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The People's Inauguration

10 Days to Activate Revolutionary Love

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January 22–31, 2021

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Day 1

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Wonder

Teaching and practice with Valarie Kaur

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Today’s teaching and guided inquiry invite us to draw on wonder as the building block for love and justice. We’ll learn how the practice of wonder is a way of being and explore how it acts as an anti-racism practice based on the premise that “You are a part of me I do not yet know.”
Home Practice
1. With every face you encounter today, say in your mind, “Sister, brother, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandfather, daughter,” and just notice what happens in your body and the succession of thoughts that follow. You don’t need to do anything. You’re just practicing being.

2. Write in your wisdom journal and reflect on what you noticed. Was it hard to practice wonder? What parts felt easy? What do the words “You are a part of me I do not yet know” mean to you?

Note: People who are difficult for us to wonder about are considered our opponents. We’ll get to opponents later. Keep your focus on the natural world, people around you, or people you don’t know.

Masthead-Line-Arrows-Mob

Interview and live Q&A

with Baratunde Thurston and Simran Jeet Singh, and Allie Young: “Wonder”

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Wonder is the practice of cultivating an awe-filled, reflective openness to others’ thoughts and experiences, their pain and joy. Wondering about others also helps us to wonder about ourselves: What stereotypes have we absorbed? Where do they come from? In this conversation, Baratunde Thurston, Simran Jeet Singh, and Allie Young join Valarie to discuss how wonder has been a prism through which to examine their own lives and the experiences of others from disparate cultures and communities.

Moderated by: Melissa Ann Canlas, EdD

Session Highlights:
  • Why wonder is the wellspring of love
  • Seeing others, even strangers, as a part of ourselves we do not yet know
  • The importance of having nurturing conversations and connections with others
  • Immersing ourselves in stories outside of our own and our community
Compass of Revolutionary Love
Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston is an Emmy-nominated host who has worked for The Onion, produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How to Be Black. He’s the executive producer and host of two podcasts, How to Citizen with Baratunde and We’re Having a Moment, which CNET called “the most important podcast of 2020.” He’s also the creator/host of Live on Lockdown. In 2019 he delivered what MSNBC’s Brian Williams called “one of the greatest TED Talks of all time.” A rare leader at the intersection of race, technology, and democracy, Baratunde is using his unique blend of insight, humor, and empathy to help us understand this revolutionary moment.

Simran Jeet Singh

Simran Jeet Singh

Simran Jeet Singh is a writer, teacher, scholar, and activist. He holds numerous fellowships and currently serves on President-Elect Joe Biden’s AAPI Faith Advisory Committee and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Interfaith Advisory Council. Professor Singh hosts a web series titled Becoming Less Racist: Lighting the Path to Anti-Racism, as well as Spirited, an interview-based podcast that explores diverse perspectives on faith and justice. He is the author of the bestselling children’s book Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon—the first from a major publisher to feature a Sikh story—and is currently writing an adult nonfiction book entitled More of This Please: Sikh Wisdom for the Soul.

Allie Young

Allie Young

Allie Young is a citizen of the Diné (Navajo) Nation from the Northern Agency of the reservation in northern New Mexico. She is a storyteller and writer on a mission to increase authentic representation of Native Americans in TV, film, and mainstream media by sharing the stories and traditions of her people that helped and continue to help them persevere in a world where they are largely invisible, underrepresented, and misrepresented. Recently, she founded Protect the Sacred, a project powered by Harness, that focuses on educating and empowering the next generation of Diné (Navajo) and Indian Country leaders, promoting the Indian Country Hero Challenge and spreading the “Stay Home” message to protect tribal nations from COVID-19.

Melissa Ann Canlas, EdD

Melissa Ann Canlas, EdD (Moderator)

Melissa Ann Canlas, EdD, is the director of education at the Revolutionary Love Project and a full-time faculty member in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. Dr. Canlas’s research and teaching focus on issues of educational equity and human rights. As a lifelong educator, Dr. Canlas believes that education should be directed toward learning to love and care for one another as we build systems where every person can live in wellness and dignity.

