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Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out

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"Racism is a heart disease," writes Ruth King, "and it's curable." Exploring a crucial topic seldom addressed in meditation instruction, this revered teacher takes to her pen to shine a compassionate, provocative, and practical light into a deeply neglected and world-changing domain profoundly relevant to all of us. With Mindful of Race, Ruth King offers: Tend first to our s "Racism is a heart disease," writes Ruth King, "and it's curable." Exploring a crucial topic seldom addressed in meditation instruction, this revered teacher takes to her pen to shine a compassionate, provocative, and practical light into a deeply neglected and world-changing domain profoundly relevant to all of us. With Mindful of Race, Ruth King offers: Tend first to our suffering, listen to what it is trying to teach us, and direct its energies most effectively for change. Here, she invites us to explore: Ourselves as racial beings, the dynamics of oppression, and our role in racism • The power of paying homage to our most turbulent emotions, and perceiving the wisdom they hold • Key mindfulness tools to understand and engage with racial tension • Identifying our "soft spots" of fear and vulnerability—how we defend them and how to heal them • Embracing discomfort, which is a core competency for transformation • How our thoughts and emotions "rigidify" our sense of self—and how to return to the natural flow of who we are • Body, breath, and relaxation practices to befriend and direct our inner resources • Identifying our most sensitive "activation points" and tending to them with caring awareness • "It’s not just your pain"—the generational constellations of racial rage and ignorance and how to work with them • And many other compelling topics Drawing on her expertise as a meditation teacher and diversity consultant, King helps readers of all backgrounds examine with fresh eyes the complexity of racial identity and the dynamics of oppression. She offers guided instructions on how to work with our own role in the story of race and shows us how to cultivate a culture of care to come to a place of greater clarity and compassion.


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"Racism is a heart disease," writes Ruth King, "and it's curable." Exploring a crucial topic seldom addressed in meditation instruction, this revered teacher takes to her pen to shine a compassionate, provocative, and practical light into a deeply neglected and world-changing domain profoundly relevant to all of us. With Mindful of Race, Ruth King offers: Tend first to our s "Racism is a heart disease," writes Ruth King, "and it's curable." Exploring a crucial topic seldom addressed in meditation instruction, this revered teacher takes to her pen to shine a compassionate, provocative, and practical light into a deeply neglected and world-changing domain profoundly relevant to all of us. With Mindful of Race, Ruth King offers: Tend first to our suffering, listen to what it is trying to teach us, and direct its energies most effectively for change. Here, she invites us to explore: Ourselves as racial beings, the dynamics of oppression, and our role in racism • The power of paying homage to our most turbulent emotions, and perceiving the wisdom they hold • Key mindfulness tools to understand and engage with racial tension • Identifying our "soft spots" of fear and vulnerability—how we defend them and how to heal them • Embracing discomfort, which is a core competency for transformation • How our thoughts and emotions "rigidify" our sense of self—and how to return to the natural flow of who we are • Body, breath, and relaxation practices to befriend and direct our inner resources • Identifying our most sensitive "activation points" and tending to them with caring awareness • "It’s not just your pain"—the generational constellations of racial rage and ignorance and how to work with them • And many other compelling topics Drawing on her expertise as a meditation teacher and diversity consultant, King helps readers of all backgrounds examine with fresh eyes the complexity of racial identity and the dynamics of oppression. She offers guided instructions on how to work with our own role in the story of race and shows us how to cultivate a culture of care to come to a place of greater clarity and compassion.

30 review for Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out

  1. 4 out of 5

    Reading Badger

    I started this book with a documentation on its subject. What I really expected from this lecture was to learn to be a better person. And Ruth King, this amazing world traveler succeeded on teaching her readers about racism and the cruel racial inequality. A gifted teacher to learn from so many about this world The book itself talks about many aspects, but its central message is how you can clean yourself of the negativity caused by racial conflicts. The greatest thing about this book is Ruth King I started this book with a documentation on its subject. What I really expected from this lecture was to learn to be a better person. And Ruth King, this amazing world traveler succeeded on teaching her readers about racism and the cruel racial inequality. A gifted teacher to learn from so many about this world The book itself talks about many aspects, but its central message is how you can clean yourself of the negativity caused by racial conflicts. The greatest thing about this book is Ruth King’s way of writing. See all the review here: https://readingbadger.club/2018/12/05... Once you read this paperwork, you will find out more about compassion and how to show it in this society. You can also learn about going through difficult relationships and behaviors, but mostly about "Racism as a heart disease" that can be cured.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chanequa Walker-Barnes

