Rhonda V. Magee returns to the Metta Hour Podcast for episode 180.
Rhonda is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and has spent more than twenty years exploring the intersections of anti-racist education, social justice, and contemplative practices. A Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, Rhonda is a global Keynote Speaker, mindfulness teacher, practice innovator, storyteller, and thought leader on integrating Mindfulness into Higher Education, Law, and Social Justice. Her award-winning book, “The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness,” was released in hardcover in 2019, and the paperback edition is now available.
The conversation begins with Sharon and Rhonda discussing some of the ongoing assumptions about mindfulness practice and how they are often used to bypass life’s difficulties. Sharon asks Rhonda to elucidate some of the teachings from her book. Rhonda starts by explaining the concept of Racialized Bodies. Sharon shares her understanding of attribution bias and how that also affects the way that we navigate the world. They discuss how the different modalities of mindfulness and lovingkindness compare as a means to work with bias. Sharon asks Rhona to speak more about how she defines Racial Justice and what that means in daily life. They discuss some of the obstacles to cultivating empathy or emotional understanding when looking at racial issues. Rhonda shares her thoughts on Color Insight versus Color Blindness and then leads a guided meditation to close the conversation.
Learn more about her work: Rhonda V. Magee
Racialized Bodies: Inner Practice, Outer Engagement
Welcoming Rhonda V. Magee back to the Metta Hour, Sharon opens the conversation by discussing the importance of connecting our inner practice with beneficial engagement in the outer world. Sharing a story of teaching in apartheid Africa and learning that Japanese people were officially declared white, Sharon invites Rhonda to explore the theme of ‘Racialized Bodies’ from her book, The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness.
“When I use the term ‘Racialized Bodies’ it’s meant to help us see the active engagement, the way that human beings are creating these notions of race, and that they are subject to change. Whatever we construct or create in our human-beingness, we can deconstruct, de-create, or change.” – Rhonda V. Magee
Rhonda Magee & Ethan Nichtern explore the inner work of racial justice, on Ep. 24 of The Road Home
Who Belongs?: Metta, Mindfulness, & Implicit Bias (21:08)
Speaking to the variances and overlaps between metta (lovingkindness) and mindfulness practices, Rhonda and Sharon reflect on how we can apply spiritual modalities in the fight for racial justice to overcome implicit bias and help make the world a more fair and loving place. Next, Rhonda shares moving words contemplating: ‘On this planet, Earth—who belongs?’ (Hint: It’s everyone)
“That’s what segregation was about, that’s what enslavement was about, that’s what different forms of colonial oppression are about—we come up with all these justifications to make natural and normal, human suffering. – Rhonda V. Magee
Mirabai Bush & Rhonda Magee discuss the importance of narrative in social justice, on Ep. 5 of Walking Each Other Home
Color Insight: Mindfulness, Humility, & Change (41:08)
From here, they discuss the power of humility, metta, mindfulness, and consistent embodied practice for grounding us and helping us meet the moment with love. To close, Rhonda shares about ‘color insight’ as a counterpoint to ‘color blindness,’ before leading a guided meditation and mindfulness practice.
“Whatever time we have on the planet to try to make a difference, we don’t have forever, and we don’t know how long we have. So meet it with love—meet the moment with love, and do what you can with love. And let go, because we never really know the full consequences of anything we do, good or bad. To me, mindfulness is like operation instruction for trying to make the most of the moments we have, but with humility all the way.” – Rhonda V. Magee