A Conversation Between Lama Tsomo & Konda Mason: Implicit Bias

The following blog is an excerpt from a conversation between Lama Tsomo and Konda Mason on June 6, 2020. Konda Mason, an accomplished businesswoman, community organizer, activist, and meditation teacher, is a dear friend of Lama Tsomo.

Konda:

You know, when we ignore that which is whole, it’s costs us our humanity. That's the cost. It seems like we're winning but we're losing our humanity. We have valued things over our humanity, the humanity of others and all life on Earth. This planet and that flower and that tree. We have a values issue. What we value is pretty twisted. That's a big part of what we've built. What we value is really a key problem of where we are. Basically, our worldview, our storytelling, our narrative, the lens through which we operate is at the core of what I think of as our madness. We put Band-Aids on the top of a wound and we don't get down to the core, to the base of it. The base of it is a mindset of how I think and how this culture has taught us to think about me. It's about me, not about we. It's about me. Me, my family, my version of what “me” is. The small me. That definition of me really needs to expand, who and what is me. As long as we focus on the small me, and that's our worldview, we think that we have dominion over all of the species. I mean, one of the biggest pains in my life is species extinction from human activity. We don't care.

We think we rule the roost and so be it. Each other, the planet, this whole idea of hierarchy - whether it's the global North over the global South. Whether it's country over country or gender (male over female), race (white race over everybody else). We have this thing around hierarchy that is very problematic. It's the worldview, the way we see it, and it’s what we've been taught. It's what we've been taught. We replicate it in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. So, at the core of changing any system, and so I'm talking personal now and obviously this is a personal issue and a systemic issue, right? For the core of any system to change we need to change the mindset upon which it was built. You have to be able to turn the lens back towards yourself to see what motivates you. It's very hard to do. You just think, “Well, I'm a good person.” I'm sure you are, but ask yourself, what are the many subtle ways that I move to get what I want and don’t want?

It's so complex being a human being on this planet. Most of us take the easy way out by being a consumer, calling it quits and turning on the television or whatever we do. But really take a deeper look. Ask yourself, what is motivating me and my family? What came down from my parents and from my ancestors? What is the lineage that served me and that doesn't serve me? That serves humanity and doesn’t serve humanity? What am I replicating? Those are the questions that we need to let, need to come to bear. In order for us to really transform, we have to change our mindset and our mind-heart. That's what needs to be looked at in order for the outward to also shift.

Lama Tsomo:

That means looking at the stuff that's underneath our conscious, in the unconscious mind. All the looking at unconscious bias, being willing to do that. The book Blind Spot has tests in there that the social scientists created. They took the tests themselves and they flunked it. They all had bias. They each, in the privacy of their own home, took the test, said, “No! That can't be!” They took it again and again and got the same score. So, they had to look at that.

Konda:

Bias is really hard not to have. It’s part of our discernment. How do we discern things? How do we judge? What is the difference between discernment and judgment? What is that thin line? Bias is like, I have a preference. Is it preference? I have a preference to have an iPhone instead of a Samsung. We all have our preferences. Then those preferences and biases start to mingle, and then where is that line?

Lama Tsomo:

This friend of mine, Francis Moore Lappé, who flips around the common “seeing is believing” and says, “believing is seeing.” What you believe then dictates what you'll see. It effects your lens; it shapes your lens, and that shapes the whole world that you see.

Konda:

That’s exactly right. I think what this moment is showing us is that it's not working, what we've created. A lot of us have known that for a long time. A lot of things are not working. I'm so moved by the young people in the street. I'm so happy they're out there. I am so happy that they're out there and that it is a multi-cultural, rainbow coalition of people who are just saying “Stop!” I think that we all are now. I hope most of us are taking a deeper inventory. There's so much pain. There's so much pain and suffering. There's so much pain and suffering and delusion. This world of delusion is just really having its way. Really having its way.  

Lama Tsomo:

Wow, yeah. Everything you’re saying is important and so resonant at this time.

Want to hear more? You can view the whole conversation here.

Published on Jul 16 09 : 00 AM