Raghu is joined on the Mindrolling Podcast by spiritual teacher, activist and social entrepreneur Konda Mason for a conversation around becoming whole through love, mindfulness, and spiritual practice.
Konda Mason is a social entrepreneur, earth and social justice activist and spiritual teacher. Konda is the Co-Founder and founding CEO of Impact Hub Oakland, a beautiful co-working space that supports socially engaged entrepreneurs and changemakers. She is the Strategic Director of the Runway Project Oakland, a micro-lending fund for African American entrepreneurs intended to close the “Friends & Family” gap funding that is often unavailable to them. Additionally, Konda is the co-founder of the annual COCAP (Community Capital) conference in Oakland, with a focus on “Building the We Economy” and a co-founder of Jubilee Partners.
Konda is also a certified Kripalu yoga teacher and a Vipassana meditation teacher. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Good Work Institute, The On Being Project, United Roots and Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where she is in a four-year Dharma Teacher Training with Jack Kornfield as her personal mentor. Keep up with Konda on Twitter @swamikondananda.
The Cornerstone of Love
Konda shares how her upbringing provided a loving and supportive space, which is reflected in her large body of work which empowers and supports others. She and Raghu talk about cultivating love in our hearts, in spite of the difficulties we face.
“My mother did not have what she gave us. It is not like love begat love, she had a very rough situation. Yet, somehow, she said, ‘I am not going to do that.’ All four of (her children) felt like we were the most special person and all of us felt that way. I feel like there is hope for any of us that did not get that. My mother did not get that, yet she created it. We can make choices around what we do with our hearts and who we want to be in the world.” – Konda Mason
Healing from the Wounds of Racism (14:00)
How does the experience of racism shape the way a person’s identity forms? Konda talks about her experiences as a child and reflects on the importance of understanding the impact of normalized bigotry and systematic oppression – especially on young people.
“The messages in the world are brutal. Racism is brutal. White folks don’t really understand what it is like. I was young and impressionable and started questioning myself, at a time when I was really confident. I started to question myself and that internalized the question of, ‘Am I good enough?’ I had never had that question before.” – Konda Mason
What Makes People Whole (25:40)
What does purpose mean to you – does it make you come alive? Konda and Raghu discuss how understanding our true purpose in life can make us whole. They reflect on the teachings of the Pāramitās (pāramīs) in the Buddhist tradition, looking at how we can get free and thrive through the pursuit of these qualities.
“Mindfulness is what leads us to being non-judgemental and leads us to having a mind of equanimity. It really works. I know that people talk about mindfulness like it is the flavor of the month, but it actually works. How do you negotiate this world without it?” – Konda Mason