March 25, 2022
In this episode, Wendy speaks with Buddhist scholar, contemplative teacher, and social activist Brooke Lavelle. Brooke is the co-founder and president of Courage of Care, an organization that seeks to build transformational practice communities rooted in compassion, healing, and counter-oppressive frameworks. This conversation covers many topics, including:
- her trajectory of interest from mindfulness to compassion to relational practice to social justice;
- relationality as the starting point for contemplative growth;
- Courage of Care, and the CourageRISE framework;
- routes to understanding oppressive systems;
- the body as culture;
- the skills needed to build multicultural community;
- applications in climate work;
- the non-dual frame as an antidote to othering;
- and love as an organizing principle.
Brooke Lavelle is the Co-Founder and President of Courage of Care Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating the co-creation of a more just, loving and liberated world. Brooke holds a PhD in Religious Studies and Cognitive Science from Emory University, and a Masters in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism from Columbia University. Her academic work focused on the diversity of contemplative models for cultivating compassion as well as the ways in which spiritual practice and social activism inform one another. Brooke has consulted for various human rights, educational and spiritual organizations, and has experience leading national and international political, educational and climate justice projects. She consults to the International Solidarity Matters Project, is a fellow at the Mind & Life Institute and the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies in Germany, and has taught courses on compassion-based approaches to anti-oppressive education at the University of Virginia and San Francisco State University. Through her work at Courage or in her neighborhood of Gowanus, Brooklyn, Brooke remains steadfastly committed to building alternatives to the status quo.
- Radical Communion Program
- TEDx Talk: The Presence of Care
- Essay: Relationshift: The CourageRISE Model for Building Relational Cultures of Practice, The Arrow Journal (2021)