As I sat watching the Dallas Police Memorial Service on my computer this afternoon, I, like many, felt very sad as the people of the city of Dallas, the state of Texas, President Obama and others gathered together in an attempt to lead our country through our collective suffering. The loved ones of those killed by a sniper attack at the peaceful protest last week will have the lifelong painful work of personal grief — of asking why, how and now what.
For the rest of us, we need to do the hard work and have the difficult conversations about racism. We need to move our country and our communities closer to the ideal of this country. As the president said today “ We know that bias remains…. if we’re honest, we’ve heard prejudice in our own heads.”
As a non-profit organization, the mission of the Ann Arbor Center for Mindfulness is to cultivate and support the understanding of mindfulness, to promote health and well-being. The practice of mindfulness is not about feeling good, it is about being aware of whatever is present in our own hearts and minds, even if what we are aware of is prejudice. The practice of mindfulness allows for greater generosity, patience and compassion with the self, and also with and for others.
It is my hope that in the coming year Ann Arbor Center for Mindfulness can be involved in programming to the community related to race and awareness in a way that can open our hearts and our minds, so that we can all move closer to the ideal in our community.