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From ABC, this is the 10 percent happier podcast. I'm Dan Harris. Hey, guys, if you're either seething or scared or both in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, this one's for you. In times of national or international strife, we've made it a habit here on this show, a good habit, I think, of turning to Lamba. Rod Owens. Rod was officially recognized as a llamo, which basically means teacher by the Chicago School of Tibetan Buddhism.


After doing a three year retreat. He has a master of divinity degree from Harvard, and he has written several books, including his newest, which is appropriately entitled Love and Rage. In this conversation, which we recorded just yesterday, we talk about how to work with the anger and fear many of us are feeling right now.


We also talk about how to communicate with people with whom we disagree, how to strategically divest from people and technologies that are depleting us rather than self medicating with distraction, which is a reflex for many of us, myself included.


And we talk about why the most important way to play a constructive role right now on any level, and this may be counterintuitive for some people, is to start with yourself.


One quick technical note before we dive in. You may notice that the audio you will hear from me in the interview will sound just a little bit different from the audio you're hearing from me right now. That's because we had a technical issue during the recording, but I don't think it's going to be that big of a deal. Just wanted to give you a heads up in advance. All of that said, let's dive in now with llamo ratones. Marad, greetings.


Hi, how are you doing? I'm doing better now that I see you. I feel like my my blood pressure is going down. A lot more ads in the house.


Oh, I wish I could Bill for that. I get that a lot. I show up and people say, oh, my God, I'm healthier. And here's a bill.


Why not? Well, I'm curious to go inside your mind for a second here. And we're now a couple of days out. We're recording this on a Sunday. People will listen to it on a Monday. But take us inside your mind on Wednesday when you're absorbing the horror show on Capitol Hill. If you're feeling in any way dysregulated in the way many of us or if that was happening for you, what do you do to stay somewhat even in those moments?


Mm hmm. Yeah. You know, I think sometimes I fall into this belief that at this point in my practice, I shouldn't be dysregulated, that when something arises like what arose on Wednesday, I sometimes I believe what I should be better than what I'm experiencing now. My fear, anger, the fear, the terror, the shutting down, the numbness. And I'm able to notice that in the moment and come back to doing the work of showing up to what's arising.


So for me on Wednesday, watching everything, yes, it was this incredible, overwhelming sense of disbelief.


Right. And that created this kind of experience of of numbness, of deep despair, sorrow. But it was even much deeper than that because watching those images on TV, really a group of white people storming into the Capitol really evokes these images, you know, of, for me, white people creating violence and harm for people of color, black people. And it evoked images of the Klan invading homes of black people. And these are the stories and the experiences I grew up with in the South.


So I was just it re evoked all of that, those experiences, those narratives, that trauma. And it was quite overwhelming for me. But at the same time, I reflected on how yet. But this is this is America. And I think that for me. I never disbelieved that this was possible, like this was always a potential because this has always been a part of my cultural narrative as a black American, you know that groups of white people have the authority to take away something from me and my community, our lives, our property, our freedom.


And it was happening again. And to look at the ways in which they were allowed to do what they did. To come into this space and to talk in a way we celebrate it and to create this narrative of this moral integrity, that this is what needs to happen, this is what being a patriot is for me. That language, that rhetoric really covers up racism and white supremacy and white dominance and white rage in white violence against. Marginalized communities.


So that's what I was sitting with and working with and I had to connect with a friend of mine and we just sat and we checked in with each other.


You know, we sat and asked each other how we were feeling, whether we felt things coming up in our bodies and reminded each other to do basic self care, you know, like having water and having food, taking a break, resting, getting off of social media and the news in order to have the space to care for ourselves. So all of that was happening on Wednesday for me. It's interesting. Well, first of all, very interesting for me to hear the first thing you said that I've had this thought to and I don't have nearly as much practice under my belt as you do.


But how can this be happening to me? How can I be so upset, Mr. Meditation Guy? That's also interesting for me to hear that in that moment. It's not like you were doing some special tantric practice. You called a friend. Yes.


Absolutely. The basics. This is the basics of what we have to do when we're feeling alienated and alone and disconnected. We reach out, we ask for help. You know, I didn't necessarily do a chat or a prayer or work or go through a complex ritual in that moment when I needed to feel was connected and not isolated because it does it feels extremely isolating when the thought arises that the country is being taken over, that this is a coup, and that I have to like fight and I have to all these responses come up really sharply.


And for me, the quickest way to find the ground is to reach out and ask for help in a way energetically reaching out and grabbing the hand of a friend. And saying, let's hold on to each other right now as we move through this. Because if we don't, then that narrative spins out of control, you know that, oh, this is the end of America, that this is this is a coordinated attack and it's happening all at once all over the country.


And not that this isn't very closely related to the plot of Handmaid's Tale. So it doesn't help that a popular TV show is already embodying know this narrative. But all of that starts, you know, oh, my God, this is happening. Like, all of that stuff is true.


