Jump to content
Gillian Sanger

How can mindfulness help to build a better world?

Recommended Posts

This week's question asks:

How can mindfulness help to build a better world?

Considering what has been brought to the forefront of human consciousness in the past week since the murder of George Floyd (though indeed, the systemic problems did not begin then), it is growing clearer and clearer that we desperately need to cultivate something new for this world. What role does mindfulness play in that? What spiritual ideas as well as tangible actions can come from mindfulness in the pursuit of a more peaceful, fair, and healthy world for all beings?

Feel free to share links to any organizations doing greater work, any small actions that can be taken in the name of a peaceful planet, as well as any spiritual teachings or traditions that hold healing potential in them. Any or all of the above - whatever is on your mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for this wonderful question Gillian- so important and timely. I posted my answer before you asked the question somewhere else...

I believe one way we can be mindful is educating ourselves and others about history and current affairs. I think the horror of our history in terms of how we treated indigenous people and black people is easy to forget when it's not shoved in our face like it was in this last week with the death of George Floyd. The truth is, the remnants of slavery still exist. There's a concept called 'post-traumatic slavery syndrome' Absolutely mind-blowing. We need to understand why the system is still broken, and find ways to advocate for change. Individually, we can confront our own implicit biases, and be aware of our white privilege. Vote. Be active in the community. Speak our truth. 

 

Edited by Jo L
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Gillian- for holding space for us to reflect and learn,  We need to do so much better.

Over most of my career in urban education, I have often been the person in the racial minority.  As a naturally curious and compassionate person, I have actively sought out an understanding of my own biases and privilege, and how that privilege has impacted the way I have moved through the world.  I live in a what has been called the most diverse city in the nation (Jersey City, NJ), but living here doesn't equal racial equality or understanding.  It is an active process.  I have been fortunate to have many Black friends over the years who have been open to answering my questions and sitting with me in uncomfortable, but necessary discourse.  One of the most powerful sources of learning for me has been following the public academic Rachel Cargle.  Her work is geared toward white women, but is relevant for all white people who want to learn more about systemic and individual racism and its' effects on generations of Black people.  Below is a public address she gave just this weekend.  I would encourage all of us here to watch and if curious to know more, tap into the plethora of resources she has openly, honestly, and generously shared.  There are several other useful resources I use, but I would suggest starting here as she offers broadly and often.

In working with BIPOC children and families for over 20 years, the foundation for where I see mindfulness playing a part, is in the acknowledgment and acceptance of all beings- with all that they carry and endure- racial discrimination, food and housing insecurity, poverty, disproportionate cases of domestic violence, parental incarceration, gun violence.  To say to a child each day, in word and deed- I see you, I accept you, I love you, I believe in you, and all of you is welcome here and in this space, you can have a whole other life.  To not reduce a child to their trauma or circumstance, but to hold space for it, while also creating a safe place for her to learn, dream, try, succeed, believe, breathe.

Sending light. Standing with our Black brothers and sisters.  Learning, reflecting, donating, protesting.  We must do better.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to share a quote by William James that was in Principles of Psychology in 1890-

"The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention over and over again, is the very root of judgement, character, and will. No one is compos sui [of sound mind] is he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence. But it is easier to define this ideal that to give practical directions for bringing it about."

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Rachel said:

Thank you, Gillian- for holding space for us to reflect and learn,  We need to do so much better.

Over most of my career in urban education, I have often been the person in the racial minority.  As a naturally curious and compassionate person, I have actively sought out an understanding of my own biases and privilege, and how that privilege has impacted the way I have moved through the world.  I live in a what has been called the most diverse city in the nation (Jersey City, NJ), but living here doesn't equal racial equality or understanding.  It is an active process.  I have been fortunate to have many Black friends over the years who have been open to answering my questions and sitting with me in uncomfortable, but necessary discourse.  One of the most powerful sources of learning for me has been following the public academic Rachel Cargle.  Her work is geared toward white women, but is relevant for all white people who want to learn more about systemic and individual racism and its' effects on generations of Black people.  Below is a public address she gave just this weekend.  I would encourage all of us here to watch and if curious to know more, tap into the plethora of resources she has openly, honestly, and generously shared.  There are several other useful resources I use, but I would suggest starting here as she offers broadly and often.

