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The journey to enlightenment can be intimidating. When you don’t know exactly where you are going, how do you get there? Master birth doula and world-renowned wellness leader Latham Thomas discusses visualization as a tool for empowerment, the necessary balance between preparation and surrender, and her own experiences with the body as a portal to the spirit world.

As Latham shares her story, she contemplates a painting of a mandala, a mediational tool that serves as a guide. When a Buddhist practitioner visualizes a mandala, it’s like they are giving birth to the whole world.


Latham Thomas is the founder of Mama Glow, a global maternal health and education brand serving birthing people along the childbearing continuum, and a doula education platform empowering birth workers around the world. Named one of Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul 100, Latham is a fierce advocate for birth equity and works to bridge policy gaps in maternal health. She is a co-founder of The Continuum Conference, a gathering centering the experience of fertility, pregnancy, and new motherhood, and the Mama Glow Foundation, which advances reproductive justice through education, advocacy, and the arts. Latham has served as a doula and lifestyle guru for celebrity clients including Alicia Keys, Anne Hathaway, Gabrielle Union, and more. She is a graduate of Columbia University and author of two best-selling books: Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within and Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy. She is the proud mother of 17-year-old DJ prodigy, producer, and entrepreneur DJ Fulano.


Mandala (of Vajrabhairava, or from Rubin collection) Mandala of Vajrabhairava Ngor Monastery, Tibet; 1650
Mandala (of Vajrabhairava, or from Rubin collection) Mandala of Vajrabhairava Ngor Monastery, Tibet; 1650″“1750 Pigments on cotton Asian Art Museum of San Francisco The Avery Brundage Collection, B63D5

This painting depicts the celestial palace of a deity and his environs in a pictorial convention resembling a floor plan or map. The deity is Vajrabhairava, wisdom’s wrathful emanation, who is situated at the core of the mandala, his manifested world. His entourage occupies the quadrants around him, each differently colored and representing one of his specific qualities or powers.


AWAKEN is produced by the Rubin Museum of Art with Vincent Baker, Dawn Eshelman, Jamie Lawyer, Sandrine Milet, Elena Pakhoutouva, and Dawnette Samuels. It was produced in collaboration with Sound Made Public, with Tania Ketenjian, Katie McCutcheon, and Philip Wood.

Special thanks to Karen Sorensen for additional consulting.

All music for AWAKEN was created by Blue Dot Sessions, Podington Bear, Tendinite, and Siddhartha Corthus.


This podcast is supported by Barbara Bowman, the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation, The Prospect Hill Foundation, Bob and Lois Baylis, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by generous donations from the Museum’s Board of Trustees, individual donors, and members.

AWAKEN is sponsored by Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, a print and digital magazine dedicated to making Buddhist teachings broadly available.