Then we're out of control, you know, for me, when I see out of control, it means that, like, I lose this experience of feeling grounded and feeling connected to what's happening in my mind, in my body. I get disconnected, I get disembodied, and then I just start spinning out of control because the thoughts can cycle into a lot of really intense places if we allow them to, particularly when we get really fixated and attached to them.


You know, the mind can go all over the place. They can go well into the future while the body is in the present moment. So when we're disconnected from the body is really hard for us to have a grounding in the present moment and to be physically situated in the physical world on the ground, you know, in a home, wherever it may be for us. I noticed that it wasn't just that you called a friend, as you told it, you were asking.


One another key mindfulness based questions about where is whatever you're feeling showing up in your body, which, of course, as you've just described, brings you south of the swirling stories and into something that is right now.


And these are the questions we were asking ourselves are really basic. And those questions were, how are we physically, how are we emotionally, how are we intellectually, how are we spiritually? And that invites us to return back and to say, OK, where am I at, where am I feeling? How is my body feeling? Where's the fear at, where's the anger, where's the sorrow? Where is the rage on? But again, I think, as I've often said, many of us, we don't have a practice.


In the moment of crisis. I was also reflecting on Wednesday, I think this is a quote from Bruce Lee where he says that in crisis, I'm paraphrasing, I think, but in crisis we don't rise to our expectations, but we fall to our training. I don't think that's precisely the quote. But that's the gist, that in a crisis. We are only embodying our training. I think sometimes we sit and say, OK, well, in a crisis I'm going to do X, Y and Z.


I'm going to be really clear and I'm going to I'm going to know exactly what to do. But when a crisis happens, actually what happens is I just fall into my practice, whatever my practice was before the crisis, that's where I'm at. So if I don't have a practice, then it's very difficult. But if I do have a practice and I just fall right back into the practice and this is why everything that I did on Wednesday was just really quite simply an expression of what my practice is like checking and tuning and holding space, taking breaks, taking care of myself, noticing where the energies are rising.


Right. And being attentive to that, disrupting the ways in which I may overreact. To experiences that are arising. And when I. Disrupt that activity, then I can turn back into the spaciousness, right into the space that's naturally rising around everything in my experience, and that space also helps me to practice clarity so I can get clear. Right. So and coming back to that space also means coming back to the sense of groundedness I often see in my work touching the Earth.


For me, touching the earth means touching my experience, even touching the physical earth. You know as well I need to touch something solid and tangible to use as an anchor so I can actually come out of the swirling mental narratives about how the world is ending and coming back to the ground.


I can say, OK, now what do I need to do? Like, how can I help, right? How can I support my loved ones? How can I support friends? How can I be a positive influence on my platform? A crisis isn't necessarily the best time to start a practice. But, you know, if if you're thinking about practice starting a practice in a crisis, please do so, you know, start whenever you can. But really, when I was training, my teachers always said, you know, it's really important to practice during the good times, practiced really hard.


During the good times, during the times where there's not a crisis, where you're not overwhelmed, really take advantage of those times because when something really happens, then sometimes we don't have the space to consciously say, OK, I'm going to pay attention to my thoughts, I'm going to create spaciousness and all of that. Sometimes we just don't think about it. We get swept up. You know, in the reactivity and the fear and the trauma responses as well, I think many of us were on Wednesday and continue to be so.


Can I get you to unpack a little bit the touching the earth, just so I understand it and by extension, everybody listening does. So you're in the middle of a day like Wednesday or in the middle of, as we all are, in the middle of the aftershocks. And you're feeling overwhelmed, I imagine. But you'll correct me that there are a couple of ways to operationalize what you're talking about. One is to take yourself out of the traffic, sit or lie down and have the support of gravity and what it's tugging you toward.


And then. Notice the reality of whatever you're feeling right now, that showing up in your body cycling, you can do that or you can do it on the fly in some way. So do you want to say more about the actual practice?


Yeah, absolutely. I think that's what you just shared is very much what I mean. I mean, first and foremost, touching the earth is literally touching the Earth, like I want to go lie down on the floor or if I can go outside, I want to lie down on their luck. I want my physical body to touch this foundation, this solid anchor. Now and so. I think that many of us feel like a. there's an airiness because we get disconnected from the body, we get swept up into the narrative, into the mental experiences and so connecting to the earth and a really physical, literal way actually reminds us that we are physical beings.


Right. And we're moving on a physical plane. The physicality, the tangibility, the solidness of things can actually feel really grounding and really holding for us. You know, now the earth, yes. Touching the earth literally can mean touching the earth, but also I mean touching into the moment, touching into what's arising right now in this moment. So I don't have to necessarily always go lie down on the ground. But for me, it's sometimes touching my body because my body is an extension of the earth, you know, so sometimes it's I hold my hands that helps me to feel like I'm holding on to something solid, something tangible.