In working with BIPOC children and families for over 20 years, the foundation for where I see mindfulness playing a part, is in the acknowledgment and acceptance of all beings- with all that they carry and endure- racial discrimination, food and housing insecurity, poverty, disproportionate cases of domestic violence, parental incarceration, gun violence.  To say to a child each day, in word and deed- I see you, I accept you, I love you, I believe in you, and all of you is welcome here and in this space, you can have a whole other life.  To not reduce a child to their trauma or circumstance, but to hold space for it, while also creating a safe place for her to learn, dream, try, succeed, believe, breathe.

Sending light. Standing with our Black brothers and sisters.  Learning, reflecting, donating, protesting.  We must do better.

 

Beautiful post Rachel. thank you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both @Rachel and @Jo L. I agree that education is crucial. I've been thinking much about this as I've seen many memes shared over the past few days that shame people for the sharing words, 'All Lives Matter'. While I agree that this is not appropriate nor helpful, I do not believe that shaming people will result in authentic, meaningful, and impactful change. I think that those who express this sentiment lack knowledge and awareness about the issues the Black community and other minority groups have faced for centuries, which is why education is so important.

Donating our time, money, and other resources I also think is crucial.

How does mindfulness tie into this? Mindfulness impacts the way we perceive the world, our openness to embracing new information or possibilities, and the way we communicate with others. All of these have the power to shift our collective consciousness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/1/2020 at 8:32 AM, Jo L said:

Thanks for this wonderful question Gillian- so important and timely. I posted my answer before you asked the question somewhere else...

I believe one way we can be mindful is educating ourselves and others about history and current affairs. I think the horror of our history in terms of how we treated indigenous people and black people is easy to forget when it's not shoved in our face like it was in this last week with the death of George Floyd. The truth is, the remnants of slavery still exist. There's a concept called 'post-traumatic slavery syndrome' Absolutely mind-blowing. We need to understand why the system is still broken, and find ways to advocate for change. Individually, we can confront our own implicit biases, and be aware of our white privilege. Vote. Be active in the community. Speak our truth. 

 

I totally agree @Jo L  There must be a standard created.  Somehow to teach that our eyes can deceive us in what we see (as in color) and history created the different or the judgement that needs to be cleansed out.  Not by destroying everything from the past but taking note and learning about why a specific thing of the past is there.  In the Past.  And we all need to learn how to leave it there and begin in a cleansed state from today forward where all are the same.  Put here as human beings.  As energy to focus on caring for others and this planet.  There are so many things that are good from the past trying to become present we need to make room for it.  Or the great positive change cannot take place.   Such a wonderful topic.  

I have to submit.  I have a partner that is a Leo so melodramatic and very loving though.  Growing up in a tough neighborhood.  He would say things like "I hate that"  or  "I am racist".  But as I confronted him, about how bad and wrong that felt towards "ME" and if he loved me his radical behavior towards this would mellow out and understand more what is going on.  I can report that he now is not racist.  For his punishment, not really but stated, Repeat many times, "I love black people"  "I love all people"  " We are all human beings and the same" and so far is going very well.  This makes me wonder how many people out the are just so sarcastic or narcissistic that is will always become an issue.  We need to recognize it.  I agree education and more example without judgement is good. 

I am the happiest person in the world now that my husband is "not a racist".   I was meant in boosting, big man.  He understood why this is not a good thing and promotes worse things.  He now is mindful of how actions cause reactions.  The fact that this type of thing happens is sickening.  My son being autistic and "different" than everyone was always left out and outcast as disabled.   I totally am a warrior when it comes to anyone's rights and animals. All living things.  Plants also 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/1/2020 at 9:08 AM, Rachel said:

Thank you, Gillian- for holding space for us to reflect and learn,  We need to do so much better.

