Written by Rhonda V. Magee

The Book

In a society where unconscious bias, microaggressions, institutionalized racism, and systemic injustices are so deeply ingrained, healing is an ongoing process. When conflict and division are everyday realities, our instincts tell us to close ranks, to find the safety of those like us, and to blame others. This book profoundly shows that in order to have the difficult conversations required for working toward racial justice, inner work is essential. Through the practice of embodied mindfulness–paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way–we increase our emotional resilience, recognize our own biases, and become less reactive when triggered.

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People often ask me how I came to the practice of mindfulness – which, at its simplest, is paying attention to life as it unfolds, grounded in the body and the breath, and allowing that awareness to settle the mind, and increase both presence and consciousness of our connectedness with others. I came to meditation for one reason: I needed deep healing. (Page 1)

Honoring Our Roots

The awareness that we explore here, the capacity for being ore present to the relationships in our lives, is basic to the human experience. Whatever our background, as humans, we share the ability to be more engaged, and to wake up more fully to the moments of our lives. (Page 30)

Foundations for Racial Justice Work

Through mindfulness and deep compassion, any one of us, whatever our heritage, may become clearer about our relationship to racism and how we relate to others in ways that actually, though unintentionally, contribute to it. (Page 31)

From Personal to Collective Transformation

If we are able to see one another clearly, we are able to see the value in each person we are privileged to meet. If we can take on their pain as ours, we might, together, be able to disrupt the patterns that led to that pain. We do not do it out of anger or bitterness. Our efforts to create a world in which we are more alive and well are driven by positive care and concern. (Page 333)

Sample Law Review Publications

The Way of ColorInsight: Understanding Race and Law Effectively Through Mindfulness-Based ColorInsight Practices, 8 Georgetown J. of Law and Mod. Critical Race Perspectives 251 (2016)

Educating Lawyers to Meditate? 79 UMKC L. Rev. 535 (2011) (Lead Article).

Slavery as Immigration? 44 U.S.F. L. Rev. 273 (2009)

Competing Narratives, Competing Jurisprudences: Are Law Schools Racist? And the Case for an Integral Critical Approach to Thinking, Talking, Writing and Teaching About Race, 43 U.S.F. L. Rev 777 (2009)

Chapters in Published Books:

“Taking and Making Refuge in Racial [Whiteness]Awareness and Racial Justice Work” in Buddhism and Whiteness, Emily McRae and George Yancy (eds.) (forthcoming, Rowman and Littlefield, 2019)

“Teaching Law to Transform: Mindfulness-Based Learning Communities as Incubators of Social Justice through Law” in Transforming Justice, Marjorie Silver (ed.) (Carolina Press, 2017).

“Community-Engaged Mindfulness and Social Justice: An Inquiry and Call to Action” in Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement, Ron Purser (ed.) (Springer, 2016).

“Teaching Mindfulness With Mindfulness of Diversity” in Resources for Teaching Mindfulness: An International Handbook, Donald McCown and Diane Riebel (eds.) (Springer, 2016).

“Teaching Newly Essential Knowledge, Skills and Values in a Changing World: Intercultural Effectiveness” (co-authored with Mary A. Lynch, Robin Boyle & Antoinette Sedillo Lopez) Chapter 6 in BUILDING ON BEST PRACTICES: TRANSFORMING LEGAL EDUCATION FOR A CHANGING WORLD (Matthew Bender & Company, 2015).

“Mindfulness and the Renewal of Legal Education” New Directions for Teaching and Learning: Contemplative Studies in Higher Education, no. 134, (Jossey Bass, 2013), 31.