Sometimes it's connecting to the sensation of the seats, you know, that I'm resting on or sitting on that sensation of my body. Meeting the seat is a groundedness as an anchor that can feel really grounding for me in that moment. The breath for some of us can be really grounding. You know, the breath is an extension of the body as well. The breath can also be really quite triggering for us, for some of us as well. About the breath, again, can be something that can be really grounding for us in the moment, if that's accessible for us as well.


You know, just stopping. Right. And for me, it takes a stopping and disrupting everything in the moment. So it's stopping and saying, OK, whoa, what's going on? Like, I'm really absorbed. What's happening? I see myself sometimes really falling deeply into something that's coming up, you know, and then I have to stop and say, OK, well, OK, let's disrupt this. Let's disconnect from this moment and let's go find the earth.


Let's go find my breath. Let's go find my body. I want to feel heavy. I want to feel solid. I want to feel grounded and connected to something bigger than me in the moment. And I think that's also for some of us, an experience of being cared for. So that kind of touching the earth practice feels like being tended to being cared for, particularly for those of us who were alone, like myself, who I was in the physical space by myself, I had to use the earth.


I had to call a friend, like I had to reconnect to the sense of being connected to the Earth and connected to people while being alone and isolated in that moment in and of course, we're still in the pandemic as well. Now, looking at that footage on Wednesday, it didn't really seem like that. No mask, no mask at all. But many of us are still isolating and quarantining. You know, and so on top of that, in that isolation, we start to feel that the world's our country is being disrupted.


So we can only I think for some of those who are listening right now, I think that we really went through something really terrifying, particularly if we're still quarantining and sort of isolating right now because of the pandemic. To not feel as if we have the resources in the moment because of having to protect ourselves from Colvert, the isolation and loneliness is not a new observation.


Drives up anxiety and there's evolutionary reasons for this, because a lonely human back on the savanna and the evolution days was probably a dead human right. So if we're alone or if we feel alone, you can be with a bunch of other people and still feel alone. You're going to be more susceptible to fear. You're also going to be more susceptible to propaganda. That may be a rough facsimile of community, but is actually noxious. And so the pandemic puts all of this on steroids and not in a good way.


Yeah, absolutely. Of course, that's that's coupled with living in a country like states where mainstream media can actually spin anything, any piece of news in any way, you know, so the media can actually intensify these feelings of anxiety and fear. And I think many people were experiencing that as well. And this is why I often advise, OK, we actually need to disconnect for a moment from the news, from social media as well. I think another piece of the social media piece in general is that, yeah, I mean, this is an open forum for a lot of people to express their anxiety as well.


So, like, you go on to social media and you have a tendency to encounter people who are just as afraid and anxious and terrified as you are and you're just emoting all of that into the space. Of course, you're going to absorb that. Of course you're going to react to that. And this is why having boundaries around social media is really important. I have to do this every single day these days that I say, OK, I can't be on social media for this period of time because there are a lot of folks who don't have a practice or who are not taking responsibility for or containing what's arising for them.


And the algorithms, as I understand it, reward the more inflammatory content.


Yeah, absolutely. So we have to be smart about self care in terms of our exposure to media and social media.


There's so much vicarious trauma in the world right now, and this is trauma that's radiating from the experiences of a lot of folks who. Don't have a practice and who actually don't know how to be with whatever is arising for them, and so all this energy is out in the space and we have to really protect ourselves and say we have to protect our energy. And this really is crucial right now to do that. Very interesting.


You talk about protecting your energy. The old me would be like, this is the premeditation. Me would have been like protecting your energy. You know, what is this, some new age thing? But I now I think I understand what you're talking about, especially as I get older and don't have as much boundless energy as I used to that just thinking about how I'm going to operate during the course of any given day, never mind when there's a crisis.


I mean, we have a finite amount of physical and psychic energy to do what we have decided we need to do. Right. By the way, our decisions about what we think we need to do can have a direct impact on the amount of energy we have because sometimes we decide we need to do more than we actually can do. But that phrase with the more evolved version of me does now really land we do need to protect. Yeah. The battery life.


Yeah. Yeah.


Well, you know, I think that you really articulate the experiences of a lot of folks when they hear a phrase like that, like all this new age or spirituals. What does that mean? I completely agree with you. You know, as I get older, I just don't have this wellspring of energy. And so what I have to do now is ask myself, what should I be investing in? What should I be focusing on? What should I be doing right now?


What's important for me now? What are the relationships that I should be focusing on? What are the practices that need to be doing? Is the work that I'm doing to support myself, is that something that should continue to engage in? I mean, these are the things that we have to become really sensitive to because I want to have the energy for the things that are really important, you know, and I think sometimes we.


So depleted when it comes to sustaining really important things like our relationships, our personal, intimate relationships, sometimes we give our energy away to all these other things in our lives. When it comes to these kinds of relationships, we don't have anything to give. These are the questions I think should be a part of a daily practice now, every day I kind of wake up and I go, OK, what am I focusing on the day? What are the things that I can actually divest from for today, you know, to give up, you know, because maybe it's not really a part of me feeling, I don't know, restored or cared for or replenished.


