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The People's Inauguration

10 Days to Activate Revolutionary Love


January 22–31, 2021

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Day 8

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Teaching and practice with Valarie Kaur

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Today we discover what it means to push in the context of loving ourselves. We’ll learn the elements of apology and explore the relationship between healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

The Four Elements of Apology (based on the work of V, formerly Eve Ensler)

  1. Self-interrogation. What made you or your perpetrator a person who became capable of committing this violation?
  2. A detailed account and admission of what you or your perpetrator has actually done. Details of what actually happened are critical.
  3. Feel and acknowledge what you or your victim felt and the long-term impact of the violation.
  4. Take responsibility for your actions; make amends and reparations where necessary to demonstrate the deep and profound experience that has made it impossible for you or your perpetrator to ever repeat the behavior.

Home Practice
1. What is the push you are ready for? Choose one option, then write out the apology letter:

  • Option 1: To receive an apology. Write the apology that you never received. This is for you, not for them.
  • Option 2: To give an apology. Write the apology you are ready to give. It could be to Mother Earth, a group, or a specific person.
2. In your wisdom journal, reflect on when is the time to breathe and when is the time to push. What sensations did you notice in your body as you engaged in the process of preparing to offer an apology OR writing the apology letter you have longed for yet never received? Were there times you wanted to stop the process? What kept you going?

Interview and live Q&A

with Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Susan Raffo: “Push”

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To push is to choose to enter into grief, rage, or trauma as part of a healing process. Pushing requires us to discern the right times to breathe and rest, and the right time to push through painful sensations, emotions, and thoughts to birth new possibilities. Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Susan Raffo join Valarie to discuss how breathing and pushing can help us to heal and to transform as individuals, as communities, and as a society.

Moderated by: Melissa Ann Canlas, EdD

Session Highlights:
  • Asking, “When is it time to breathe and rest, and when is it time to push for myself and others?”
  • Investing in healing practices that best serve you
  • Engaging in processes of accountability
  • Exploring the links between inequalities, healing, and justice
Compass of Revolutionary Love
Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Rev. angel Kyodo williams has been bridging the worlds of transformation and justice since her critically acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace, was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker and “a classic” by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. Called “the most intriguing African-American Buddhist” by Library Journal, Rev. angel applies wisdom teachings and embodied practice, and is a leading voice for Transformative Social Change. Her newest work, Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, is igniting communities to have conversations necessary to become more awake and aware of what hinders liberation of self and society.

Susan Raffo

Susan Raffo

Susan Raffo is a writer, cultural worker, and bodyworker specializing in craniosacral therapy, Global Somatics, NARM, and more. She believes in the culture change approach to how bodies heal: supporting the slow speed of healing that supports the shifting or integrating of deeply held, often generational and historical patterns that manifest as pain, anxiety, stress, and disconnectedness. Susan was part of the People’s Movement Center and is soon launching a project focused on transforming the medical-industrial complex. She also works with REP, a Black-led, community-based crisis response model. The editor of Queerly Classed and coeditor of Restricted Access, Susan now writes through her website.

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.

  • LD says:

    The interview portions of Days 7 & 8 both had quite long periods (20+ and 30+ minutes) of just Ani’s song (over and over) at the beginning. After the live session is over, please either edit those out or provide a note saying at what point the program actually begins!!! Glad I didn’t just sit and wait! Also want to echo the calls for captions and/or ASL interp. and/or transcript. The “talking head” presentation doesn’t work for everyone.

  • Gretchen says:

    Loved Ani’s song… and it is possible to also know where to find the music at the beginning of Day 8… such a gorgeous summary for these days.

  • Mary says:

    Can we buy the “See No Stranger” song?

  • Anabel says:

    Can’t we all be each others “people” ?
    Surely if you go far enough back our ancestors are the same?
    Isn’t the transition needed for us as human beings to move away from this total mind and body identification that we are in? That is causing the problems of fear of “others”.
    The most important moment, the only moment for change is not in the past or future( mind made) it is in the present moment.

    The coined term the ” colonized mind” is just the ego( inner critic -the me & mine).
    It is the ego that imagines a self identity that is a race or skin color black/brown/white .
    The ego feeds on on neg & fear it cannot tolerate love.
    Which is why we need an inner revolution and this revolutionary love movement is part of that.

