May 20, 2023
What did this episode awaken in you? Don’t be shy.
This is a different kind of episode.
I ended up meeting my guest in person, which, hilariously, is actually much tricker to record than meeting online. I had a videocamera I was playing with and found it really difficult to have us both on the camera at the same time and not look weird.
So I edited the excerpts of our conversations into 5 different video clips which I've posted separately on YouTube. Even though you'll hear the audio now, they're worth watching because Nala has a captivating screen presence and some cool clothes, and the passion that will surely come across on audio is even amplified on video.
Here are the topics she covers:
1. White people don't exist
2. The relationship between anti-racism, ancestor work, and grief
3. Why her ancestors had to be obsessed with race
4. How to talk to your ancestors
5. How grief can (and should) be ecstatic
I ask you, when you engage with Nala's material, to leave aside the question of whether you "agree" with her or whether she is "right". And to instead focus on what, if anything, can I learn from this approach.
Especially if you experience offense or challenge or another strong emotion. What opportunity for transcendence is encased in that emotion, that reaction? If we couldn't avoid it and had to go through it, where would we arrive?
Of course, for me, the most important of Nala's messages is the possibility for us to relate differently to grief. As the Buddha loves pointing out, sickness, death, poverty, loss, and other forms of suffering are human universals. Every single one of us has occasion to experience grief. What do we do with that?
Many people avoid it. Or suppress it. Or make do. Try to accept it. Try to move on.
It's something that can neither be expected nor controlled. At my best I feel like I am surrendering to it, not fighting it. And even that is rare.
But Nala's invitation is something else entirely -- to celebrate grief and see it as a gift. What if the whole point of mortality and grief was to give us access to spiritual awakening? What if the death of a friend or a pet or a parent is the easiest 10-day meditation retreat you could imagine, or give you the insight of 3 hits of acid without the acid? Then what?
That comes in the 5th excerpt, so be patient, skip ahead or check out just that segment on YouTube.
Okay, thanks everyone, and I'm turning the floor over to Nala.
And remember, The only way out is through.
Podcast website: http://momentumlab.com/podcast
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