I'm particularly interested in investing in things or people that are also offering something back to me offering energy back. So particularly in personal relationships, I'm really interested in personal relationships where we're both offering each other support, where it's not just me giving something and feeling depleted and overwhelmed or the other person giving me something. I'm not returning that back. I think we have to look at those relationships and make some hard choices right now. And it's OK to say, you know what, I have to step back from this relationship because it's actually costing a lot for me.


I'm really investing a lot of energy in this. I'm not sure if this is something that I can sustain. Given the fact there are other relationships and situations that need to be attentive to. I love the idea of strategic divestment, of course, you know, just to call myself out here a little bit. Of course, that's more comfortable for me than protecting your energy because it sounds much more sort of neoliberal, capitalist, corporate. But anyway, I'm not a Luddite.


I'm not anti social media, but we can recognize that mindlessly scrolling can be just a huge suck on your energy. So strategic divestment might not mean you never look at it, but it might mean when you notice your zombie arm reaching toward the phone to to scroll just because you're bored or lonely or whatever, that you maybe do something more constructive or nourishing. And then same with personal relationships. I don't know if you've seen that sitcom on Hulu. What we do in the Shadows, it's about a bunch of vampires who live on Staten Island and and they all live in a house together.


But one of the vampires isn't a classical suck your blood vampire. He's an energy draining vampire is very, very boring. He seals their energy that way and leaves them lethargic and dark. You know, we all have people like that in our lives and one doesn't want to be cruel to them. But you want to be strategic about how are you going to invest with people who aren't, you know, feeding you back?


Exactly. Exactly. I've had to really create a lot of boundaries around relationships like that, you know, and I have gotten a lot better over the past several months, actually the past year, really communicating to folks that I'm not always available, I'm not always accessible by text or email, that I have to work at my own pace right now. And that's I think that's a really legitimate way of reclaiming agency over the energy and just and in that and I try to communicate really effectively.


I have different systems set up now where I let people know that, yeah, I'm moving at a certain pace now because my energy is going towards larger things right now that I feel are really important for sustaining folks right now. And there are certain things that you're asking me to do that I have to do, prioritize this moment. And it's not personal. You know, it's not about you being a bad person is really about where we find ourselves right now in this historical time where there's this level of distraction and trauma and suffering and anxiety.


You know, I'm always surprised that I have found myself experiencing a lot of frustration lately of how people tend to get busier during crisis, you know, people tend to use distraction to keep them ahead of the discomfort that arises during really difficult times.


And I notice on Thursday how people were complaining about having to go back to work or school and people really questioning, wait, our country just went through this really massive traumatic event on Wednesday and then Thursday, it's business as usual. Why are we having to endure this? I think that was the most important question on Thursday is why are we going back to normal when we've just experienced this extremely traumatic event? Don't we get time and space to process this and know because we actually don't have collective methods of collective mourning?


You know, we don't have we're not a trauma informed society speaking. I know this is an international audience, but when I'm speaking particularly about the United States, that the United States isn't trauma and forms our systems aren't trauma informed. Our schools, our businesses, our social spaces aren't necessarily trauma informed. So we actually don't have a language to talk about what's happening. I think this is why this conversation is important right now and all the work that many people are in our field are doing right now to create what we would say in the field like psych education.


And so much of my work is helping people to begin to develop a language to talk about. The suffering, the suffering, the mental suffering right now, the mental suffering impacts the physical suffering or discomforts and giving us the tools and the space to work through this for ourselves and in also collaboration with communities and collectives that were a part of. So I worry about our state of being trauma informed right now. I think that we don't have the tools, the methods or the language right now.


And I think as we know, trauma is something that can develop in our experience and we can definitely push it to the side. We can push into a shadow and that becomes really damaging and really tough to deal with as we grow and develop and so forth. Much more of my conversation with Lamar Rhod right after this. The New Year is a good time for a mental health check in better help. Online counseling offers licensed professional therapists who are trained to listen and help with issues ranging from stress, depression, family conflicts and more.


Get matched with your therapist in under forty eight hours and start communicating via secure video, phone chat or text from the comfort of your home. Join the million plus people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced better help counselor. Better Help is a convenient and affordable option. And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month with the discount code happier get started at better.


LPI Dotcom happier. As you know, we got a lot of questions submitted to us by members of the audience who knew that we were going to be doing programming around this, the first one that jumps to mind here is about. So this kind of healthy self-protection you're talking about. So let me play this one, it's from Chris in Pennsylvania, and then we'll talk on the other side of it. Hi, Dan.


My name is Chris. I live in south central Pennsylvania. I think in light of everything that's gone on in the past four years, culminating in what took place yesterday, the pandemic and the fact that I'm a nurse working with very ill patients, I am just struggling to protect my soul and my mind and my heart and just want to know how I can continue to live in a predominantly conservative area that supports our current president. How can I protect those things?


