August 1, 2023

Rhonda V. Magee – Soulful Mindfulness and Healing Racial Trauma

Thomas is joined by Rhonda V. Magee, a leading mindfulness teacher, practice innovator, author, and Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco. They discuss how mindfulness has evolved from its roots in traditional Buddhism to an increasingly popular modern practice. Rhonda stresses the need for us to look at the deeper traditional teachings of mindfulness in their original contexts so that their depth and core essence aren’t lost.

She and Thomas also explore what Rhonda calls “Soulful Mindfulness,” which delves into musical and cultural practices originating in the Black American experience that has helped Black people survive from the era of slavery into the racism and oppression of the modern era. Rhonda explains how our attachment to individuality can lead to oppression, but our capacity for loving acceptance and compassion can lead to social transformation.

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“What we are being called to do is remember who we really are”

- Rhonda Magee

Guest Information

Rhonda V. Magee

Rhonda V. Magee is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and a leading mindfulness teacher and practice innovator. She is an internationally-recognized teacher, guide, and mentor, focused on integrating mindfulness into higher education, law, and social change work. A prolific author, she draws on law and legal history to weave storytelling, poetry, analysis, and practices into inspiration for changing how we think, act, and live better together in a rapidly changing world.

For 20+ years, Professor Magee has studied mindfulness, its underlying origins in Buddhism, and its potential benefits and applications in the world. She has been exploring the integration of mindfulness into teaching and learning, and social engagement, including in support of personal and collective healing, activism, and leadership. She has written extensively on how mindfulness and other contemplative practices support engagement in the world in the face of the multiple interlocking challenges of our times, including climate distress, migration, political polarization, migration, war, and their effects on us all. Along the way, she’s become a sought-after Keynote speaker and thought leader, inspiring others to explore the integration of socially-engaged mindfulness in research and in applications inside schools, workplaces, communities, and beyond.

Learn more about Rhonda and her work at rhondavmagee.com

Notes & Resources

Key points from this episode include:

  • There’s so much more to mindfulness than what we’ve sliced off for the purpose of commercialization and commodification
  • Our mindfulness practices should be grounded in an awareness of our interconnectedness
  • Black Americans’ 400-year struggle from enslavement to now has yielded deep insight into how we might manifest our full humanity in the face of difficult circumstances
  • Mindfulness is crucial to healing both systemic and personal trauma in the way that it invites us into a shared life force that is bigger than our trauma and our individual selves
  • The importance of being a lifelong learner, and the humility needed to view our journey across dimensions of time
  • How being in touch with the novelty of every moment can induce fear, and the courage inherent in being open and vulnerable

Episode Transcript