Over most of my career in urban education, I have often been the person in the racial minority.  As a naturally curious and compassionate person, I have actively sought out an understanding of my own biases and privilege, and how that privilege has impacted the way I have moved through the world.  I live in a what has been called the most diverse city in the nation (Jersey City, NJ), but living here doesn't equal racial equality or understanding.  It is an active process.  I have been fortunate to have many Black friends over the years who have been open to answering my questions and sitting with me in uncomfortable, but necessary discourse.  One of the most powerful sources of learning for me has been following the public academic Rachel Cargle.  Her work is geared toward white women, but is relevant for all white people who want to learn more about systemic and individual racism and its' effects on generations of Black people.  Below is a public address she gave just this weekend.  I would encourage all of us here to watch and if curious to know more, tap into the plethora of resources she has openly, honestly, and generously shared.  There are several other useful resources I use, but I would suggest starting here as she offers broadly and often.

In working with BIPOC children and families for over 20 years, the foundation for where I see mindfulness playing a part, is in the acknowledgment and acceptance of all beings- with all that they carry and endure- racial discrimination, food and housing insecurity, poverty, disproportionate cases of domestic violence, parental incarceration, gun violence.  To say to a child each day, in word and deed- I see you, I accept you, I love you, I believe in you, and all of you is welcome here and in this space, you can have a whole other life.  To not reduce a child to their trauma or circumstance, but to hold space for it, while also creating a safe place for her to learn, dream, try, succeed, believe, breathe.

Sending light. Standing with our Black brothers and sisters.  Learning, reflecting, donating, protesting.  We must do better.

 

Rachel I love what you wrote. I hear you and I stand by you!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello to all of you,

I wanted to share an impactful article I read this morning about calling out and calling in. I must admit that I have a hard time radically accepting what I perceive to be 'calling out' behaviour, but this beautifully written and insightful article gave me much to think about. I'll reference some highlights, but if you read through it, I'd love to know what you felt when reading and what might have resonated with you:

"Calling-in may not be a strategy available to or trusted by someone who has learned through multiple experiences that only loud screams get heard. It is then incumbent on those of us, especially those of us who have not been repeatedly submerged in such traumatic situations, to listen for the needs and desires being expressed, rather than to insist that we can only hear those needs if they are expressed in ways that help us feel safe."

"If I’m cut and I scream, no one tells me to be quiet, to be more decorous, to be careful how my scream might discomfit those around me. Similarly, some of the cuts we experience from each other are as deep, flay us as painfully as any knife would. And our reactive scream in response to the verbal cuts invites as much care for freedom of expression, and needs to be met with as much compassion and care as we would give to the person who was cut with the sword."

By Roxy Manning – https://baynvc.org/calling-in-and-calling-out/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Gillian for such a thought-provoking article. I totally agree that "calling-in" is the way to go in terms of more effective communication and moving forward toward healing, but I also get why people "call-out." I think the paragraphs you included highlight the reasons. I copied a section I found quite illuminating:

"Essentially, we want to be intentional about where we put our attention and what we’re prioritizing. We want to make sure we don’t fall into the old patterns of prioritizing form over content – whether it’s a calling-out or a calling-in, we want to connect with what is being revealed and not focus only on how it was said. If we see both calling-out and calling-in as a window into what is really important for another, we escape the trap of the dichotomous good/bad paradigm, and see every expression as an invitation for connection, understanding, repair and healing. And as conditions are created where all expressions are met with deep understanding of the context informing that expression, with deep empathy and compassion, we also create the possibility of establishing enough trust that we are interested in leveraging the power of calling-in for not only drawing attention to a problem, but inviting partnership towards the solution."

 

I have to go at the moment but want to come back to this and chat more about it....

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is always difficult for me because of growing up in a yelling, angry environment.  I learned from age 5 to 18 to just stay away from the person. Dad.  He had PTSD from the war and could not get any help. (hindsight) All forgiven but it was a traumatic thing.  The past 10 years gaining the confidence and grace reading and learning from so many people how to trust myself and being able to state the behavior to assist with it.  

Now 8 years ago joining my husband with his daughter and 2 grand kids was excrutiatingly hard.   I really had to gain the confidence and the energy to be able to call out and assist in the calling in.  For the 1 year of all of us learning from each other it worked out well.  Today, much respect and confidence in everyone involved.   

