A Bit About Mindfulness
As we shift from the external hardships of race and racism and turn our attention inward, we can often feel sore, tender, and vulnerable from the habitual ways we have met the rough edges of racial distress, and it can feel overwhelming. With mindfulness meditation, it is possible to metabolize these difficult emotions and meet each moment with more stability.
With mindfulness meditation, we discover that our thoughts and feelings are not permanent states; rather, they are crucial experiences to attend to, and it begins with understanding our minds.
Mindfulness has its roots in the 2,600-year-old tradition of Buddhism. The practice of mindfulness meditation supports us in experiencing more mental ease and harmony, with am aim toward inner liberation. It does not help us eliminate racial ignorance, anger, or ill will. Rather, it offers a way for us to slow down and investigate our inner experiences with wise care.
Mindfulness meditation supports us in bearing witness to our racial distress and conditioning without distortion, elaboration, or judgment. We can notice, for example, how racial perceptions live, what thoughts we are giving birth to, and how we feel thinking about them. We can acknowledge where we get stuck and discover what supports letting go. With practice, we make better choices in our lives.
Research on mindfulness meditation reveals that it reduces our heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen consumption, and muscle tension, and improves our immune system and neurotransmitter function.
Mindfulness practice is not a cure all nor is it a quick fix. It’s a practice and we are always beginning! Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner of mindfulness, this guide provides you with a practical way to stay on course and be at ease in your own skin, moment-to-moment, regardless of your circumstances.