    • Mary says:

      The problem is that many people, when they hear people talking like this, feel gaslit. They do identify as Black or brown or whatever, and have not been able to see things in this way. Many feel that when we say “we are all one” that parts of their heritage are erased. Maybe you’re right, but we need to be sensitive to the way other people feel when we say things like “we are all one.” We need to honor others’ realities.

  • Sheila says:

    For many years, as I read/heard how important Forgiveness was…and it truly is….I wondered why no one seem to focus on the healing transformative power of sincere Apology, that could help someone forgive and could lead, possibly, to a healing path in life from the harm they experienced. Thus I was inspired to write my book, Apology The Importance and Power of Saying “I’m Sorry” with the hope that it would bring awareness to the power we have that we do not use because of shame, ignorance, avoidance, etc. We can experience our own healing by extending sincere apology to others and owning our accountability for words/actions that harmed another. What someone does with our apology is not in our control…what they choose to do with it is up to them. They may forgive…or not. They may need time, they may not trust us, they may wonder if we mean it. Their response is out of our control. The act of apology though is within our control.
    As I wrote some guides to apology, one of them is to avoid the word ‘but’ which cancels out whatever words came before ‘but’. In other words, “I’m sorry, but…” cancels the apology and is self serving. It’s like a person saying “You did a good job, but…” One does then not believe the positive first words, only the latter negative ones which usually follow ‘but’.
    I thank Valarie and team for each of these important sessions and lessons, and agree so strongly with this lesson in particular.

  • Len Novak says:

    I simply love what you have birthed here Thank you all again and again.

  • Len Novak says:

    The perspective that presently “the PUSH is to Pause” resonates true for me. I’m a guy of 73 years and yet I value the childbirth metaphor.. As the ‘medical industrial complex’ and other substantially endowed institutions are rallying to thwart the challengers, it feels like a lot of folks may need time to even get pregnant. While the analogy could get convoluted at this point, it is my experience many beings have had enough of fear and are becoming impregnated with the consciousness of love—-a concept which doesn’t really require action. And yet there may be a whole lot of birthing to come——each in its own time eh.

  • Vida Anderson says:

    By the time I got to the 6th lesson it became extremely overwhelming & exhausting!. This program had way too many guest involved. I think having only one guest per day is sufficient , for 30 minutes per day.
    I loved Valerie’s introductions along with her great stories. This part needs not be more than 30 minutes.,as well. I can easily handle approximately one hour in total per day. This way it would helps me to absorb & review more of the materials & talks of that day more easily!
    I find one hour in total is plenty to grasp the idea of the teachings ….. it is enough to get the drift of the lesson of the day. ( including the write up that is so much appreciated!)
    I was able to get through the first five days okay. I just found it to be way too long! After 5 days , I was starting to feel it was taking too long to make major points of the lessons. The lessons from the compass was very helpful, along with the notes of the main lesson of that day., including what that teachings was about, & what the home practice list would be, as well as the highlights of today’s lesson. Making the verbal part much shorter & including the write up given to us, gives me a feeling I’m cared for. it also giving me more time & space to review my lessons & to breathe it all in! Otherwise the way it was set up it did not give that kind of time.
    Today (8th) I gave up listening to the second part of the conversation. … I was just too tired! I’m not sure if I’ll have the energy & patience to get through to the end of the program, to finish what I so love to learn .
    Thank you for giving me the space to express my concerns.

    • Len Novak says:

      I experienced Valerie’s presentations as incredibly wonderful. I soon found that the added presenter aspect was not a fit for me at the time, I suspect the availability of the other presenters could have been and or be or can become very valuable to others. I intend to check it out some day when I feel led and choose to take/make the time. Other than the pushing through the birth process, I felt no pressure to have to do any of this in any particular order at any particular time. And when I determine that something is ready to be born, I sense I will recollect Valerie’s encouragement, and perhaps some to the methods she shares here, to follow through. I certainly am not intending this as criticism of your concern. I do believe it is important to honor ourselves and our right to create our own ‘way’ in our own life and I also am very grateful for the comment space.

    • Mary says:

      Yes, it’s a lot to take in, often too much.

  • Anne says:

    Deep gratitude and appreciation to Valarie, the guests and Sounds True. This is important work that must be done for our country/world. Hopefully it will be repeated again and again and again in different venues so many will experience this extraordinary work. What courageous soul you are Valarie. Many Blessings.

  • kay says:

    Valarie, I am filled with gratitude for the transformational insights and inspiration that you and your wonderful guests are offering during these ten days.. May these precious seeds blossom into countless tall trees that will bear great fruit!

