Inhabit: Your Resistance

Justin MilesDefenses, Ethical, Free, Inhabit, Leadership, Moral, Perspectives, Politics, Values, Video, World Affairs, Worldviews 9 Comments


“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”John F. Kennedy
“And every day on evening news they feed you fear for free,
And you so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me,
And ’til my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, ‘I can’t breathe’,
And you sit there in the house on couch and watch it on TV,
The most you give’s a Twitter rant and call it a tragedy,
But truly the travesty, you’ve been robbed of your empathy.”Killer Mike, 'Walking in the Snow'

piritual conversations often emphasize the importance of overcoming our resistance and accepting the world for what it is, exactly as it is. However, there are times when we don’t need to overcome our resistance, we need to fully inhabit our resistance. We can’t simply accept what is, we need to put ourselves on the line for what can and should be.

How can we bring more mindfulness, skillfulness, and embodiment to our resistance, even while seeing everything as always-already perfect? And what is the role of violence in protest culture? Is some degree of violence necessary in order to create real social change? When is violence appropriate, when can it help your cause, and when can it only work against your cause?

These are not easy questions to answer. Which is why Ryan and I wanted to talk with our good friend Justin Miles about all this. Justin stands in an extraordinary confluence of spiritual, political, and cultural lineages — he is an avid Integralist, a practicing Shambhala Buddhist, an active member of the Black Panther Party, a local community leader, the founder of a Black Power Meditation group in Baltimore, and a prolific hip hop artist. All of these divergent and sometimes conflicting influences have given Justin a unique full-spectrum perspective on the #BLM protests we see erupting all across the country. Watch as Justin shares his own views on this new wave of social resistance and gives voice to the incredible pain, trauma, and frustration that black Americans have been living with for generations.

One important note — although we talk openly in this episode about the possible role(s) of violence in protest culture, in no way are we actually condoning violence. Attempting to understand violence — even asking whether some degree of violence might be necessary in order to overcome our social inertia and get the gears of social transformation moving — is very different from actually justifying violence. And of course there is a fairly wide spectrum of violence, from physical assault to property damage to resisting arrest to self-harm, not to mention the accumulated interior violence of discrimination, disenfranchisement, and dehumanization. All resistance is inherently violent, on some level — but how much violence is necessary in today’s resistance movements? This may very well be one of the best measures of just how functional and healthy a society is — how much violence is required in order to enact social change? — in which case, our hope is “as little as possible”.

If there are any topics or questions that you would like us to explore in future episodes of Inhabit, please let us know in the comments below, or by getting in touch with Corey.

Written by Corey deVos
Music by Justin Miles and Stuart Davis

Previous  Episodes  of  Inhabit
Inhabit: Your Awakening

Inhabit: Your Awakening

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Inhabit: Your Bardo

Inhabit: Your Bardo

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Justin Miles

About Justin Miles

Justin F. Miles is the CEO of the Miles Institute of Integral Living LLC and provides mental health treatment to men and women in Baltimore City. Justin is a practicing Vajrayana Buddhist in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and teaches courses on Buddhism and meditation to individuals and groups. Additionally, Justin is a DJ, Beatboxer, Producer and Emcee and develops theories and practices to utilize the four elements of Hiphop as tools for increasing self, other and global awareness.

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is editor and producer of Integral Life. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.

Ryan Oelke

About Ryan Oelke

Ryan Oelke is a co-founder and teacher at Buddhist Geeks and a Senior Teacher of The Realization Process. He has an MSEd in counseling psychology and is contemplative teacher of awakening, healing, and embodiment. He has 20 years experience in meditation, particularly in the Tibetan Buddhist and Dzogchen lineages. Ryan teaches meditation and a way of living dedicated to revealing natural presence and awakening in each moment of our lives, regardless of how it appears to us.