There’s a lot of pain, righteous anger, and sorrow permeating our lives right now. This is a moment that is asking much of all of us. This moment is asking us to truly listen to the voices of people who are systemically oppressed. This moment is asking us to truly hear what those voices are saying. And this moment is asking us to act.
Mindfulness equips us for these moments. It’s compassion and love that connect us all. It’s wisdom that calls us to practice mindfulness, to wrestle with our inner demons so that, to the best of our ability, we may embody equanimity in the face of difficulty. That can feel like a tall order in the midst of chaos, confusion, and competing narratives.
But one thing that’s been revealed over the last few months is the reality of our interconnectedness. We are one. And as the poet Emma Lazarus wrote, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., echoed: Until we are all free, we are none of us free.
How Your Mindfulness Practice Can Support the World Right Now
1) Mindfulness teaches us how to STOP and listen. Every one of us is being called to create space to listen, really listen, and observe and tame our reactive feelings so we can access the deep well of compassionate awareness that lives in us all. It is our emotional intelligence that will allow us to, in the words of Killer Mike, “plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.” Utilize the STOP practice to gain greater mastery over challenging reactivity and confusion.
2) Mindfulness allows us to work with our own conditionings. Rhonda Magee, author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice, says it’s people with a deep mindfulness practice who can “sit in the fire of the painful recognition that, oh, my mind actually does orient me to people who look like me.” Mindfulness, she continues, “can help us with a lot of the really subtle difficulties of doing the work that must be done to dismantle these patterns and habits that draw us to reinvest in segregation. Mindfulness compassion practices, these actually can help.” Try this compassion practice to connect with deep loving awareness.
3) Mindful communication is necessary for the difficult conversations that need to happen. Public health and racial healing innovator Jenée Johnson says, “racism is a form of trauma. To begin to unravel the harm of racism—the historical trauma, the microaggressions, the white fragility that often is a barrier to conversation—people need to have a level of self-awareness, to be able to sit, without judgment, with what is uncomfortable, to be present and aware, and to hold this inquiry with curiosity and kindness. Being mindful—knowing and being in touch with what is going on with you—is essential to undoing racism.” Here are three important lessons on mindful communication.
May we all find ways to meet this moment with love and compassion.
Managing Editor, Mindful
Executive Editor, Mindful
Can Mindfulness Help Us Dismantle Inequality?
The same mindfulness practices that transform problematic habits and thought patterns can help us tune in to the subtle ways that society cultivates barriers and “draws us to reinvest in segregation,” says mindful law expert Rhonda Magee. Read More
Rhonda Magee on Her Inner Work of Racial Justice
Law professor Rhonda Magee applies her deep meditation practice to the difficult waters of racially-charged interactions. Read More