Special Edition: Growing Up Black in America with Cedi Ali Rajah

7:06- Curiosity versus “I have a view point. What do you think about this “thing” that I already think I’m right about.”

8:20 Krista discusses that white people need to be in the space of curiosity and get of the “trying to convince” phase.

9:25 What does Heart-Centered Listening mean?

10:30 Cedi talks about putting heart-centered listening into practice.

12:05 Pre USM Cedi thought that connection meant “you getting me” but through the work he has learned how to be a clear, safe space to “get” another and reflect back to that person “I get you. When people feel heard they feel loved.

13:29 Cedi tells his story of being a black man in America

13:45 Double Consciousness- Black Americans have a part that is instrinsically African and yet their culture is American. There are warring aspects of themselves at odds.

14:30 This shows up for Cedi when he is moved from Sugar Hill the suburbs to the ghetto of Detroit

15:20 His arrival to Detroit coincides with crack cocaine

17:00 Cedi sees first hand what money can bring.

17:36 Becomes clear that he will not die in the ghetto. Chooses the path of academia.

19:45 Cedi has bad coat karma. He tells the story of what his coats meant to him growing up in the ghetto.

24:50 Choosing between life and a coat.

26:50 Adapt to the ghetto or don’t survive

27:04 Katherine asks how the systemic sense of no escape, affect Cedi?

28:00 Even in the middle of the ghetto he knew “Sugar Hill” existed so he knew there was something else out there beyond the ghetto.

29:00 Cedi discusses black on black crime.

30:24 Cedi understands the context for why the crime happens in the ghetto.

31:00 Doesn’t excuse poor choices though.

32:30 Cedi discusses coping mechanisms for surviving the ghetto when he didn’t feel the same as the other black men in Detroit.

33:40 Krista asks about Cedi’s experience of being a black man at the University of Santa Monica which was predominantly white.

34:10 Cedi discusses going to Agape for the first time.

35:50 Cedi was shocked by the way a white man treated him.

39:00 Cedi discusses context is everything when saying, “I don’t see color.”

40:34 In the spiritual context where people are seeking to grow together as humans, that context gets transcended.

42:39 The history is so important but when we talk spiritually, we are only talking in the Now, but it doesn’t mean that the NOW isn’t surrounded by the context of the history.

44:33 A black man needs a peace plan when being pulled over by a cop. Cedi has a run in with a cop and he uses his spiritual psychology tools to cope with the situation.

47:55 The experience brings Katherine to tears causing her to say “I’m sorry.” She recognizes the white privilege she has had in her life has afforded her certain experiences.

49:53 Cedi expresses appreciation toward Katherine but invites Katherine not to feel bad for a system that she didn’t set up. He loves that she cares but doesn’t want her energy to be spent in feeling bad about the situation. Invites her to be more in the “doing,” like the podcast.

53:48 Katherine asks about the skill of Self-Forgiveness and how can we use this skill appropriately.

55:17 What does forgiveness actually mean? Cedi understands the concept of self-forgiveness

56:36 Guilt reinforces the judgment that started the issues in the first place.

56:50 Is it okay for white people to put their fists in the air at marches?

57:10 The question reinforces that there is consideration for race.

58:46 Krista discusses her take away around shame/blame and justification from a psst interview Cedi was a part of where the moderator said it’s ineffective to sit in the shame because it’s a waste of energy. Krista brings up the concept of spiritual bypass.

1:01:00 Healing must come before the “we are all one” message.

1:01:58 Must respect where people are. It helps to use heart centered listening.

1:03:00 Discussing being in a spiritual context like Agape versus the Facebook context. The intent needs to be love, not bypass.

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