    Ruth King invites readers into a different way of engaging in antiracist dialogue and racial justice activism. Drawing from her years of experience as a Buddhist practitioner and diversity trainer, she approaches antiracist activism as work of the heart. She adapts classical mindfulness practices to justice work. This is one of the core texts that I’m using in the Race, Racisms, & Reconciliation course that I’m teaching this semester. We’ll be starting and ending our semester by discussing how t Ruth King invites readers into a different way of engaging in antiracist dialogue and racial justice activism. Drawing from her years of experience as a Buddhist practitioner and diversity trainer, she approaches antiracist activism as work of the heart. She adapts classical mindfulness practices to justice work. This is one of the core texts that I’m using in the Race, Racisms, & Reconciliation course that I’m teaching this semester. We’ll be starting and ending our semester by discussing how to embark on this journey in ways that foster the just society we envision and that sustain us for advocacy and activism in the long haul.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Loretta

    This book explores a distressing topic—interpersonal and institutional racism—in a unique way: by inviting us to sit with our distress, cultivating equanimity and wisdom as we choose a mindful response. While I personally doubt I have the patience to carry out the detailed meditation practices King describes (though who knows, maybe that makes me the perfect candidate for them?), I appreciate the insights that nothing in life is “personal, permanent, or perfect,” that suffering can be a teacher, This book explores a distressing topic—interpersonal and institutional racism—in a unique way: by inviting us to sit with our distress, cultivating equanimity and wisdom as we choose a mindful response. While I personally doubt I have the patience to carry out the detailed meditation practices King describes (though who knows, maybe that makes me the perfect candidate for them?), I appreciate the insights that nothing in life is “personal, permanent, or perfect,” that suffering can be a teacher, and that cultivating compassion toward all is as important as (and perhaps is an important precursor to) advocating any particular public policy. The section that resonates most deeply with me is Chapter 17 Artistry: Cultural Medicine, in which King reminds us, via the words of Jane Hirshfield, that “‘We make art...partly because our lives are ungraspable, uncarryable, impossible to navigate without it....Art allows us to find a way to agree to suffering, to include it and not be broken, to say yes to what actually is, and then to say something further, something that changes and opens the heart, the ears, the eyes, the mind.’”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elite Group

    Reading Mindful of Race is a life changing experience leading to positive transformation. Ruth King’s Mindful of Race will take you to a deeper level of understanding racism and oppression. It does not stop there however, if you are open she leads you to a new place and a new mindful life. Yet, it is absolutely not easy to read her book Mindful of Race because you have to be prepared for a deep and critical self awareness journey. Sometimes it is not pleasant to critically look at your own prejud Reading Mindful of Race is a life changing experience leading to positive transformation. Ruth King’s Mindful of Race will take you to a deeper level of understanding racism and oppression. It does not stop there however, if you are open she leads you to a new place and a new mindful life. Yet, it is absolutely not easy to read her book Mindful of Race because you have to be prepared for a deep and critical self awareness journey. Sometimes it is not pleasant to critically look at your own prejudices and taught assumptions that need re-considering for a new way of thinking, feeling and behaving. I believe there is a way to read Mindful of Race. Reading time with this book must be planned because it needs to be read in a meditative and open frame of mind. It is a book that you cannot just pick up where you left off the last time. I suggest reading the book once slowly and then go back to it with the purpose of using the tools and guidelines she provides as a means of transformation. Ruth knows her tools and guidelines are not always easy to work through and implement so she gently provides solutions. To quote Ruth King: “Over time, this practice becomes a habit of healing replacing habits of harm.” She gets us to “check our inner experience.” She understands the difficult conversations we will have when we enter into a life which is “Mindful of Race.” Thank you for writing this book Ruth King. My heart is soaring with new mindful ways of being. BonnieK Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I read this one for work as part of our continuing work in ensuring an equitable work environment for everyone. This was a very thoughtful and gentle book that takes both white people and people of color through ways of handling the stress of discussing race and dealing with racism. It was very eye-opening for me in regards to individual vs group think. Lots of things to continue to think about and to work on.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tami

    Very insightful and thought provoking from several aspects related to how whites identify themselves, how we all need to respond to one another and tools for mindfulness to help us live when uncomfortable in a situation. Lots and lots of information and tools shared. Read this for book club and really enjoyed the discussion with others afterward. Plus, the most underlining I have ever done with a book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    A must read !

