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Mindful : August 2018
Long-overdue discussions around race in America are finally having a moment—one that needs to last a very long time. The Netflix series Dear White People recently released its second season, as did Donald Glover’s Atlanta on FX. Both were created by young African-Americans who have a lot to say, and unique and hard-hitting ways of putting problems of whiteness front and center. The “post-racial America” illusionary bubble has been burst. Put simply, to imagine we are (or even aspire to be) color-blind is just to be blind to reality. So, where is mindfulness in all this? Is the spread of this practice, touted as something truly transformational, making a dent anywhere in our understanding and our race relations? If Ruth King has her way, it will. With Mind- ful of Race, King joins other voices demanding contemporary mindfulness practice go beyond being another luxury of the privileged to become something that enables us to explore deep habits together in ways that effect real change. King calls racism a “heart disease” that can go unnoticed and untreated for a long time. In response, she developed a three-and-a -half-day program with the same name as the book that “brings mindful inquiry to an examination of racial conditioning and social distress.” She unfolds her training on the page in three phases: In Diagnosis, we uncover “the narrative we hold along racial lines”; in Mindfulness—Heart Surgery, meditation practice helps us investigate deeply while “softening the grip of the ten- sion” from emotions triggered by going to rarely explored places; and Recovery is about how we can spread understanding, caring, and equanim- ity about race from our inner circle to the bigger circles in the world. MINDFUL OF RACE Transforming Racism from the Inside Out Ruth King • Sounds True This book is chockablock with advice and instruction: Its five chapters contain 50 sections in all. The book starts your day with what you do at home in the morning, then it takes you to work and play and love, and then back home again. So, you start with showering and breakfasting mindfully; continue with leading mindful meetings, starting tough conversations, and banishing multitasking; go on to engag- ing your life and love with curi- osity; and land back at home to savor your day and ease into sleep. Hard to imagine anyone being quite this mindful, but for those of us who aspire, this is an easy-to-follow handy guidebook. THE MINDFUL DAY Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm, and Joy from Morning to Evening Laurie J. Cameron • National Geographic New York Times travel writer Stephanie Rosenbloom makes the (convincing) case in Alone Time for setting out on your own and experienc- ing the sights and sounds of everyday life from the vantage of a silent, solo observer. Structured as a travelogue of Rosenbloom’s solitary wandering in foreign cities, her musings are supported by insights from psychology and social science about the importance of nur turing our inner lives. It’s no coincidence that the cities she visits are pedestrian-friendly, lend- ing themselves well to slow, schedule-free savoring. This book celebrates the unique pleasures of spending time alone, guided by nothing but your own whims and curiosity. ALONE TIME Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude Stephanie Rosenbloom • Viking Books 76 mindful August 2018 reviews Bookmark This read...listen...stream