  • Shlomit Mendel says:

    Thank you for opening my soul to more wonder and acceptance ♥️

  • Gil says:

    Lovely intro Valerie. I have a saluki dog and when I look into his eyes I am filled with wonder! I live in Oxford, UK. All the live sessions go out right through the night if, like me, you live in Europe. What a shame.

  • MARK S EKDAHL says:

    Thank you Valerie Kaur! You are such a kindred spirit to me provided much need leadership! This was a tremendously healing experience for me. Awe, wonder, and taking the oath. Thank you!

  • lupe says:

    Fabulous intro Valerie .. This makes me feel so hopeful about everything.
    WONDER is such a perfect word. look forward to the other content . Although later because in Europe the time zone is different

  • Wanda Bedinghaus says:

    Valerie, I loved your song. I first met you in the Healing Collective Trauma Summit last year. Read your wonderful book, “See No Stranger”. You are a blessing to our world. May we all be blessings to our world.

  • Debra says:

    Also unable to access.

  • Heather says:

    Will there be a recording of the Live Q&A?

  • Christel Wecker says:

    Same, I can’t access the event, even though I registered. Please assist

  • Jan says:

    What a great. Idea to help bring our citizens together and not apart. I look forward to listening to the many guests you have in place for this Inauguration. Thank you 🙏🏻 Janet

  • dani says:

    hello. how can we access the event? i”ve registered but don’t see the access icon

    • S says:

      ditto for me
      access is not at all intuitive!!!

    • Donna says:

      I received an email confirmation of registration and below the dates in that email, there is a link that you can bookmark. The livestream is actually below the first video on the page. Good luck.

  • rhonda says:

    Thank you for sharing your gifts and wisdom.

  • robin c kuypers-witte says:

    I do not see any way to access this event after I’ve registered…????

  • Darcy says:

    Loving this journey!
    Deep bow to those of you guiding us and holding this splendid space for transformation!! What a privilege this is and what a divine and needed offering!!! ❤️🙏🏼

  • Chris says:

    Wow….loved the intro to day 1 Valerie. The most memorable statement for me was about wonder being dangerous, taking others into our hearts and “what might I risk? What might I fight for?”…..those statements really struck a cord, gave me nervous belly….hmmmmmm….thank you!

  • Dina Ayala says:

    Thank you. So beautiful and wise. I am so happy that you had such a wise and loving grandfather who taught you to be such a beautiful, wondrous child and person. You are a treasure.

  • Heather Craig says:

    Thank you so very much. I am so happy for the practice you lead.

    I have a very hard time with family words because that is the core of where I was hurt. So I use the word friend which is a word of being precious. Again thank you!

  • Tatiana says:

    Excelent reflection. I Will begin practicing it. Thank You very much.

  • Donna says:

    great start to a great program. i love the song,

  • April says:

    Can you please include the words of your song here??

  • Carrie says:

    Thank you; this is important work. I’m all in for radical Love.

  • Marijo says:

    Thank you Valerie for providing us with an experiential piece. This was very powerful!
    Starting with a childhood memory helped
    me ground this exercise immediately.

  • Matt Lemp says:

    Thanks. I find this really helpful.

  • Karen says:

    Such a WONDERful practice! I grew up with much trauma, and during the meditation I couldn’t recall any experiences of wonder in my childhood. I know intellectually that wonder must have been there, as I now experience it on a daily (almost constant) basis. I was overcome with compassion for my child-self and exceedingly grateful for the practices I discovered in my late teens (when I left my family of origin) to bring me to this point. (I’m now almost 60.)

  • vicki says:

    So very beautiful and meaningful, thank you so much for sharing your story and wisdom and love!

  • Lee says:

    The q&a wont play. Darn.

  • Kevin Howard says:

    Wonder is truly the secret sauce of our authentic interconnectedness. Thank you Sister Valarie! Love is Light…

  • VALARI J TAYLOR says:

    I realize that I need healing, as an African American women so deeeply hurt and scared by racism. The pain is not just for me put for my brothers and sisters and every marginalized group. I welcome healing. I am ready to turn my pain into action. I seek a better world, like all of you here. I am ready to wonder!!

