Original Article Published June 2, 2020, on Mindful.org by Stephanie Domet and Heather Hurlock
This is a great article that breaks down how a mindfulness practice matters in a time of civil unrest. You can find the entire original post here. I’ve also included links to some awesome free mindfulness resources that will inspire your practice.
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.”
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.
2) Mindfulness allows us to work with our conditionings. Rhonda Magee, the 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 does orient me to people who look like me.” Mindfulness, she continues, “can help us with a lot of the subtle difficulties of doing the work that must be done to dismantle these patterns and habits that draw us to reinvest in segregation.
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 a 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.”
Free Online Mindfulness Resources
I want to support you in cultivating your mindfulness practice, so I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite free teachings, practices, and other resources as a source of connection and inspiration during these times.
- Mindful.org – Mindful is a wonderful source of informative articles and guided meditation practices. It’s my #1 go-to for all-things-mindful.
- Dr. Rick Hanson – Dr. Hanson is a Psychologist and New York Times best-selling author. He’s one of the leading minds on retraining the brain for increased peace and happiness. His site offers free guided meditations and educational videos, as well as online programs and access to his podcast episodes.
- Tara Brach – Tara is one of the world’s leading meditation teachers. She founded the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (IMCW), one of the largest meditation centers in the U.S. Her site offers a ton of teachings and practices.
- Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Mindfulness and Compassion – Offers free daily community practice, including a People of Color/Indigenous Community Practice: Fridays, 6-7 pm. Additionally, sessions in mindful movement; bringing kindness to our stress, anxiety, grief, and fear. In addition to the daily live sessions, there are several audio recordings.
- Free Yoga & Mindfulness Classes for Children & Teens – Yoga Ed. is offering free courses to support the physical and mental health of our youth. All classes are streamable on any device and developmentally appropriate for children and teens.
- Unfold Yoga & Wellness – Unfold Digital is a FREE virtual series of 20-minute chair yoga + meditation classes. Classes are designed to support the physical and emotional wellness of office workers, all without having to leave their desks or change their clothes.
May you find the support you need to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
Wishing you peace and all good things, my friend.