I just feel like I need some kind of armor or safety net that seems to elude me right now. So any thoughts on that would be so helpful. Happy New Year to you. Bye bye. Thank you, Chris. And just to say, let me read before you jump in here, whatever your political persuasion, you're welcome on this show. So if you're you can reverse what Chris said, if you're a conservative living amongst a bunch of liberals, it's also fine if we want you listening, we want everybody listening.


But the point remains, which is. We may be surrounded by people whose views are anathema to ours, and even if we're not physically surrounded by them, we may be surrounded by them psychically because we're seeing them on TV or on our Facebook feed. How do we protect ourselves in the face of that?


Yeah. Absolutely, and so it doesn't matter, you know, who we are, what our beliefs, our political, spiritual beliefs, it doesn't matter because for me. I always have to start with caring for myself in this particular situation I'm talking about. Offering compassion for myself and for the ways in which I'm struggling in the moment, and I think that. Often we're we're trying to figure out how to deal with the external world, how to deal with people, how to deal with being in places and spaces and communities that don't reflect us or, you know, where we're having to do a lot of emotional labor for folks.


So regardless of that, for me, I always have to start with identifying where I'm at. Right. My own discomfort, my own struggle. And I need to do self care. Self care in this situation means that I am doing something to restore a sense of balance of groundedness. It doesn't mean that I'm trying to raise or bypass the discomfort. I'm actually doing something to offer space to the discomfort, to allow the discomfort to be there. Right.


To give myself a sense of like openness around the discomfort that's arising. That's self empathy, you know, and what I'm taking care of the discomfort, it becomes an expression of compassion. So when I'm doing that for myself, when I'm saying, OK, I am experiencing a lot of discomfort, I feel that I'm being with it, then I can bring in other practices to help me to manage that discomfort, be in meditation, be it some type of movement practice, be it whatever kind of modality, healing modality that's appropriate for me.


I'm bringing all of that in.


So when I'm doing that, I can take a step further and say, you know what, I I think that so many other people around me are experiencing the same thing. You know, I think a lot of people are experiencing a lot of discomfort and they're doing the best that they can. You know, with what they know and understand, so I want to bring that kind of consideration, that kind of reflection to the experiences of people, right.


So maybe I'm living in a community where people do not reflect my political views. OK, but I want to reflect on that. They, too, are uncomfortable. They're trying to make sense of being in the world right now with the tools and the resources and the conditioning that they have. I don't want to see them as evil. I don't want to see people as ignorant. I don't want to see people, as, you know, not being capable of change.


I want to see people. As being exactly like me, as people who are experiencing discomfort, trying to make sense of that discomfort and then making choices based upon that labor that they're trying to do, and maybe I don't agree with it, and that's fine. You know, we can't fix everything. You know, we can't practice this comfort away from me. My goal is to simply allow the space for this discomfort to be there, in my experience, to understand that others are also struggling with discomfort.


And that's going to keep really in a very basic way of my heart, open. It's going to keep me open and sensitive to what people are going through, to what I'm going through. But having said all of that, I also part of self compassion and compassion for others means that I also have to set boundaries. I also have a right and those boundaries to articulate how other people's beliefs impact me. You know, and to be clear about that, it's not about judging people.


It's about understanding. Other people's beliefs and how they intersect. With your wellness. And I think that's the conversation that we're not having. You know, it's like, OK, you believe in this? I believe in this this other thing. OK, well, let's talk about how our beliefs impact each other and let's have a really clear conversation about that. Let's just be really clear about that. You believe in this thing, OK? Let me tell you how that belief impacts me.


It's more than how your belief makes me uncomfortable, it's about how your beliefs are creating a reality that makes it hard for me to be well. That's where we need to be talking and articulating around, and we're not there yet. You've brought me very gracefully to the subject of our next call, which is about how to communicate anger, and it's from Cheney. So here's Cheney.


Hi, Dan, this is Cheney. And I know when things happen, like what happened at the Capitol, it's really, really hard to contain anger. And I feel like we've all spent the last four years pushing that down with our loved ones and trying to maintain a level head and not respond the way we might want to, whether it be in person or on social media or by text or in any venue that we might be conversing. But I just wonder what is the appropriate platform, because I feel like we're just standing silently by and letting this happen.


And I have to feel like there's a way and a place and a time to communicate that. And I know it's not social media and I know it's not Thanksgiving dinner. So what would that look like? Thanks so much. Take care. Happy New Year.


Thank you, Janie. Appreciate that. What do you think of the foregoing gas I this is, I think, a really, really common experience that many people are having, like what is the platform? How do you express anger? I think there's a lot a lot that we have to unpack with that, you know, and I think.


I think this kind of relates to something I said earlier, where it's sometimes in the moment of crisis isn't the best time to start a practice. You know, even if you can start a practice in a crisis, it's going to be really difficult. And so I want to apply the same wisdom to anger. It's like we want to start working with anger all of a sudden when we actually don't have a practice, we haven't developed a method of working with anger in general in our lives.