  8. 5 out of 5

    Analouise Keating

    A much-needed book. King doesn't jump into mindfulness discussions but first sets the stage by offering a succinct history of race in the U.S. and a realistic discussion of a few key differences between how people of color and white people experience identity (especially individual v. collective identity). She offers useful mindfulness strategies that can assist us in addressing and healing from racism. I look forward to assigning this book to my students!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lance Eaton

    So many of us are enmeshed in this discussion of racism that sits at the heart of American culture and sit with so much pain and frustration about how to reconcile it, how do we heal, and how do we move forward. In this context, King's book is a Godsend! She breaks the book into three parts which she frames around the metaphor of diagnosis (of heart problems), heart surgery, and recovery. It's a useful framing device that allows her to help readers to first identify the problem of racism and its So many of us are enmeshed in this discussion of racism that sits at the heart of American culture and sit with so much pain and frustration about how to reconcile it, how do we heal, and how do we move forward. In this context, King's book is a Godsend! She breaks the book into three parts which she frames around the metaphor of diagnosis (of heart problems), heart surgery, and recovery. It's a useful framing device that allows her to help readers to first identify the problem of racism and its effects throughout our lives. In this section, she helps lay a strong foundation for anyone to understand how so many in the US experience racism differently and particularly, why white folks don't see the problem while so many people of color do in a way that is enlightening without putting white people on the defensive. In the second section, she lays out how a meditation practice can help each person come to terms what it means to be part of a race in a racialized world wherein one group has traditionally dominated. She provides various approaches to the meditation practice so that people can find the best approach that will work for them in trying to unpack all the mixed emotions and energy that they consciously or unconsciously put into their racial experiences. Finally, the third part moves from the internal to the external in helping readers cultivate meaningful practices of engaging with others with and across races to address, discuss, and where possible mend the anger, frustration, and pain that racism has caused so many people in the world. In total, King provides such an accessible book and contemplation the topic of race that it provides a bit more hope and substantial guidance on the "what can I do about it?" that many people express as they come up against racism. That all being said, the one caveat that I would give with this book is that it is not a "one and done" kind of book but one that is essentially a toolbox in a book and readers should be prepared to revisit it regularly to inform their mental and spiritual development as they address racism in their own minds and lives.

  10. 5 out of 5

    PhebeAnn

    I listened to this audiobook pretty quickly and I'm not sure I absorbed everything so my review may not do it justice. I really liked the concept of this book: using Buddhist principles and meditation practices to engage in inner and outer anti-racism work. King writes with great heart about her topic. I think one of its most useful contributions for me was its discussion of coming to understand our racial group identities. One thing about the book that I felt was perhaps less helpful was that unl I listened to this audiobook pretty quickly and I'm not sure I absorbed everything so my review may not do it justice. I really liked the concept of this book: using Buddhist principles and meditation practices to engage in inner and outer anti-racism work. King writes with great heart about her topic. I think one of its most useful contributions for me was its discussion of coming to understand our racial group identities. One thing about the book that I felt was perhaps less helpful was that unlike, for example, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, to which the book bears certain similarities (although it's much gentler in its approach and wrapped in a spiritual package) it isn't specifically directed at Black folks or white folks. Although she gives some examples of how certain ideas or exercises could be used differently by different groups of people, I felt more examples could have been helpful. A lot of the book focused on healing our racial suffering, but that looks very different for Black folks, for Indigenous folks, for other groups of people of colour, than it does for white folks. It's not that King is saying it looks the same, but at times, because she's giving the same advice, it may be unclear to some readers how to apply this to their own situation. My concern is that white folks may misinterpret and re-centre whiteness and their own suffering and sit around navel gazing with their "racial affinity group" and not really challenge themselves to look at their own complicity in BIPOC's suffering, and focus less on the action piece of this book. This is especially the case since I suspect King's audience is primarily white folks who may be more inclined to want to just "send love and light out into the universe" rather than have hard conversations with their racist friends or yoga teacher or boss, or rather than going to an anti-racism march and put their bodies on the line to protect Black folks from police brutality. I think that it was a good entry point, however, especially for spiritual folks who may connect with her approach better, and end up becoming more aware of themselves as "racial beings," and what that means in the world. To be clear, King also explains at the beginning of the book a lot of the history of racism in the US and the ways race is constructed and embedded on a structural level, but I still think that might get lost for some people in the focus on inner work in the rest of the book. This might be a good starting point for some people in anti-racism work, but probably shouldn't be the only book they read on racism.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Thomas DeWolf

