For episode 134 of the Metta Hour, Sharon speaks with social change agent, Marc Solomon.
Marc is a nationally recognized political strategist and campaign leader with 25 years of experience in strategy, campaign management, policy development and execution, messaging and communications leadership, and field mobilization. Marc was one of the key architects of the marriage equality movement and has applied lessons from the marriage equality movement to help secure impactful criminal justice reforms, pass laws enacting automatic voter registration, advance pro-immigrant policies, and build bipartisan support for ending partisan gerrymandering. Learn more about Marc’s public affair’s work at civitaspublicaffairs.com
In this episode, Sharon and Marc discuss his work as an activist, in particular, cultivating resilience working on long-term civil rights movements, and the role that meditation has played in his own life. Marc closes the conversation by leading a guided lovingkindness meditation practice.
The Light of Lovingkindness
Marc shares with Sharon his experience of coming out of the closet as gay. Openly unpacking the fears and self-doubt he was ensconced within, Marc felt as if that part of himself could not be lovable, and that if it that part of him was known to the world, that he would not be lovable. Marc credits the solid base of Metta, particularly from Sharon’s book Lovingkindness, as what gave him the foundation of love to fully shine.
“The notion of finding that somewhere beneath my fears, self-doubt, and self-hatred, there was this light of Metta, of lovingkindness, that was burning brightly, that I could shine on myself and on others, was among the most important discoveries I’ve made in my life.” – Marc Solomon
For illuminating insight into the Buddhist notion of Metta, lovingkindness, and it’s place on the Eight Fold Path, open yourself to Ep. 36 of the Insight Hour
Anger & Rage (10:11)
At a meditation retreat, Marc uncovered a deep well of anger and rage inside himself pertaining to his constricting lifestyle of staying in the closet and hiding his truth. Through the process of meditation and self-inquiry, Marc was able to find something beneath the difficult emotions and feelings of anger and rage – the truth of connection and love.
“Just having experienced being in touch with that feeling of love and connection meant that for me that even when I’m feeling angry and disconnected, I knew that there was something else, something better.” – Marc Solomon
For another transformative talk with Sharon surrounding harnessing anger and rage in a labor of revolutionary love, check out Ep. 126 of the Metta Hour
Activism, Mindfulness, & Human Rights (28:20)
Marc shares how his mindfulness, meditation, and lovingkindness practices intersect with his activism and the ongoing fight for human rights. Through these modalities, Marc has been able to bring gentleness and compassion to his work, helping grow more strong connections to widen his reach to the larger human community.
“It’s about figuring out ways to connect. The more you connect, the more you break down barriers, and the more you’re able to expand the circle of people who you care about beyond yourself and your family.” – Marc Solomon
Learn about social action and healing deep wounds through the loving power of restorative justice on Ep. 1 of the new BHNN podcast The Brown Rice Hour
Images via freedomtomarry.org and Sharon Salzberg