as leading workshops and meditation retreats at centers throughout North America and Europe. She has a PhD in clinical psychology, is the founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, and is the author of several beloved books, including Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural Goodness. Learn more about Tara and her offerings at tarabrach.com, plus don’t miss out on her podcast.
An Invisible Domain
Konda and Tara share their own journeys from being meat eaters to eating plant-based diets. They discuss how the meat industry and practices of factory farming are hidden in plain sight, and why this issue is very much a part of being on the spiritual path. Konda brings up all the harm caused by our notion of hierarchy, and Tara explores seeing the sacred in all living beings.
“It’s such an invisible domain of human domination and cruelty, how we relate to non-human animals. It’s so invisible. It’s just the conditioning of our society. But we make these daily, unconscious choices that are reinforcing a system of huge violence. And that’s something, it’s a harsh thing to have to wake up to.” – Tara Brach
Old friends Sharon Salzberg and Tara Brach catch up on Metta Hour Ep. 156
Compassion Towards Non-Human Animals (27:15)
Konda and Tara talk about how people usually react to this subject with fragility, but it’s not about judgment and feeling guilty, it’s about living life with awareness and compassion towards non-human animals. They discuss the value of being proximate to the issues that are hardest for us, and tackle a couple of practical questions people often ask about eating meat. Konda explores why this issue is even more important for the Black community.
“How can you be aware of all the injustices, allow your heart to break, be connected to life in a very deep way on every level, and still walk about your life and do your life with an open heart? You know, that’s the trick.” – Konda Mason
RamDev shares a meditation for cultivating compassion for all suffering beings on Healing at the Edge Ep. 66
Getting Proximate (52:00)
Konda and Tara reflect more on getting proximate and being intimate with life, and how this issue has everything to do with our spirituality. Konda talks about how none of us are perfect, but we should try to cause the least amount of harm as possible in this life. Tara ends the episode with a beautiful meditation about cultivating a sense of interconnectedness with non-human animals.
“Widening the scan now, just sensing in your life if there’s a non-human group of living beings that you’d like to explore more and include in your hearts. Could be a cow or a pig, chicken, or some other creature. You’d just like to feel their realness, feel that sense of, ‘we are friends,’ that interconnectedness.” – Tara Brach