And of course, this is what love and rage is really about. My current book is like, how do we start actually tuning into and connecting to the energy of anger and start really working with it? You know, because my work isn't to contain anger is to offer anger, a lot of space to be present. In my experience, I think we get into trouble when we're like, oh, I have to contain my anger. No, let's give it space.


The container is pointless. It's our reactivity that we should be focusing on. You know, I want to fill my anger. I want to experience my anger, and I don't have to react to it. And when I'm not reacting to my anger, then I get all this data, this wisdom about how to channel that energy. And I think we look at systems and history. I think it's important for us to understand that the things that we're outraged about are things that have been in place for a long time, I would argue centuries.


And what we're outraged about are things that are much more deeper than just creating policies are electing, you know, senators are taking over the branches of government. It's a much deeper, you know, than that. And for me, it's about first, starting with the personal and saying, OK, what is my relationship to anger? How am I working with this? You know, how am I allowed myself to touch into the wounded ness, the hurt, beneath the anger?


How am I working with heartbreak and trauma for myself? Right. And then how am I teaching others around me to do the same? The things that we're seeing now, the shifts in society and politics and we've seen accelerated over the past four years. We have to understand again that this is the culmination of many, many, many decades, centuries, you know, of a particular kind of American politics. And so we have to think generational about this.


And so what this basically means is that, yeah, I may not be able to impact the politics and the policies in this very moment, but maybe I can start working with younger generations, with children to start influencing them, to think and behave in certain ways that can eventually, over the next few decades, start building a more equitable society. You know, as I was saying, early building a society that's trauma and formed that's connected, that's about the collective, that's compassionate, that's loving.


We do that not often not so much with adults, but we do it with the kids, with the children. And I see that with friends of mine who are having kids, who are really instilling these values, you know, who are really quite conscious, making really distinct choices about how they're communicating to their kids about what's right, you know, what's ethical, what's healthy. And so I just encourage folks like if you really care about the direction of the country, I want you to start really working with people around you, especially the young folks around you, and saying, you know what, right now, like, things are really hard, but you have this incredible opportunity to build a future.


Right. And maybe older folks right now is really hard for us. But you have this tremendous opportunity. And what can I do to support you? You know, we have lots of racist, homophobic folks coming up and they're teaching their young people how to be racist or homophobic, you know, and whatever. Right. And so we have to do the same if we want to support values that are much more equitable and justice oriented and so forth.


But, you know, just briefly, wrapping up, you know, the heart of this question that was just offered to us, we have to take care of the anger for ourselves and our own experience again. But offering space to that anger, you know, and then looking at how really to create change by working with young people, you know, and just by working with other folks around us, our loved ones, and just saying, you know what, let's talk about this stuff.


You know, let's stop assuming, you know, that my partners on the same page or that my cousin or my sibling, we're all on the same page politically. Let's talk about this. We were going to be really surprised at the conversations that we have. The beliefs of those closest to us, you know. But this is how change happens, you know, quite honestly and again, I think we all have different responsibilities depending on our different identity locations.


People who identify as white and who are red, as white and the world have a different kind of responsibility than I do as a black person. But we have to stand and I have talked about this before in our podcast race, that white folks have a different kind of responsibility to disrupt the reality of white supremacy, you know, and that means that we have to start educating yourself. You have to start doing the readings and having the conversations and doing what you can to divest from the system that grants automatic privilege.


Right. And again, looking at everything on Wednesday, there should be no question that white supremacy is a thing, you know, particularly looking at the work that many news outlets have been doing to compare what happened on Wednesday to the Black Lives Matter protests, the kind of severe brutality that Black Lives protesters experience compared to what happened on Wednesday when a group of white folks just kind of walked into the Capitol and started trashing it and how officers and police authorities were taking selfies, you know, not all of them know again, but there was a kind of welcoming.


Of that presence in the capital, which is really scary, and again, I'm situated also at my outrage, you know, but I have learned to take care of my anger and to channel it into doing things like this and to educating and to offering practices and spaces for people to feel as if they have at agency with and over their anger so they can start making different decisions to create change, lasting change, systematic change. That's what we have to start thinking about.


And the road is long, but we have to start somewhere. And you're going to be very surprised at how much of this work is really just about you doing work for yourself in order to influence others around you. Just to say about the specifics of what happened on Wednesday, I don't think any of us has a panoramic view at this point to. It was chaotic and for many parts of it, there couldn't be media observers because it wasn't safe.


And so we're sort of piecing it together and there hopefully will be. Systematic investigations, but I think what we do know now that we didn't know Wednesday, Thursday, maybe even Friday, was that while obviously something was rotten, something was incredibly wrong. With the security situation, there were people in the Capitol Police who were behaving quite heroically to fight off. The insurrectionists, the rioters, I mean, one guy died and there's other video of Capitol Police officer alone in a swarm of rioters howling in pain as he's being pinned up against a wall.


