Episode 278 :: Reva Patwardhan :: Cultural Appropriation

| August 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

Reva Patwardhan

Reva Patwardhan joins us to speak about her article, The Freedom Trap: Where Conversations About Cultural Appropriation Go To Die.

There’s a lot of talk about cultural appropriation lately, and much of it has been just that — talk, not conversation, not engagement, and very rarely dialogue. The topic is very difficult to have in a multi-cultural society where the lines of distinction may be a bit fuzzy around the edges, and it’s not always clear what’s appropriation, and what’s appreciation. The problems inherent with the complexity of the topic have been magnified because of the quality of the talking, and perhaps not enough listening, with curiosity, maybe kindness, maybe willingness to stumble.

Reva Patwardhan has over fifteen years of broad experience in the nonprofit sector. Before becoming an executive coach, she was a fundraiser, a communications director, a diversity trainer, a brand strategist, a board member and a lobbyist. Pursuing her lifelong interest in leadership development, Reva became certified as an Integral Coach from New Ventures West. Since becoming an executive coach, she has joined the Board of Directors at Rethink Media, and the Board of Directors at Peace Action. Reva also serves as a faculty coach at Aletheia: A School of Integral Unfoldment.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice tea of your choice, that may have some cultural meaning to you.


“This is a clash between two worldviews. One is of personal freedom and entitlement, and the other is of respect and deference.

“Cultural appropriation is one way these worldviews clash. And while it may be hard to see from within the dominant culture, it’s pretty conspicuous for many of us on the margins.

“And though we may all have our preferences, I don’t believe there is a right or wrong between these two worldviews.

“They are both limited. They are both incomplete pictures of what it means to be a human in relationship with the world.

“And that’s why dialogue is so important. Through dialogue, we can learn to stand outside our worldviews to see what happens when they interact. And we may even expand our understanding to something bigger than the sum of them.”

— Reva Patwardhan

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Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of this podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. You can visit his website to hear more of his music, get the full discography, and view his upcoming tour dates.

Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

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