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*
Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.