These are challenging times, and with the current racial tension permeating our social system, it’s understandable to feel afraid, shaken, and heavy-hearted. But it’s important to remember that despite appearances, we are all connected as a human race. What we do next is crucial in terms of our society’s well-being.
Racism is a heart disease that requires a surgical intervention of mindfulness and heartfulness. To heal the heart, we must understand the mind. As Jiddu Krishnamurti says, “There is no ‘you’ separate from society.” We must question our thoughts and beliefs and find ways to nurture the dignity of all life, maintain justice, and comfort our own hearts in the midst of racial ignorance and violence.
Here are six practices that support racial awareness and well-being:
- The Practice of Doing No Harm: This involves setting an intention to do no harm in our speech, actions, and thoughts and regularly aligning our heart and mind with our actions.
- Meditation Practice: We need a practice of stillness that helps us gain perspective and understand our options. By steadying the mind and opening the heart, we can develop a relationship with our racial conditioning and our habitual impulses.
- Brahmavihara Practices: These are heart-practices that involve lovingkindness, compassion, and joy for others, as well as tranquility and equanimity. These practices are vital for navigating the racial turbulence of our time.
- Forming Racial Affinity Groups: This involves coming together with others who share similar experiences and identities to support and empower each other.
- Engaging in Self-Reflection and Education: It’s important to reflect on our own experiences and biases and to educate ourselves on the experiences of others. This can help us understand and address the systemic issues contributing to racial tension.
- Taking Action: This involves using our voices, resources, and privilege to advocate for change and support organizations working to address racial injustice.
In conclusion, these are uncertain times, but we can work towards creating a more just and equitable society by navigating racial tension with mindfulness and heartfulness. The practices outlined above can help us to feel more connected, empowered, and hopeful as we navigate these challenges.