Seeing the Subconscious: Mindfulness, Psychology, and the Road to Healing Racism

Darryl Aiken-Afam at Living Room

Wed, Jun 26 at 7:30 p.m.   |   90 minutes

What can ancient Taoist and Buddhist mindfulness practices and western Social Psychology teach us about the process of undoing racism in our subconscious?


Ever since the first Europeans began to colonize the globe in the 15th century, a necessity to shape and solidify the perceptions of thought and emotion regarding human relationships was imperative. In order to undertake the huge global business venture of the capturing, selling and using other human beings as property to build personal, corporate and institutional wealth and power, a required “buy-in” of heart, mind and soul necessitated a dehumanization of all non-European humans (i.e. Africans, Indians, Chinese, etc.). This coalesced as a mindset or schema that can be called for the purposes of our engagement, American racism. The separation and loss of a great measure of personal humanity was a part of the price paid by the benefactors of this practice. The minds of the British, Spanish, Dutch, French and the Portuguese were encouraged to view their African, Chinese and Indian brothers and sisters as dogs, monkeys, less intelligent, less deserving of respect, and born for their personal exploitation. So, how does a 500 year old globally ingrained and enforced mindset become undone? Can it be?


In this Olio, we are going to explore the power of ancient Taoist and Buddhist mindfulness practices blended with western Social Psychology to find that the answer to the aforementioned question is yes! Social environmental conditioning that has been imprinted on our brains can most certainly be undone. We will explore a mindfulness-based racism reduction practice that was created in 2015 and has been used since then with various groups, organizations and individuals to begin the process of observing and undoing this social disease of the mind. The method is not a magic bullet but it is the beginning of a process of illuminating the mind and creating a daily lifelong practice of self-awareness, inner healing, and outer transformation of attitudes, behaviors and social responsibilities. This is a chance to tap into the deep and unconscious patterns of thought around race that have been embedded in our society and begin the process of having real and authentic conversations about race with people of other racial groups.


*This Olio will take place in a Bed-Stuy apartment. Address will be sent upon rsvp*

Teacher: Darryl Aiken-Afam

Darryl Aiken-Afam is CEO of AFAM Consulting and a martial artist and a practitioner of the Taoist healing and meditation arts, Meridian Cleansing Qigong, Zen Shiatsu and Taoist psychology. Darryl created his own system of Chi energy-based yoga called Meridian Touch back in 2000, derived from Chinese Tao-In exercises and blended with Zen Shiatsu, Athletic Training, and Martial Arts philosophy.


Venue: Living Room

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

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Other Upcoming Olios


A Dialogue: Buddhism and the Stoics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Bhante Kusala & Michael Prettyman

June 5, 2020, 8 p.m.

Seeing the Subconscious: Mindfulness, Psychology, and the Road to Healing Racism

Location: at Online

Teacher: Darryl Aiken-Afam & Robin Schlenger

June 7, 2020, 7 p.m.

Regulating Business in a Capitalist Society

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Plato Goes East: The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita

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Location: at Online

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June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.

Government Action and Inaction in Response to Covid-19

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Teacher: Rob Larson

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Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.