Watch: “The Heart-Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Gain” offers compassion teachings by Black Buddhist teachers

This free series offers helpful compassion teachings from Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Jan Willis, Christian Howard, and Cheryl A. Giles.

Pamela Ayo Yetunde
16 January 2023

Now available to all (and freely so!): The Heart-Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Gain, a series of helpful compassion teachings by Black Buddhist teachers, specially curated as an offering to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by Lion’s Roar associate editor and pastoral counselor Pamela Ayo Yetund

Comprising teachings from Lion’s Roar’s first two online Dalai Lama Global Vision Summits (the third will debut this March), The Heart-Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Gain features contributions from Jan Willis, Cheryl A. Giles, Christian Howard, and Pamela Ayo Yetunde herself. The videos are now on our online learning platform for you to watch (and share) any time.

Explaining the impetus behind her curation of The Heart-Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Gain, Yetunde writes:

Have you thought recently about how joyful it feels to really let go of years of suffering? I think it is vitally important to reflect on and feel the real joy, the release from obstructions, that comes after the “night of weeping.” The night of weeping I’m referring to is that time in our lives when we thought we would never find freedom from the obstructions of enslavement — internally and externally. Then it happens – liberation – and even you are surprised by its timing.

Sometimes we can’t help but experience an ecstatic opening with the morning joybecause the power that emerges overtakes our nighttime habits of obstruction. When this happens, it is best to just let it be and allow yourself to be supported as your heart and mind become one in the dawn. The heart-mind is a wonderful thing to gain.

I curated this collection of dharma talks called The Heart-Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Gain because sometimes to make it through the night, we just need to let the sunshine of awareness in. How do you let sunshine in when the forces of darkness cast their shadows upon you? Think of the scene in The Wiz where the exploited workers shed their heavy uniforms and begin to dance to “Brand New Day”. They sing a liberation song imbued with the joy of awareness in the sunshine of life. Can you bask in that kind of joy?

When I arrived at the idea to curate these talks for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), I was thinking about how HBCUs had been politicized, through the promise of money, and how being politicized through money can make day seem like night, and night like morning. Let us not be fooled and confused. Our joy does not come from partisanship and nibbling from the carrot on the stick. Ours is the joy that comes with the morning. Please take this offering as support as you enter into the dawn, and share whatever you find useful.

Watch The Heart-Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Gain online now.

Pamela Ayo Yetunde

Pamela Ayo Yetunde is an associate editor at Lion’s Roar and the author of Casting Indra’s Net: Fostering Spiritual Kinship and Community. She is the co-editor of Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation and Freedom and has written other books and articles about being Black and Buddhist. Ayo is a pastoral counselor and is the founder of Marabella StoryCraft (