Lama Rod Owens

‘I gave meditation another shot after I began to work with a healer who explained that meditation would be the foundation of self-care that would help me to address not just my anger, but also the debilitating experience of depression that I was also connecting to. So I took practice seriously and took risks in learning how to sit with all the discomfort that I previously ran away from.
And somehow I knew that I was taking a huge risk. This was the risk of beginning to work with my own mind, which meant that I wouldn’t be able to hide from the secrets my mind had to reveal. I began to pull the veil back. When you pull that veil back, you can’t just put it back if you don’t like what you see, because you’ve seen it and there’s no unseeing it (though we may try!). We can’t undo the things that we witness, unfortunately, even though we try to forget.’ (Love and Rage)

I received this book this week – it took a while to shop from being on pre-order – and I have been glad to dip into it. I chose  a section around this passage to talk about with my student group on Tuesday.

There is a combination going around in my head, and has been for several months (I may have even written about it here): enraged and powerless. One member of my student group mentioned it as his reaction to seeing white militiamen invading the Michigan Capitol; my response at the time was the the men with guns were also enraged and powerless, but rather than acknowledging their actual lack of power, were overcompensating for it, by the brandishing of automatic weapons. Lama Rod, in what I have read, and heard him speak about recently, points to how Black men do not get to be enraged, without a severe chance of punishment or death. I think the book is going to be an exposition of how to create a liberatory power through a skilful meeting and harnessing of one’s own anger.

 

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