Ying Meditation

Let's get in between stimulus and response.

Ep17: We Hear You|Self Evident

This episode continues with the discussion of what safety means for different people and what is the future they are working for.

For Rachel Kuo, “one of the co-founders of the Asian American Feminist Collective”, safety does not mean more funding for the police departments and more police presence. She advocates for investing resources in community programs and looking for ways to manage conflicts without the police. She also emphasizes the importance of bearing witness and offering emotional comfort to our neighbors.

For Sammie Ablaza Wills, director of APIENC, “a community-based organization led by trans, non-binary, and queer Asian and Pacific Islanders”, safety means returning back to our community. The entire community can come together can lift the ones in need up. Safety means having people check in with you: how are you doing emotionally and spiritually. It means help people to acknowledge their real needs and ask for help. The future contains a system that we can have people close their shops for three months if they need to take a break.

For Iram, a junior at Virginia Tech, she and her mom Suja want the school to change the anti-Muslim curriculum and give teachers better resources to confront their own racism. I also can’t help but ask myself, can I be as awesome and brave as Suja, confront the teachers, to offer up resources if my future kids face racism in their school?

This quote stood out to me because it is all too familar.

“Suja: Our history continues to repeat this type of marginalization of communities by way of national security and it is, is a framework that continues to promote a very dangerous narrative because what ends up happening is these communities become targets, and they’re not safe and it continues to create a harm, particularly for children as they’re growing up in, you know, society.”

Full Transcript: https://selfevidentshow.com/episode-12

Ep16:反家暴路上的20年|不合时宜

https://open.spotify.com/episode/0PHaMzqSDG8TFAkYIMGSUL

这期节目内容量大,传达出来的情绪也很好,我觉得可以多次重听。有几条特别突出:

  1. 使用赋予受害者更多自主性的语言。任何时候停止暴力都不晚,让每一次暴力成为最后一次暴力。而不是暴力只有一次和无数次。
  2. 推动法律制定和完善很重要,推动法律实际落实也很重要。这就包括对于公职人员的培训和规定执法规范,对于民众普法告知他们自己的权利,分享求助的渠道和讯息。目前中国反家暴法,不对于前任暴力有约束力,只对于正在进行中的亲密关系中的暴力进行约束。
  3. 推动妇女保护是马拉松是接力跑,做能做的,但是要调整自己的状态,不气馁慢慢来。从受害者的坚强不屈,和社会认知的改变中汲取力量。
  4. 推动妇女保护是推动社会进步的重要步骤,这一个指数上去了可以帮助经济教育等等各个方面。
  5. 学习非暴力沟通,如何正确表达愤怒嫉妒不满等等很重要,使得暴力不成为一种表达情绪的形式。
  6. 要相信受害人的能力,以她们想要的改变为主,不以自己的意见为重。
  7. 解释了中国反家暴法的历史发展,和未来要走的路。
  8. Honestly, this episode offers a lot of great lessons on working on any social topic.

Ep15. Here Comes the Neighborhood|Self Evident

I LOVEEEEd this episode. They are able to capture that not all Asian Americans think the same, have the same language skills, or gravitate towards the same solutions about anti-Asian hate crime.

The episode emphasized that hate crime legislation is not a sufficient answer. Hate speech and racial slurs are not regulated by hate crimes. Hate crimes also depend on whether or not people choose to report them to the police or not.

This episode presented two different mindsets very well: support of more police force, vs against more police force in response to anti-Asian hate.

One neighborhood group in SF, San Francisco Peace Collective has an approach that they can help de-escalate conflicts through conversations without more police force. Often times the conflicts made worse by the language barrier.

Another neighborhood group in SF “United Peace Corps” however wants more police, more patrol. They want the police to be more representative of the people they are policing. Their approach is to get the police report number to reflect what they witness every day in Chinatown.

“When people talk about crime rates, they’re really talking about reports filed by police. If victims don’t report a crime, or if police don’t pursue an offense, then legally speaking, it’s like that crime never happened.”

This episode is able to present that younger generations might be more anti-police. However when conflicts happen and when they are not able to stop their elders, the only people they can turn to are the police.

There is also a divide between the attitude of SF Chinatown residents (in favor of more police force) and NY Chinatown residents (against more police force).

I loved how this episode presents nuanced approaches and opinions from the Asian American community on how to respond to increasing Asian hate. It is done through story telling which made me feel I was right there in Chinatown. We are not all the same and we do not all want the same thing. It highlights the importance of working with the local community and local politics. A grand national-level policy is probably not the answer.

