Social justice, yoga and mindfulness…
Leslie Booker (profile) (a.k.a. Booker), who brings her heart, wisdom, and compassion to the intersection of social justice, yoga, and mindfulness, joins Julie Chan in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.
An inclination to help, working with vulnerable populations, and three poisons
Booker discusses mapping that went back to Ronald Reagan, seeing people experiencing homelessness, and how her heart is inclined toward needs for help. How sense of groundedness and peace in yoga and meditation fits into helping with issues. How meditation helps bring things up and to our truth and gives us tools to work with. Work with vulnerable populations, making note of when body comes to rest, creating boundaries to take care of ourselves, working with staff now, training others to do what she was doing, activism because of crazy world, and how we live in a culture founded on the three poisons — hatred, greed and delusion.
The delusion of power, dharma, and incorporating activism
Taking a pause, and seeing humanity in others allows freedom from holding on to others. How we’ve been trained to be competitive, that power is a delusion, and our habit of squashing another to get there. “Power over” vs. “power with”. “This and also” vs. “this, not that”. Leaning into relationships and listening. How people are scared of what they think they already have, that fighting against doesn’t work and the meaning of dharma and why she loves it. A rolling retreat for the March for Racial Justice, her time during the Occupy Wall Street movement, listening to people’s stories, and being involved in many of teachings down there. How she had taken a long time away from activism, and wanted to incorporate activism with her practice and realized people need a space to be human. The expectation in activism to be a martyr, pushing for the movement, but people are exhausted with often a 24hour way of living.
Reclaiming energy, taking action, and lifting up together
How Booker and others would offer meditation in the park to bring them back to humanity, bring compassion and love for themselves, reclaiming energy. How she started project to support sustainability, so people could be deeper into their bodies – she realized something about integration of mindfulness and activism. How she learned suffering isn’t something we just have to live in and how to navigate working with vulnerable populations. Taking action. Mindfulness in America, dharma, social justice, yoga and mindfulness. Working with people who are learning how to meet with people who are trying to harm us. And how lifting up together we can get where we want.