Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 355 – Decolonizing the Mind with John Lockley


Shaman, John Lockley, returns to Mindrolling Podcast to speak with Raghu about the history of racism in South Africa, healing cultural wounds through listening, and decolonizing the mind.

John Lockley began his journey as a young medic drafted into the South African military. He then trained under Zen master Su Bong from South Korea, and returned to post-Apartheid South Africa to spend 10 years in apprenticeship with MaMngwevu, a medicine woman from the Xhosa tribe. John now splits his time teaching in South Africa, Ireland, Europe, and the US. Find out more about John’s work learn more about his Mentoring, In-Person Divinations, Plant Healing and more at johnlockley.com.

Colonizing Oppression

John Lockley shares about growing up white in South Africa, and the culture of anti-black prejudice he experienced from a young age. Through his time in school, and as a medic in the army, he was able to see through the instilled cultural prejudice and negative stereotyping, tracing its deepest roots back to fear and power.

“I realized that what it really spoke about was fear. People were really afraid of befriending African People, befriending Black People, because of power. So, I felt at the root of this prejudice, the root of this terrible oppression, was actually power and fear.” – John Lockley

For a shamanic conversation through the collective bardo, tackling unconscious racism and social activism, tune into  Ep. 353 of Mindrolling
Healing Through Listening (20:15)

How can we heal the wound of colonization? John Lockley shares about being overcome with guilt over his white skin whilst hearing his friend share the history of racism and oppression against the native peoples. When he interrupted the story out of this guilt, his friend simply expressed, “I want you to just stop and feel the suffering in my heart.” It is through listening to people who have been terribly hurt that we can heal the wound of colonization.

“Instead of feeling that I’m to blame and I’m responsible because I have white skin, I just let him speak and I allowed my heart just to feel his pain without trying to fix it, without trying to change it. I just had to feel his pain, and afterwards things changed for me and for him.” – John Lockley

For an illuminating dharma talk on cultivating compassion and a spacious heart, check in with RamDev for Ep. 51 of Healing at the Edge
A Warrior’s Path: Facing Your Shadows

How do we decolonize our minds? John shares that being a spiritual person is about becoming a warrior, which means listening to those voices of sadness, grief, shame and guilt inside of us. Many of us, when we feel those darker voices, we need to find someone to blame outside of ourselves, a scapegoat. Many times this scapegoat ends up being an entire other race or culture, so left unchecked, our shadows project outward in divisiveness and blame.

“Eventually, we have to face ourselves, we have to face our own shadows, and one of the ways we do it in the traditional area of being a Sangoma is by looking at the dreams. What are the dreams saying? What is the voice inside of us saying?” – John Lockley

Wat​ch the latest Ram Dass Documentary film on Becoming Nobody on Gaia.com. The Gaia.com library supports you with transformational content. See it for yourself and go to Gaia.com/BeHereNow and check out the Be Here Now Playlist curated just for you. Visit Gaia.com/BeHereNow to start your free trial today. 


Images via John Lockley and Ingrid Heres