Cultural Appropriation

At the heels of Episode #4 on syncretic religious practices, now let’s chat about cultural appropriation. Or is it misappropriation? I get just as confused by the lingo as the next lay person.

In this video, I chat with you about some of my latest thoughts on the topic of cultural appropriation, but focused narrowly on cultural appropriation as it would pertain to religious or spiritual practices.

So this isn’t going to cover cultural appropriation in the fashion industry, in the naming of sports teams, or when commodifying a minority culture to the point of objectification. I’m speaking specifically about adopting the religious or spiritual practices of a culture that isn’t necessarily one that’s part of your DNA.

By the way, I addressed the issue in one of the closing chapters of The Tao of Craft, in Chapter 12. As a preview of the book, you can read the entire chapter right here on my website. Scroll down that page until you get to the PDF link, “A Note on Cultural Appropriation.”


“Bell Chimes In” is about discourse, or at least that is my hope and intentions for the video series. It’s about me chiming in on a topic oft talked about, with my own perspective, opinions, or hypothesis, and with that, continuing the conversation on that topic. So I hope you’ll join in.

What are your thoughts on cultural appropriation?

Now it’s your turn to chime in, whether that’s as a comment, your own blog post, or a VR video response. Even if you don’t chime in publicly, perhaps this episode and my “Bell Chimes In” series can serve as personal prompts for reflecting more incisively on these topics for yourself.

3 thoughts on “Cultural Appropriation

  1. That was so interesting (which is really such an inadequate word) as I had been so busy studying different beliefs and religions to expand my awareness of how different people approach this business of being alive I had never thought about the skin colours of who I was going to to learn from. Now I am wondering if that is because I am suffering from white arrogance. I surely hope not.
    Thank you so much for your talks. I really appreciate them


    1. I don’t consider it “arrogance”, more like “only knowing what you personally experienced”. We all have to take care of ourselves first before we can be functional enough to consider others. Some people are more habitual in caring for others, some are not. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our heads that we don’t see what going on outside and it takes an attention grabbing lesson or bit of information to push us out to smell the roses. (I often get so obsessed with certain things in my head that human and spiritual friends have to try really hard to pull me away and help me gain perspective on the situation)
      I am thankful that Benebell Wen made this wonderful video which has caught your attention and gotten you to consider the experiences of other people and what it has to do with your life path and your choices. Btw I love her videos also 😀 this one came at a perfect time for what had been happening around me.
      I feel like the experienced we encounter first hand, and what we learned and adopted growing up, can “limit us” in a sense, but we don’t have to only live within those limits, we can choose to look and grow beyond what was arbitrarily placed in our environment. Things an both limit us and set a foundation for our paths, it is a matter of perspective and also how we choose to interact with the knowledge and resources we were given. It is like a Tarot card that can have all sorts of meanings, but in the end, it is what We get out of the message and How we work with it.

      Liked by 1 person

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