So and then you have that moment that, again, is not fully explained, but the selfie moment that is hard to watch. And I don't know if that was a moment of camaraderie or a moment of like I'm trying to survive while I'm surrounded. But clearly something was wrong. But I also want to be fair. And you were to about not all of the Capitol Police behaved an ignominious fashion. I just want to make sure I'm fair as again, I appreciate you were to.


You know, on the issue of anger, I found that, you know, taking care of it, which you've described as a way to work with it, to be immensely helpful in another sort of deeper thing that I'm only sort of episodically able to apply or to even understand is to see the anger is not mine, that on some really important level, anger is an impersonal force. And when you can depersonalize it, not to pretend it doesn't exist, this isn't a a numbing out or or running way, but to see in a very intimate way, once you've taken care of it, that if you investigate the anger, it's it is an impersonal force that's moving through and that can be liberating.


That makes sense what I'm saying. Oh, absolutely, yeah, absolutely that that does make sense. You know, and I would add also another aspect to that, that claiming that anger can also be liberating as well. I think both can be true. I think there is you know, obviously there's this ultimate truth to the way we're working with our minds. And but when we put that into conversation with the relative truth of things, they have to work in concert and collaboration.


So for me, you know, if people read my work, Love and Rage, you know, in my meditation method, I have an opening stage where I ask people to actually self identify. With anger or with any emotion, really, you know, but definitely with anger to say this is happening in my experience, because for me, growing up in a black body in this country, one of the traumas that I work with is this belief that my body doesn't belong to me.


Well, actually, nothing belongs to me that's transferred to local trauma that's passed through my family, you know, that began with my enslaved ancestors who were owned body, mind and spirit, you know. And so I have had my practice to go through a process of reclaiming everything and saying this is mine. Like this anger has to be mine because I have to clean. I need to have agency over something, you know, and once I have that sense of agency, once I've cleaned it, then really I have this incredible agency to also let it go.


Once I have it, I can let it go. And that moves me into the ultimate understanding of the teaching that you just shared as well. It's like, yeah, it can become impersonal only after I see it as my first to let go of a trauma informed Buddhism.


I think I think actually Buddhism is quite common form, but I think we have to do a little work to pull out that wisdom for us. But yeah, I think absolutely the language of trauma and being trauma informed is new. I think it's still relatively new, particularly in contemporary, you know, spaces, contemporary mindfulness in particular. I know people are doing really great work with that, but we we have a lot of work to go. And so that's my work falls into that intersection, you know, of meditation and trauma.


Also, identity and depression fit into that as well for me. So it makes it all quite complex and nuanced. But this is the work when I talk about becoming trauma informed, this is the work. And that work is really just again, basically examining our experience, you know, just saying, OK, what is this for me? What's happening for me? Like what what what's the language? What's what's the methodology that's helping me to feel spacious and open?


And fillings, if I have agency, was working for me to experience that, you know, because it's all just about getting free rides, all about spaciousness, openness, you know, having the space to not react.


That's why I understand freedom to be. And so whatever gets me there gets me there. Sometimes we have to tweak the things to tweak the common wisdom to get us there. But as long as we get there, that's the point. We've talked a lot about anger. I've sometimes heard anger described as a secondary emotion, that usually there's something beneath it in my case, if I look closely, it's tough and fear. So we've got one last voice I want to play for you that is about fear.


And here it is. Hi, I have a concern that I'm appalled by what happened at the Capitol, and I feel a sense of fear about it just for the safety of our country. I don't know. This just seems like a scary, dark reality. And my biggest challenge is my youngest son supports this activity and this movement. And I love him dearly. And we're very close. And I am struggling to know how to navigate this precious relationship with an adult son.


He's twenty two, has a fiancee and a two year old that I adore. And I'm very close with them. So I don't want this to come between us. But I'm just feeling really uncomfortable about this situation that took place yesterday and the fact that he supports it. So if there's any way that you could address that or give me some advice, I would so appreciate it. Thank you, Dan. And your team. Well, it seems like there are two big things in there, there's the fear.


How do we work with fear, but I think are more acute issue is how does she talk to the son? That strikes me as not easy.


It's not easy. I'm working with fear and having these really tough relationships.


None of this is easy and it's really quite complex and I think. Relating to complexity is exhausting, and I know that not all of us have the mental energy, the capacity to show up to this level of complexity in a way that can create some change.


So I completely I can completely relate to everything that this mother has shared, you know, just beginning with fear itself. I think fear is another experience that we bring the same practice to the same practice we use for anger. We bring it to to work with fear from me, fear that all kinds of fears. But often in my practice, I understand fear as anxiety about the future. You know, it's it's a worry about something that we don't understand.


And it's hard for us to have a sense of groundedness and clarity, you know, about what's happening. And so I want to bring the same level spaciousness. I want to bring the same level of disrupting reactivity. I want to. Experience the fear. I want to know what the fear feels like in my mind and my body. I want to take care of the fear.