Being able to focus on what was priority and assist when needed, realizing where it would be an assist and not confusion was a process.  I found always letting the other person decide the outcome and the process to learn for themselves with assistance the best solution for all involved.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing Paige! It sounds like that part of your upbringing was very challenging, and it makes sense that it would shape the way you understand communication.

I think your reflection really highlights how communication is really a process. We bend and flow and communicate in different ways according to the situation, where we are in our lives, and other factors. But I think you're right - that assisting the 'other' in their own process is more effective than telling someone how things are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Announcements

  • This community is designed to be a welcoming space to enhance mindfulness inquiry and exploration. In this spirit, please share and respond mindfully and compassionately, cultivating continued respect, safety, and support for all.
  • Recent Posts

    • enhancing non-judgmental moment-to-moment awareness   Hi All!  Here is your weekly dose of "5 Mindful Musings", a brief list of what's helping me live a more mindful life. What Helps Me Be Kind To Myself Compassionate Body Scan Meditation. Kristin Neff guides this powerful meditation to bring kind, caring awareness to sensations in the body, even if it's uncomfortable in the moment. Very helpful for processing emotions, feeling a sense of ease, and also for falling asleep.  What I'm Reflecting On 6 Reasons Why Mindfulness Is A Superpower These remind me how I can choose how to relate to any kind of experience, to refrain from judgment, to be with what's uncomfortable, to remember to breathe, to widen or narrow my perspective, to balance doing with being, and remember what's most important.   7 Things To Try When Mindfulness Doesn't Work These remind me that mindfulness alone is not always enough. Humans are complex, so we need a wide range of modalities to heal, grow and thrive. What I Wish My Own Schoolteachers Had Access To Teaching Mindfulness To Empower Adolescents. This is a powerful guide to help school teachers master the essential competencies needed to successfully share mindfulness practices with teens and adolescents.  "Wise and revolutionary. These are skilled and caring teachers giving you the real deal. They show how to soothe, inspire, and awaken the teenage spirit." - Jack Kornfield, PhD, bestselling author of A Path with Heart What I'm Exploring 20 Best Mindfulness Meditation Podcasts of 2020. This list from the team at Positive Psychology includes many wonderful mindfulness podcasts I had never heard of. Worth a look.  A Quote That I Love "The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes." - Pema Chodron *Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for exclusive free mindfulness trainings.   And, as always, please share your feedback in our Mindfulness Community Forums. Which musing above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Other suggestions? Just add a post to the forum and let me know!  Wishing you well,    Sean Fargo Founder, Mindfulness Exercises       P.S. Spring Washam will join Mindfulness Mastermind on August 27th at 12pm PST!   Spring Washam is a well-known meditation teacher, author and visionary leader based in California and Peru. She is the author of A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage and Wisdom in Any Moment.  Spring is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based healing practices to diverse communities. She is one of the founders and core teachers at the East Bay Meditation Center, located in downtown Oakland, CA. Spring received extensive training by Jack Kornfield, is a member of the teacher’s council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California, and has practiced and studied Buddhist philosophy in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism for the last 20 years.  Members of Mindfulness Mastermind can access details about the workshop and the video link inside the Member Dashboard.
    • This week's question asks: What are some of your personal beliefs that you want to bring greater mindfulness to? We all hold somewhere within us beliefs that do not serve us. Which of your own beliefs would you like to bring greater mindfulness to? When you become aware of limiting or negative beliefs within you, what do you 'do' with them?
    • Hello Athena! Wonderful to meet you here. I've never tried labyrinth walking but am intrigued! Do you have any tips or resource recommendations?
    • Hi Priyanka! Great recommendation. I love this breathing technique.
    • Hey Ali, I haven't read that book so can't recommend from my own experience, but the description sounds great and probably very aligned with what you are looking for. If you read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts and reflections on it. Your expression of feeling depressed because of where you could be is not uncommon; I've heard quite a few others share how down they feel do to so much time spent caught up in bad habits and addictions. I know it can be a difficult feeling to experience, but it is a huge win (even if it doesn't feel like it) that you now feel a renewed yearning to work through this. That takes strength and courage!
  • Recent Topics

  • Popular Contributors

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.