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Mindful : August 2018
Research gathered from Greater Good Science Ctr. at UC Berkeley, Ctr. for Healthy Minds at U of Wisconsin–Madison, Ctr. for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School, and American Mindfulness Research Association. Changing mindfulness culture at NYU Access to majority-white spaces is determined by racial privilege, and mind- fulness meditation spaces are no exception. Hence the need for New York Univer- sity’s Stay Woke and Medi- tate, a peer-led program tailored specifically to self- identified students of color. According to peer leader A’nisa Megginson, Stay Woke and Meditate strives to “provide space to exist without expectation” (not always an easy thing to find in college). It also facilitates the process of healing from the impacts of everyday rac- ism. In addition to weekly classes, in April 2018 the program also held its first half-day retreat, “Existence as Resistance,” helping participants to strengthen community while defusing their stress through yoga, meditation, and reflection. From rubbish to relaxation To raise awareness about litter in her community, St. Louis artist Shea Brown wove Moroccan-style meditation cushions out of strips of discarded plastic shopping bags. Her Medita- tion and Serenity Station installment was part of the Dutchtown neighborhood’s public-education campaign to reduce illegal dumping. “Plastic is a beast,” said Brown, who also weaves “plarn” into sleeping mats for the homeless. According to the National Resources Defense Council, an average family takes home 1,500 plastic bags in a year. “ We’re trying to come up with a way to do something different or upcycle the waste and also educate residents on ways to help keep some of this plas- tic out of our system.” PHOTOGRAPHCOURTESYDUTCHTOWNSOUTHCOMMUNITYCORPORATION 14 mindful August 2018 what’s new