David Fisher joins Lama Surya Das for a conversation around current events and how with mindfulness practice we can begin waking up together.
Waking up Together (Opening) – David and Surya Das discuss the aftermath of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. They talk about what it means to honor the life and death of Heather Heyer and finding the forgiveness for her attacker. Surya Das reminds us of the inner work that must be done first to effect greater social change.
“These days’ things are moving so fast it seems. It is very hard to slow down enough to take a breath and pay attention to see where we are here and now. To look at what we may be doing, mostly unconsciously no doubt, to perpetuate systemic abuse and oppression. To weed out the roots of anger, selfishness, greed and hatred in our own minds, because it begins there.” – Lama Surya Das
From “Me” to “We” (17:25) – The two talk about the ways in which history has begun to repeat itself in recent times. Surya Das emphasizes the need to shift from a perspective centered around “me” to one that focuses on “we.”
“I think the movement of ‘me’ to ‘we’ has to occur to get over this partisan divide in politics and religions. I think if we don’t work on our attitudes and work from inside out, as well as outside in, then we are really just spinning our wheels.” – Lama Surya Das
The Buddhist Response (25:10) – David asks for Surya Das’ perspective on what Buddhist philosophy has to say about dealing with violence and hatred. How do we take action without responding to violence with more violence?
“This is the time for awakening, but not an awakening that just follows the anger. Anger is just a feeling and an emotion, it doesn’t need to be suppressed. We have to healthily process it before it becomes hatred, rage and war.” – Lama Surya Das
Love the Sinner, Not the Sin (39:00) – Surya Das responds to David’s thoughts on the role of love in our society. They talk about meeting the worst that others have to offer with understanding rather than anger.