Mindfulness Activity #81
Good Morning. I started sending out these mindfulness practices in order to help individuals cope with the stresses associated with the Novel Corona Virus. Many of the people in our practice circle had already been using mindfulness as a way to help them to recover from trauma that contributed to their hospitalization or incarceration and to help them build a new life of their choosing. This circle of people practicing together has grown, but the essential practice of training one’s self to be in the present, nonjudgmentally is universally helpful. Things have changed dramatically since I began sending these practices out; it feels like such practices are even more essential now.
Most of our practices have focused on personal mindfulness practice. Today, though, I wanted to spend a minute on the relationship of personal practice to care for others. The author, Stephen Batchelor, has written extensively about the secular (non-religious) application of Buddhist teaching. He has argued when people cultivate compassion and care for all beings, it leads to a commitment to an ethic of care for others.
Rhonda Magee, a law professor at the University of San Francisco, teaches her students mindfulness for stress reduction, as well as to reduce racial inequities in the world. She has written about a concept called community-engaged mindfulness. The idea is that through self-compassion, one naturally extends their circle of care outwards– eventually extending to all beings. This is exemplified in the practices we have been doing that are classified as loving kindness meditations.
So today, please use this link to practice a 13 minute loving kindness. Before you begin, take a few deep breaths. Think about your intention for the practice. In what ways would like to help others, but you feel powerless to effect change? Make this your intention for the practice. Extend your personal practice of compassion to others. Click the following link to begin…
To continue to extend your practice throughout your day, think a bit about how your personal practice increases your commitment to change about yourself or your community.
FYI: see additional reading on Community Engaged Mindfulness
Community Engaged Mindfulness Tasks (Rhonda V. Magee)
–Develop the personal dimension of our own capacity to work with and learn from our own capacity to work with and learn from our own experiences, including experiences of social suffering and to learn about the structural nature of the suffering of others (the personal dimension);
–Offer and receive supportive practices and collaborate across lines of real and perceived cultural, racial, and other differences (the interpersonal dimension)
–Work with others to relieve suffering at all levels, including the material and structural—institutional (the systemic dimension).