    This is such a beautiful, essential book for everyone committed to undoing racism. Having been involved for more than a decade with Coming to the Table (which provides leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery; including many mindfulness & meditation resources), and watching the harmful and ugly divisions around race come roaring into the bright light of day over the past This is such a beautiful, essential book for everyone committed to undoing racism. Having been involved for more than a decade with Coming to the Table (which provides leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery; including many mindfulness & meditation resources), and watching the harmful and ugly divisions around race come roaring into the bright light of day over the past couple years, Ruth King confirms that sustainable transformation will only happen when people become mindful regarding race. That the real work is indeed from the inside out. Transformation is heart and soul work as much as anything else. She writes toward the end of the book, "The Freedom we seek is not dependent on whether we can control external variables – we can’t. The freedom we seek is subtler and more in our control. This freedom can be known even in a sea of ignorance and suffering. This freedom depends on us cultivating the qualities of our mind and heart so that we bring loving awareness, mindfulness, and compassion to the certainty of racial suffering and put and end to it from the inside out." Amen. I highly recommend this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sharyn Campbell

    I am writing this review almost two years after reading the book. I saw the author give a keynote address at The Innerwork Center (formerly Chrysalis Institute) in Richmond, VA, in 2018. During the resurgence of Black Lives Matter in 2020, I have thought about this book often. Especially Chapter 13 (The Wake-up Call: Racial Affinity Groups), Chapter 15 (What White People Can Do with Privilege) and Chapter 16 (What People of Color Must Do Together). This quote from Chapter 15 really resonated wit I am writing this review almost two years after reading the book. I saw the author give a keynote address at The Innerwork Center (formerly Chrysalis Institute) in Richmond, VA, in 2018. During the resurgence of Black Lives Matter in 2020, I have thought about this book often. Especially Chapter 13 (The Wake-up Call: Racial Affinity Groups), Chapter 15 (What White People Can Do with Privilege) and Chapter 16 (What People of Color Must Do Together). This quote from Chapter 15 really resonated with me: “Dear White People: No one is asking you to apologize for your ancestors. We are asking you to dismantle the system of oppression they built that you maintain and benefit from.” ~ MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, author and radio host. This book feels like it was meant for 2020.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Stevens

    Without knowing how to even begin talking about race, let alone knowing what to say when the conversation begins, this book is an amazing springboard, and will appeal to those who practice, or who would like to practice, mindfulness. I never would have even imagined the importance of waking up to my whiteness, (and what that even means), and how my own racial identity is just as important to define and explore in conversations about race. While this book is not written specifically for whites, I Without knowing how to even begin talking about race, let alone knowing what to say when the conversation begins, this book is an amazing springboard, and will appeal to those who practice, or who would like to practice, mindfulness. I never would have even imagined the importance of waking up to my whiteness, (and what that even means), and how my own racial identity is just as important to define and explore in conversations about race. While this book is not written specifically for whites, I’m confident that those who identify as white to any degree would greatly benefit from this book. The author quotes Desmond Tutu ~If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.~ I don’t know what this means for me going forward, but I hope the book is one step in figuring out what actions to take.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Listened to this in the car after hearing of Ruth King last year(when she came to the Upper Valley) and after hearing her interviewed on "10% Happier" with Dan Harris. Important book for those looking to understand racism and anti-racist work and how mindfulness can help with understanding our feelings and reactions. etc. Enjoyed it and of course found some parts hard to take in. Would like to listen again or read it in printed form. Recommend this to all.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura Greenfield

    A good book and successful in achieving its aims. My worry is that I know white people who would read this book as an excuse to avoid addressing systemic racism and instead boil it down to mastering their individual feelings of compassion without attention to the structural changes needed to dismantle racism independent of their good intentions. It would be great if there were a bit more contextual framing to ward of that misreading.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael-David Sasson

    This and Larry Yang's recent book on building multi-racial and diverse spiritual community (based in part on his leadership experience at the East Bay Meditation Center) are serious offerings in how to actually practice spiritual maturity and social justice as intimately aligned without either one being merely instrumental as aids to achieving the other.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Shroyer

