Painting: Osun-Mamaki – Mother of the World
I just completed presenting a seminar called “Heart of Diversity: bringing compassion and love back into diversity at the Beyond Mindfulness Conference in Asheville. It was really powerful and water became a powerful focus and speaking point as. But this morning something happened As I went on my Facebook, something flew out of me and it was this:
There is something on my mind and I just have to put it out there – and it is about spirituality,implicit bias, and the ugly that has shown up on my journey to the Mamaki Emanation Recognition. This topic is sitting on my heart heavily since telling people in the spiritual circles about the Mamaki (Female Water Goddess/Buddha) Emanation Recognition and Ceremony that is coming up and will see me traveling once again to India. I have had a strange thing happening to me over the last few months of this experience and it is this – when I have mentioned the Mamaki Emanation recognition ceremony to white females I get many completely blank looks, a oh that is nice polite kind off smile, and a covered look of total disbelief. I have been trying to figure out what this is all really about and then I took it into meditation. I was surprised by the insight I got and it was simply – the responses you are getting are connected to implicit bias and racism.
There have been a few emanation recognitions in the West and they always been white women or men. When they have this kind off honor the white community speak of it very highly and are jumping with joy all over the place. And even though a Black Woman receiving this recognition is historic, because it might be the first time in our living history this has happened – the implicit biased mind chatter kicks in – “But how can a black person receive this, they have no authority, no real knowledge – okay they have some knowledge but not much, they can be wise sometime but they definitely don’t have WISDOM, they use to be my grandfather’s slave, they are stupid, contributed nothing to history, they were savages – so this can’t be true, this is absolutely not true.. etc. etc.”
I have received some blank responses from black women, as well. That has surprised me. They normally subtly change the subject, as if I wouldn’t notice – It is very hurtful and then I realized that is perhaps what internalized oppression looks like – when you don’t believe anyone who looks like you could be recognized at this level. Especially someone who seems so ordinary like you – perhaps if it was Oprah or some big name etc etc. So it feels like those subtle reactions from black women are screaming at me – “Girl you can’t be telling the truth!” Why? because that does not happen to black people – especially humble looking black women who look like me or you. This in itself mirrors not only internalized oppression but a societal problem where the ordinary person is not the hero, is not wise, is not capable of bringing change…, is not…, is not…. Instead it is always someone special, highly charismatic and outside of ourselves. Yet, the change we need to see in the world is not going to come from heroes outside of ourselves who do not look like us, but from us. We are the change we have been waiting for.
I have suddenly realized if I was a white woman in the spiritual circles receiving this honor and recognition – there would be non stop chatter and bigging up of that person on the internet and community, back slapping etc etc. (I am not looking to get bigged up, by the way – I am just making a point of observation). The more I think about it, is the more I am thinking there is a real sickness behind the silence, the blank looks, the ignoring, the changing the subject called racism and implicit bias in spirituality. That subject that NO ONE dares to even look at MUCH LESS talk about!
I personally meet the Mamaki Emanation Recognition from a standpoint of curiosity AND wonderment about what is our great Mother up to. I meet it with a deep feeling of awe, and sudden bursts of realization our great Mother wants to dig deep into a dialogue about divisiveness and oneness. You see the Mamaki Emanation Recognition is actually very interesting, it is a joining together of the energies of Mother Osun (Yoruba Female Water Mother) and Mamaki (Tibetan Female Water Buddha).
Many people tainted by a narrow lens would say, “oh how can this be happening? these two cultures are nothing like each other and well…an African Water Goddess is no way connected to a great Tibetan Female Water Buddha and Tibetan high Buddhist culture…No way! However, Kuten La – Tibetan State Oracle said the two Water Mothers are the same energy, they just have different names. I have found it very interesting how many of the Tibetans I have met so far, have been able to see beyond race and distortions of history. Could you imagine a white person saying the same thing that Kuten La did about Osun and Mamaki – their first reaction would be that according to history Tibet and African have no connection together historically or spiritually, so maybe these two Mothers are similar but definitely not the same (of course this opinion is loaded with unadulterated implicit bias). OH by the way all those things I said I felt at the beginning sentence of this paragraph – like being in awe and wonderment about the joining of the Mamaki and Osun energies – I would still be feeling these things even if it was someone else receiving the Mamaki Emanation Recognition.
The question that is often at the forefront of my meditations when I think of Mamaki and Osun coming together – is why? why did these two Water Mothers/Goddesses who are the same but from different cultures decide to join together? why now? I have not come up with any real answers, but one answer that does come to the prominence of my mind – is we are in desperate need of the birth of true oneness and love. You see two Water Mothers, from seemingly different cultures, could be coming together to correct the distorted collective narrative that is destroying our planet- and know that this distorted collective narrative is alive and well in the spiritual circles. We cannot heal the world with our implicit biases caused by a distorted “geography of the mind” (as Osun likes to call it when I am meditating).
The journey to Mamaki and Osun joining forces has been an interesting one for me personally. It has been a lonely one and actually really insightful. It has made me reflect on my middle name Ezolaagbo “One who returns the lineage home. Who returns back to her origin and plants a tree at her the doorway of her mother’s hut so the lineage can be returned, strong and unbroken”. Many people do not know this is my middle name, especially those who know nothing about my life living in London. I reflect back on the many years of meditation, being at the banks of the sacred waters, insights the mother has sent my way and the research she has made me do regarding our human lineage and how it connects through the footsteps of the Mother. I have reflected on how much courage the hero’s journey takes, how dark it can be and how shaming. I have gained insight through the very reaction people have had when I tell them of the Mamaki Emanation Recognition. I have reflected on how deep racism and implicit bias is, how much I as a black woman carry its burden, we as a society/community are destroyed by it, and how deeply Africa and the African has been left out of a history that frankly flowed from her very womb (that will be part of my Return of the Black Madonna book).
Being a former national journalist and from a family of strong seeing abilities – I am very aware of people, their thoughts, reactions and behaviors (even the hidden ones). What I have seen when I have dared to mention the Mamaki Emanation Recognition ceremony – so far has been frankly quite disturbing, saddening, and has highlighted why we need to heal our implicit biases and internalized oppression – if not we cannot heal the world we keep on bemoaning, especially us in the spiritual circles. I am slowly accepting Mamaki and Osun are going to cause waves in the very waters they govern. They are going to mirror ugly and beautiful all at the same time. They are going to trigger an age old wound and dialogue that needs to happen on very deep level. They are also symbols of separateness and they are also symbols of togetherness. They reflect the awakening that – there are no separation, only the ones that have been nurtured and exist in our own minds.
I want to thank all those who have given me courage on the journey, who also see the movements of the mother in deep ways and are able to connect to her beyond implicit biases in most of what they do. I want to herald such people as true agents of compassionate action and change. I want to embrace the community of the women and the great feminine and only ask that we all continue to grow in oneness and love together – while we try to willingly put our inner racism, implicit biases and isms under the powerful mirror of the mother, we say we honor. ONE LOVE TO ALL.
(Large acrylic painting by Yeye Omi “Yeye Osun – Mother of All Existence)