And all these exact same ways, and then the space is there and I'm able to to have more clarity and more wisdom, and I think one of the things that spaciousness around fear helps me to work with is that maybe things aren't going to turn out in the way that I want them to turn out. You know that there is a level of holding space for the reality of things, you know that there are things that will happen regardless of what I do or not do.


And that takes me even deeper into the work of mourning. Right. Touching into the grief and allowing that that sadness, the sorrow to be there and my experience and to mourn everything that I want to be different, but I know won't be different, you know, regardless of how much I work for for that change. We're talking about working, doing the same work and relationships. We bring the same practice. Right. And I think for me, having.


Had a lot of these experiences of trying to change people, you know, and trying to these experiences of seeing people make choices that I feel like are really harmful, and having gone through this experience of trying to disrupt those choices, I know now that so much of the work for me is about regardless trying to show up in a really loving. Clear, direct way with everyone, and that somehow this embodiment of clarity and love is somehow helping, you know, so it doesn't mean that like I'm showing up condoning or enabling people.


It means that, like. I'm not avoiding what's happening in the relationship. I'm not avoiding the choices that that's someone I love is making and maybe practicing the wisdom of not being. Aggressive and how warning things to change, because I think that aggressiveness can create more defensiveness and they can push people away even further, and I think that kind of practice also helps us to have the space and the clarity to connect to the wounded, less the hurt that other people are experiencing.


So in this question, I just feel like, yeah, yeah, the son is experiencing a lot of hurts. You know, I would also assume that. That hurt is being. Uncared for, right, and so there are choices they're being made by the sun to kind of get wrapped up in supporting this kind of movement right now, thinking that that's somehow addressing the hurt when it really isn't. And I just feel like so much of this liberation, this freedom or change that we're trying to bring about is really about encouraging people to be with the hurt that they're experiencing.


I think that's one of the best things that we can do right now. Of course, I would say sometimes, oh, you know, this person, the son just needs to go to an anti-racism workshop or they need to read this book about white supremacy. They need to watch this documentary, you know, or they need to go to, you know, to do this workshop or whatever. I think that's oversimplistic. You know, I think that people need to be invited to really experience their hurt and to be cared for as they experience their hurt.


You know. To experience the herd in order to disrupt the reactivity to the anger and to the frustration and disappointment. As well. We're not again, we're not common forms, you know, and that even suggests that we are also lacking the methods to really take care of our broken heartedness as well. There's a lot of sadness as a lot of sorrow right now, but there's not a lot of people offering really transformative, authentic ways of taking care of that sorrow, the broken heartedness, as I call it, in my work.


And again, just reemphasizing that.


I don't think everyone's going to be saved. I think there are people who were who've walked down a path of beliefs and attitudes that they won't be able or they don't have the capacity of the resources to return from. I don't think everyone can be changed. I don't think everyone can be rehabilitated in the way that we think. Again, a lot of us won't have the capacity to do the work to change. And I have to accept that. But I can still show up as compassionate as possible, but also knowing that I may have to set boundaries to protect myself as I'm trying to to offer this compassion to others.


So, yeah, I know people I've been in a relationship with folks like this, you know, and. Yes, I completely disagree. Yeah, it's completely like out there for me, you know, to to sit and listen to people, to share views about how.


You know. These communities of color are lazy or that they complain or they're trying to take over America. I've heard people say that to me. And to hold that with compassion means that I'm holding myself first and foremost with compassion, you know, and also realizing that, yeah, maybe this person isn't going to change. You know, and no matter what I do, no matter what I say, it may not have it impacts. And that has to be OK.


It has to be OK. Some people will change. Absolutely. Some people won't. And that's the reality. But regardless, I continue to take care of myself and I continue to show up as much as possible to be of benefit. But after that, whatever happens, happens.


Incredibly useful advice, both practical and profound, I think listeners will understand why we turn to Rudd in moments of national and international peril on the regular MARAD. Thank you very much for doing this. And everybody should check out his book, Love and Rage. Thank you again. Thanks again to Rod, always grateful to Rod for making himself available on short notice often and again, don't forget his most recent book, Love and Rage, subtitled The Path of Liberation Through Anger.


Before I go, I just want to say two things. One is that on Wednesday, we're going to have a special episode with Jack Kornfield, who we also asked to come on the show on short notice to talk about everything that's going on in the world and how he's coping with it and how he thinks we can, too. So that's coming up on Wednesday. Second thing I want to say is thank you to all of you for listening and to everybody who worked so hard to make this show a reality, including a lot of people who worked hard on a Sunday to make this particular episode a reality.


Samuel Johns is our senior producer, Jay Cashmeres. Our producer, Jules Dodson is our A.P. Our sound designer is Matt Boynton from Ultraviolet Audio. Maria Wartell is our production coordinator. We get an enormous amount of help and wisdom and guidance from our colleagues, including Jen Point, Nate Toby, Ben Reuben and Liz Levin. Also, of course, big thank you to my ABC News comrade's Ryan Kessler and Josh Cohen. We'll see you all on Wednesday with that special episode with Jack Kornfield.