Full Transcript: https://selfevidentshow.com/episode-11

Ep14. The Benefits of Contemplating Death|Future Perfect

Why would anyone in the right mind want to contemplate death every day? Well living in the U.S with the ever-present mass shootings, death seems more poignant and closer. Contemplating death is a practice coming from Theravada Buddhism. When we put death front and center, it might help us to understand what truly matters for us and what activities make us feel most alive.

This episode introduced many practices. I summarized a few that is applicable for me:

Recite 5 remembrances every day, even visualizing them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upajjhatthana_Sutta

I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging. I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness. I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death. I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me. I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.

Meditating on this can be my last in-breath, this can be my last outbreath.

Go beyond the silliness it might initially provoke, go beyond the panic ego will unleash, meditate on this for 20-30 minutes.

In the morning say to yourself: this could be my last day.

Putting death front and center makes us appreciate and make the best out of each day.

Then this episode briefly discussed how to deal with the fear of disease. Focus on the present and the present, this in-breath is just fine. Fear and worry are future-oriented.

Ep13. We Are All ‘Minari’| Loud Murmurs

https://open.spotify.com/episode/2HH68k4qkznpceFpMN599t?si=SRZWtXwzQ6yzvVJZaa5R1g

从各个角度讨论了Minari这部电影,我为了听这个podcast特别周末看了Minari。还没有看的朋友,先去看电影,podcast会有剧透。

讲了故事线的淡淡温情,没有大起大落,也没有最终救赎。讲了从孩子的眼光,理解的父母之间的感情,理解的姐姐,真实而且有爱。讲了妻子的观点有逻辑,她的愤怒没有被掩盖,没有歌颂女性的牺牲。这种家庭内部的互动,是以往很多移民故事所缺失的。讲了以物拟人的亚洲传统,而在西方语境下移民或许又像入侵物种,像没有作英文翻译的Minari。

又跳出温情的电影来讲大环境里,我们的身份认同,讲亚裔演员在好莱坞的处境。身份认同我也跟主播们一样是,Asian in America,搞运动的时候我们可以是跟Asian Americans stand in solidarity(因为其他族群视角我们就是Asian Americans),我们的语言逐渐成为了chinglish。

我自己的感想是,摄影和故事和演绎都非常匹配的一个电影,都是淡淡地将生活展现给你看,讲了一个亚裔/韩裔移民故事。特别有韩裔特色的一部分,是宗教的部分。看到外婆带来的家乡的食物,我真的有落泪,也是我的爷爷奶奶每一次讲腊肉腊鱼打包好,让我们带去上海的记忆。是非常特别地忠实于导演本人经历,但是又能唤起很多不同族群人共鸣的电影。

Ep12.Now Is A Good Time To Talk To Kids About Civics|Life Kit

You are in for a treat because NPR has a comic series accompanying this episode.

One of my new year resolution for 2021 is to learn how to be an engaged citizen. I know very little about it, but I trust my ability to learn. The recent hate crimes against AAPI made me want to learn more about how to participate in public life. Thus I googled ‘NPR engaged citizen’ and this episode jumped out. It was targeted towards parents teaching their kids about civics, but I loved it too.

A few points stood out to me. One is to practice tolerant disagreement, not to demonize people you disagree with. The other one is to take a neighborhood walk and see which buildings are public institutions and which are private ones (maybe what is the history of making some of it public).

Engage in public life with actions from volunteering, to writing letters to representatives, to go to a protest, to vote with your family.

Do not gloss over the hard history. Expose kids to different viewpoints and different communities so they can better build their empathy.

Finally balance the bad parts of the history with the good parts. Make it fun.

Comic: https://www.npr.org/2021/01/26/959656218/comic-how-to-raise-informed-active-citizens

Transcript: https://www.npr.org/transcripts/929549271

Ep11. Activist Amanda Nguyen on the Rise of Attacks on Asian Americans|At Liberty

It has been an emotionally exhausting day for a lot of us. I listened to 4 different podcast episodes from Vox, NPR code switch, Washington Post, and ACLU trying to grapple with what just happened. This ACLU podcast definitely was the best. It was recorded before the horrifying Atlanta shooting on Mar.16th, so there was no discussion about the instance. I especially liked this podcast episode because it humanizes Amanda Nguyen, giving her time to tell her own story and interest. It also highlights one crucial aspect, law making, beyond any community responses or government funding request.

Amanda Nguyen talked about growing up facing the perpetual foreigner stereotype, ‘where are you really from’. Then she discussed the intentional erase/neglect of Asian Americans in history books (including lynching and being targeted by KKK), consistently left out of polling, looked over by political parties. Often times in progressive spaces, she found herself to be the only Asian American.

