This episode is 60-minute of golden nuggets for me. The host is incredibly informative and asks insightful questions and Valerie Brown’s voice embodies mindfulness. Together they soothe me and give me more understanding and hope. This episode talks about many important topics:
1. How can we not be consumed by anger while fighting for the world we want to see?
Fighting non-violently and peacefully for a world that everyone can belong to, that has justice, freedom, and liberation.
Dr. King said, “Never succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter. As you press for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the instruments of love.”
Anger is a fiery emotion and has its lure. The first thing we can do is to be aware that emotions are activated. Then we calm ourselves through breathing. With the pause, we ask ourselves ‘Am I sure’. We bear witness for others. Remember if someone is being unkind they’re probably suffering a lot. The north star is to water the seed of love instead of the seed of anger and to play in a bigger space, not letting bitterness restricting our heart
2. Valerie Brown’s own journey from lawyer to Buddhism
Now Valerie does her work from a place of softening and peace. Even with people on the opposite end of the political spectrum, she first whispers soften to herself, changes from the persuading mode to the genuinely interested mode: “Tell me more. Help me understand. How are you doing, really?” The interpersonal mindfulness shared at that moment is peace.
3. What is Engaged Buddhism and how Buddhism can help us today facing the pandemic and social movements?
Thich Nhat Hanh coined the term ‘Engaged Buddhism’. He chose to participate in non-violent actions that can increase the wellbeings of all instead of only praying in the monastery.
Buddhism teaches us about interbeing. We are all connected. When one of us gets justice and peace, we all benefit.
4. The friendship between Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Martin Luther King
This friendship is largely credited to shape Dr. King’s anti-Vietnam War stand. Dr. King said ‘I’m against segregation at lunch counters, and I’m not going to segregate my moral concerns’ while facing pushback on this issue.
5. How can we possibly understand suffering contains the seed of joy in the face of the pandemic?
“I am committed to looking tenderly at my suffering, knowing that I am not separate from others and that the seeds of suffering contain the seeds of joy.”
We suffer when we lost a loved one because we love them so deeply. After all, the suffering shows that person’s life is meaningful and valuable.