By Skywalker Payne
A Review of Blogs by Black Writers
How do you make Black lives matter a practice to actually preserve and enrich black life beyond slogans, marches, and wearing T-shirts? You practice mindfulness. Although on a first Google search about mindfulness a person may think it’s a “whites only” practice, a closer, more pointed research reveals black writers, thinkers, activists writing, practicing, and researching the impact mindfulness can have on black individuals, black communities, and interactions with other people.
The following blogs discuss how mindfulness is more than a tool to make you more aware, to diminish stress, and to improve your health. Mindfulness practice increases compassion, and recognition of the inter-connection you have with all others. Check out these blogs and see how mindfulness can empower, enrich, and nurture black lives.
1. A New Way to Manage Stress, Bedford Palmer provides a concise introduction to the benefits of mindfulness with instructions on an introductory mindfulness practice. Visit: http://healthyblackmen.org/2015/10/11/a-new-way-to-manage-stress
2. Mindful While Black, an essay by Paul Singleton, III discusses how historic trauma can be stored in your body. He writes, “…it is up to each of us to retrain our brains so that we can break free from these attitudes and the limiting perceptions we have of one another.” Read the entire essay to understand why, “The best way to undo our conditioning is to still the mind.” Visit here: http://www.onbeing.org/blog/mindful-while-black/7682
3. In How Mindfulness Can Transform Movements for Racial Justice and Equality, Dawn I. Ballard and Joe Harper, Jr. explain “. . .#blacklivesmatter contains the seeds of a bon fide mindfulness movement within and across racial groups because it beckons our inner desire for meaning. Rather than resistance against something, it is life-affirming.” This thought provoking essay can be read at: http://prospect.org/article/how-mindfulness-can-transform-movements-racial-justice-and-equality
4. Rhonda Magee, a sociologist and lawyer, in How Mindfulness Can Defeat Racial Bias raises this question, “Might mindfulness assist police and other public servants in minimizing the mistaken judgments that lead to such harms.” In answering this question she introduces the concept of Mindfulness-Based ColorInsight Practices. Get the details here: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_mindfulness_can_defeat_racial_bias
5. Marisela B. Gomez and Valerie Brown detail how mindfulness can lead to The Path of Racial and Social Equity. They explain, “Mindfulness, in cultivating awareness, compassion, understanding, and insight, is a path of practice that can decrease bias, which is the result of ignorance and wrong perceptions. The path of mindfulness leads us toward understanding, love, forgiveness, and peace, in the daily ways we interact with our inner world and with the world around us.” This article offers a wealth of insight and information and ends with a strong call to action for change. Read it all here: http://www.baltimoremindfulnesscommunity.space/the-path-of-racial-and-social-equity-an-open-heart-is-called-for-now/
6. In Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Views On and Interactions With African Americans, Jennifer Hawkins examines her own biases as a mixed black woman and mindfulness practitioner. In this article she shows how, “A single thought or feeling does not define you. What you do about your thoughts and feelings define you.” Read this informative and challenging article, http://secularbuddhism.org/2015/07/08/mindfulness-meditation-can-improve-views-on-and-interactions-with-african-americans/
And as the wise young rap musician Jus Time sings, “Change your mind, change your life” with a mindfulness practice. Jus Time – Mindful Life Style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csNVrW-3lZM
About the Author
Skywalker Payne is a registered nurse and author of All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude – A Quest for Wholeness.
Readers can enroll in Renew Yourself – a new online course and receive a free PDF copy of her book with first month’s enrollment - http://renewyourself.teachable.com
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