Engaging from Compassion, with Seane Corn
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In this episode of Talking Yoga, master teacher Seane Corn and host Colleen Saidman Yee focus on a single question, from Natalie in Lakeland, Florida: “What is your advice for how we can cope with all the mass violence, hatred and ignorance in our society?” It’s a timely question, especially since this episode was recorded the day after the mass shooting in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The answer, Seane says, is to engage from compassion. “Conscious participation for me is everything. As yogis, as spiritualists, we have the tools…so that when life happens, we’re able to stay in our bodies, stay in our breath, make decisions in the moment that are more mindful, compassionate, loving and fair.” Then, she says, go home to process: “scream, cry, rage and rinse.”
In addressing Natalie’s questions, Colleen and Sean cover much more, from the lack of self-esteem, which the Dalai Lama says is the biggest problem with the U.S.; to how we may all subtly contribute to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and ageism; to the trauma that keeps us from trusting our intuition and drives some westerners into the arms of ISIS looking for a purpose. Sean describes how her own past traumas have helped her develop an informed sensitivity to, and empathy for, people struggling in the dark.
“If we really want the world to change, there’s only one true revolution, and that’s an internalized one. We have to look within ourselves, see the attachment we have to our narrative, to see the ways in which we’ve made ourselves right, so someone else hast to be wrong.” But it’s not a quick solution. “If we can hold ourselves accountable to change, then perhaps maybe the world will change…Systems are just made up of people. Change the people, you change the system. Change the system, you change the world.