Amanda then discussed a key tool for oppression is using the model minority label: you work hard and you do not complain. Oftentimes Asian Americans don’t tell their stories because they don’t believe anyone would care/listen. Visibility needs to come in spaces of empathy where other communities standing in solidarity.

In the next segment, Amanda talked about a huge part of activism: law-making and coalition building. She founded Rise Justics Labs, using what she learned from the process of getting the sexual assault survivors’ Bill of Rights’ passed unanimously to help others ‘pen their own civil rights into existence’. She realized the method was repeatable and scalable. Her team has also gamified law-making, giving people smaller goals to start with to avoid burnout for activists. Different civil rights groups learn a lot from each other.

Finally Amanda talked her love for space, the whole idea that if you saw the earth from the space, your pespective completely changes. She re-visit the perspective, what is her space in the universe and what is her going to do about it.

Listen link + Full Transcript: https://www.aclu.org/podcast/activist-amanda-nguyen-rise-attacks-asian-americans-ep-144

Additional Resources:

Anti-Asian Violence Resource (very comprehensive) https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/

The resources in the above link are all great, but I decided to highlight two specific ones that are relevant and useful for daily life.

Guide to Bystander Intervention https://www.ihollaback.org/app/uploads/2016/11/Show-Up_CUPxHollaback.pdf

How to be an Ally for AAPI https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2021/03/17/violence-against-asians-on-the-rise-how-be-ally-to-community-amid-racism/4730202001/

Ep10. What Female Characters Do We Want More Of On Screen (Part 2)|Loud Murmurs

https://open.spotify.com/episode/7B6s4mTuHCy5NAmj70AoIq

I thought part 1 of what female characters do we want was good. Part 2 is even more eye-opening.

They want to see minority women on screen, in a modern life setting with their own struggles and dreams. They want stories talking about minorities who look like Han people and minorities who do not (because the experience would be vastly different). There are over 100 million minorities in China yet their life have hardly made onto the screen. If the story has included some minorities, it usually is about some minority woman who is exotic and beautiful in an ancient China setting. Needless to say, not an accurate depiction which then becomes stereotype Han people hold against minorities.

Then they discussed that they want to see badass women superheroes who can get blood and bruises on their face, and maybe for once not a supermodel. Women become villans not because they did not get their ideal relationships but just because they are evil.

I have honestly never thought about how minority women are portrait and why there only superheroes with perfect makeup and hair. That was a big eye-opening moment for me.

They then talked about how the side chick is portrait. Why cannot the wife and the side chick become friends?

How are women presented in any video segments? First, the face, then the body and legs, then back to the face. What about appreciating women’s beauty from a woman’s perspective.

I highly recommend this episode to anywhere who are even remotely interested in women characters on screen!

Ep9. How to Become a Better Ally|How to Be a Better Human

  1. Working on mitigating your own bias, seeing people for who they are, listening to them, not coming in with ideas of how things are.
  2. Be selfless. Amplify the voices of people who are oppressed. Resist the urge to make it about you.
  3. Not leaning on people who are oppressed for your education. Your education is dependent on you. Do not expect them to automatically teach you what to do. Instead care for them emotionally and ask for permission before asking them to educate you.
  4. Stand with the oppressed and speak up even if you are not sure and think you might say the wrong thing. We all start somewhere. Resist the urge to judge other’s wokeness.
  5. Be open to unlikely allies, and be open to become unlikely allies.
  6. Move from noun, ally, to verb, what you are actually doing. Check your own privileges and see how you can apply them to benefit others even if it does not benefit you.
  7. At work, amplify the voices that are less heard. So and so just said something great and I want to make sure we all catch that instead of staying quiet or taking other people’s credit.

Ep8. How to redefine your self-worth| How to Be a Better Human

When we introduce ourselves to others with a job title, that is conditioned self worth. Conditioned self worth leads to compare, consume and compete. Unfortunately/fortunately this conditioned self worth has been shaken up during the pandemic.

Can we use this time to better ourselves?

First, have more self compassion. Reject the ‘what I should do’, think about ‘what I can do’, ‘is it a better way to explore’.

Build better habits to combat the wfh decision fatigue.

Balanced the routine out with scheduled wandering time, doing something just for your interest or do nothing at all.

Have at least one friend to have deep conversations with regularly.

Do core emotion check-ins with your loved ones: when is the one time you felt proud/disappointed today?

Take what worked for us during this pandemic and apply it in the future.

The biggest golden nugget in the podcast is ‘productivity is about unleash out the unconditioned self’.

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