Inclusive Mindfulness Teaching
Mindfulness is essential in cultivating awareness around our own biases and habits, overcoming white fragility for white-identifying individuals, and recognizing the common humanity that connects us all. For these reasons, mindfulness is a prerequisite for leading inclusive facilitation.
In the process of sharing mindfulness practices with others, expertise in mindfulness must be passed forward in a responsible way. If there are people of a different background than me, whether they differ in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc., I aim to share mindfulness from a place of true compassion and wisdom. With this intention, the barriers between myself and people that I may subconsciously label as “other” are slowly but surely dissolving.
In her chapter in the book Resources for Teaching Mindfulness, anti-racist and mindfulness educator, law professor, and author Rhonda Magee powerfully outlines a healthy approach to teaching mindfulness:
"More than anything else, we must bring to these efforts a sense of love, compassion, equanimity, and openness. We must bring the will, the intention at each moment, to work toward keeping our teaching spaces, and our own hearts, as inclusive as possible. And when we falter, as we inevitably will, we practice bringing ourselves back into alignment with our goals as soon as we notice that we have lost our way." (p. 240, Teaching mindfulness with mindfulness of race and other forms of diversity. Resources for Teaching Mindfulness)
It is essential to practice intentionality around inclusivity. As someone with privilege, it is especially important to ensure that I am keeping spaces I hold free from racism, white supremacy, sexism, and other forms of prejudice. It is a tall order, but the more that I educate myself on this lifelong journey of inclusivity, the more I will be able to cultivate healing spaces of mindfulness and compassion.
Written by Source Wellness' Chief Mindfulness Officer, Jacob Aqua