  • Deb says:

    Thanks you so much Valerie. It was beautiful. Om Shanti.

  • Diane says:

    Powerful! Thank you, Valerie.

  • Nadia says:

    Beautiful teaching Valarie

  • Sandra says:

    wonder-full
    humbly thankful

  • Chelley says:

    This is amazing and feels revolutionary. Thank you!!!!!!

  • Rita says:

    Dear Valerie, it was a beautyful experience, I will practice this over and over again. 🙏💖🙏

  • Barbara says:

    Thank you Valerie for your tender, yet mighty guidance.
    The tears of many months came pouring out during the mediation. Such a needed release. I looked at an unopened Amaryllis bud – “you are a part of me I do not yet know.” what lives within? What color will it be? l anxiously await the blossoming to come. With such gratitude for this opportunity!

  • Jenny says:

    In the meditation exercise I looked down to see my dog Justice lying at my feet. And said you are a part of me I do not yet know. He has recently suffered from rapid onset blindness and can no longer see. Joe Biden in one of his speeches said “Justice is blind”. ( my first thought – how does he know my dog?😂) I know I am not as blind as I should be and I will be practicing today’ s practice with joy! What a way to see the world! Thank you.

  • Betsy says:

    I am so excited to begin this journey!

  • Denise says:

    Beautiful. What a beautiful opening practice to be a part of…

  • Cat Enright says:

    I couldn’t sign in at the time of the live presentation. Is there a recording i could access? I am loving these teachings!!!!!

  • Chelley says:

    So many resonating and deep yearning emotions! I was meditating while looking at my baby girl on the floor! How beautiful all life begins! 💕 So thankful and excited for this journey!!

  • Tina says:

    Wonder seeing no stranger reminder from my childhood bible reflections on the one body

  • Jess K. says:

    Truly a beautiful blessing. What a great way to start my day…in WONDER. thank you Valerie ♡

  • Susan C Brown says:

    Can’t get the video to play. It says Errore 101102. So disappointed.

  • Mary says:

    This was absolutely beautiful. I am so excited for this journey! Thank you so much for creating this space and sharing your story. 💜

  • Theresa says:

    Thank you! My Wonder today is opening to your experiences as a child. My response is wow! I am saddened by your experience to your soul as a child in the schoolyard. I am unified with you in the knowledge of the Oneness of your Sikh experience.
    My learning is that religion is the boundary that have separated us; when all the time the Truth is the same❤❤ There is no separation.
    There is only love It’s all about love!

  • Ann says:

    This is great. In general, I find that those who want to, but really struggle, have trauma/adversity that needs healing. Will there be practices and discussion that empathetically relate, and assist folks to recognize the defenses and self protection that get in the way of being able to wonder?

  • Renata says:

    Beautiful teaching Valerie 💕 it has touched my heart deeply. Looking forward to hearing more about revolutionary love.

  • Post says:

    I don’t understand why only people of colour are allowed to speak about racism and the fact that white people are victims of racism is ignored.

    • star livingstone says:

      I wonder w
      hat are you thinking of when you say white victims of racism?

    • Karen says:

      With all love and respect, I need (as a white American) to say that white people can’t be “victims of racism” in America, other than the inherent suffering that comes from the unconscious biases created by white supremacy which permeate our whole society and affect us all in such soul-damaging ways . Only those who experience the daily oppression of structural racism are “victims of racism” in America.

    • VALARI J TAYLOR says:

      When I hear statements like this I see them as throwing shade on systematic racism. Absolutely some white may have experienced racism. But let’s be clear African Americans are and have been marginlized here in America by white America since slavery.

  • ira says:

    what time does the Valerie give her talk?

  • Debra Sands says:

    Thank you…. you are so right, the last time I WONDERED for or about was more so when I was childlike. It truly makes sense to wonder about how the other feels, thinks or is. From today I’ll be more aware of it. Thank you for the beautiful mantra… You are a part of me I don’t know yet 🙏🏽🌸

  • Nora Daniel says:

    Beautiful! This is SO important. So thrilled to be a part of this.

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