  • stephanie s. says:

    impressed and inspired night after night. much love and gratitude to you all for the labor of love in this project.

  • Katherine Catts says:

    Off topic and necessary:
    I am wondering if the videos in the package will have closed captioning. Being hearing challenged, I wasn’t able to understand many of the speakers.
    I’m sure I missed a segment of very rich conversation each time. .
    Thank you for considering this.
    Katherine Catts
    katwomyn99 @yahoo.com

  • Veronica Rivera Savage says:


  • Jacoby Ballard says:


  • carole says:

    i don’t believe we are at the place of apology overall. We are still in an unarmed civil war. Wish it was otherwise.:(

  • Denise Leichter says:

    Name and musician of music you are sharing…”no monsters, etc

  • Simone says:

    Please can we get the words to the opening song?

  • Julia says:

    I am repeatedly blown away by the richness of these conversations. I am thrilled at how you pulled this all together, poured your heart into these teaching, facilitated these interactions, and brought such deep, wise players to the table. Deep gratitude.

  • Len Novak says:

    Valerie As I hear, within the first 2 minutes of this presentation, that you continue in the process of acknowledging love of yourself for yourself, I offer this. As I explore this program,. i have prioritized your presentations. At this point, I cannot help but lovingly visualize the being that has had and sought to be with those who have had horrific experiences, and transcended them, and here she is now eloquently sharing, with purpose, those experiences and the tools she has learned and utilized to accomplish whatever level of transcendence and has developed this awesome program to assist and involve others. So there you have a few words in addition to the Wow and Thank you that has practically become a mantra, Sincerely Len

  • rachel says:

    This teaching touched on some real rawness for me. There is so much energy churned up and exchanged, even in the imagined apology and reconciliation. Thank you for the introspective assignment of writing to myself as someone who has caused harm to me. Powerful pushing indeed.
    So grateful for your wisdom, teachings, dedication, and obvious belief that we can all do and be better, individually and collectively. I am here for all of it.

  • Susan L Chast says:

    What about the apologies that say “I’m sorry, but . . . ” ?

  • Donna Anderson says:

    So wonderful! I am so grateful that I have found this course.

  • Kate says:

    In the process of forgiveness which I understand is for us, not them…I find myself wondering about what happens and how it happens that we can move to the freedom to let go of the hate or animosity. It seems that part of the how is to recognize the way that the hate or the part of us that holds that hate is protective. And in acknowledging how it serves us in a way is to open up the possibility that this energy could be better used and not so bound up in hatred. My question and reflection is regarding the patience and compassion necessary to realized that the hatred is no longer needed. For a good while it just may be that the hatred is needed for protection until it isn’t. Any additional wisdom to share re how that transition happens.?

    • Len Novak says:

      Could it be that the length of time that hate is “needed” has something to to with our becoming aware that is inherently harmful or at least aware that it has become harmful to ourselves and ultimately the universe?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’m relating / understanding this question and reflection… and curious to see how, as I practice release, I can discover the energy that has been bound up in “protecting me from further violation of my boundaries” can become energy released as freedom, joy, curiosity. Fingers crossed. 😉

  • Esther Mangzha says:

    Iam sorry i was not zble to attend. Can i have the link so that i czn attend.

  • Leslie Brown says:

    I am sad I have not been able to attend til now. Please help me find the Zoom link to join today at 5pm PST, and to be included in the next two days.

  • Patrick Watters says:

    Ultimately, we must simply go and “be” love, paraphrasing Teresa d’Kolkata.

  • Jim says:

    Interesting perspectives on a principle I have been practicing for over 2 decades. It makes it possible not only for healing but for eliminating possibilities of future repetition.

  • Kelly says:

    What safeguards and procedures do you recommend for small support groups in such matters? How do you help people in the group understand what their role is and what their role is not with someone else’s story about needing to forgive and needing forgiveness? How do you avoid people in the group pressuring the two individuals to rush to reconciliation because it’s inconvenient for the rest of the group? It’s important that people understand that not everyone in these groups has the social and emotional maturity to navigate these situations. Have you published safeguards and procedures? Where can they be found?

  • Laura says:

    Is there an interpreter or captioning to this? I would love to be included.Thanks!

    • Alf Bashore II says:

      This I do not understand either. I am also am hard of hearing. If this is an inclusive journey for change, then we hard of hearing people have been forgotten…Again! I truly hope that Ms Kaur will address this issue.

  • >

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