    Wise and insightful. Racism is a heart problem. But that doesn’t mean we don’t work to change systems and structures. It means we look at racism holistically. Ruth King shows is what it looks like to do that- to do our own inner work and to do the work that seeks to transform culture and society.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    It’s stated in the book that “when we are unconscious of how we affect each other, we are likely to cause more harm.” As a white Christian male, I want to continue to work to be compassionate toward others and their situations in every way possible, and King’s book is a fantastic stepping stone to ensure progress. From detailed meditation instructions to some statements of truth wherein she doesn’t mince words, I have to admit that this wasn’t the easiest read in the world for me, but some of th It’s stated in the book that “when we are unconscious of how we affect each other, we are likely to cause more harm.” As a white Christian male, I want to continue to work to be compassionate toward others and their situations in every way possible, and King’s book is a fantastic stepping stone to ensure progress. From detailed meditation instructions to some statements of truth wherein she doesn’t mince words, I have to admit that this wasn’t the easiest read in the world for me, but some of the contents of this book were read at least twice so that I could really tune in and absorb what she was trying to either convey or have me understand. There’s an acknowledgeable amount of suggestions for what white people need to do to improve the state of racial inequality in the meat of the book and, trust me, she executes the message as well as I could imagine anyone could. There’s a grace to her writing and wisdom in the way she presents that’s not one heralding comeuppance; she’s a gifted teacher, and it shows. The book, among other things, also outlines ways to get involved with others in order to institute dialogue (with or without people of color) and, if you wish to cleanse yourself of any negativity due to racial conflict, how to begin on the journey to healing. I started this book wanting to learn and to better myself; I think that Ruth King has helped me to do both, and I’ll be recommending this book often.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tiffaney

    This book is incredibly racist, and the author attempts to mask this racism using the language of yoga and mindfulness, which is doubly offensive. She goes beyond urging white people to acknowledge historical oppression and systemic racism, into telling an entire race that they're to blame for every single thing, and calling whiteness "harmful". She even blames white people for black-on-black violence. She also likes to tell white people what to do in order to "heal" their community. It seems imp This book is incredibly racist, and the author attempts to mask this racism using the language of yoga and mindfulness, which is doubly offensive. She goes beyond urging white people to acknowledge historical oppression and systemic racism, into telling an entire race that they're to blame for every single thing, and calling whiteness "harmful". She even blames white people for black-on-black violence. She also likes to tell white people what to do in order to "heal" their community. It seems important to her that white folks come together as a group, united by whiteness (whatever that means) to deal with problems that occur in the white community (whatever that is), the way the black community does. I'm pretty sure that if I wrote a book telling black people what to do, and how to act as a community, I'd get my ass beat. I'm truly sorry for her that it took a mindfulness practice for her to be able to even reciprocate a smile from a white person on the street, but that's still racist. If the racial roles were reversed, there would be no bones about it. Considering all white people a monolithic race is stupid in itself (when you can be voted in or out of whiteness, "whiteness" is therefore nonsense) and blaming that monolith for every group's problems is not the way to "racial healing," which is what her book claims to help bring about.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Had this book for awhile and finally got to it. Author King takes the reader through mindfulness and race relations and how to use meditation techniques surrounding them: how to sit with uncomfortable emotions, how to work through them, *what* they are and how the United States got to this point, as well as some personal anecdotes and experiences. It's an interesting look at how and why white people do not see race in the context of non-white people do in the United States and how and why they do Had this book for awhile and finally got to it. Author King takes the reader through mindfulness and race relations and how to use meditation techniques surrounding them: how to sit with uncomfortable emotions, how to work through them, *what* they are and how the United States got to this point, as well as some personal anecdotes and experiences. It's an interesting look at how and why white people do not see race in the context of non-white people do in the United States and how and why they do not understand the harm they cause (emotional, physical, mental, financial, etc.) and what are some things they can do to remedy this. It's a calm, measured book, although I could see how and why some audiences might not take it so well. Reading the book itself might require sitting with and/or working through uncomfortable emotions but it's definitely not a diatribe. I will say it felt a little too 101 for me. That's okay, because it's certainly a book for other people who are interested in meditation or are looking to incorporate diversity in their practice and/or finding ways to engage on this issue. Still recommend it. Bought it but it may be better as a library borrow for others.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    Mindful of Race Understanding and Transforming Habits of Harm (Paperback) by Ruth King I had hoped that reading this book i would come to a broader understanding of Race and changing my own habits, but this book is biased, not a negative thing, but it looks at Race from the African American view point, although it shows some White view points it seems to lump things together making me cringe as it details how we can never understand other Races or people from diverse groups, which is a sad conce Mindful of Race Understanding and Transforming Habits of Harm (Paperback) by Ruth King I had hoped that reading this book i would come to a broader understanding of Race and changing my own habits, but this book is biased, not a negative thing, but it looks at Race from the African American view point, although it shows some White view points it seems to lump things together making me cringe as it details how we can never understand other Races or people from diverse groups, which is a sad concept. I think she has a great beginning to this premise, but fell a little roughed up by her descriptions. I hope that readers explore what concepts she brings up, but learn to not take it as personal as I did. It is well written, and shows a very strong look at the minority view of Race relations.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ginae B.

    Author Ruth King says what needs to be said. If we continue to give the very word race the power and the fear that it's had thus far, then we choose to let it pull at the American tapestry. This country was not born in a vacuum. Unless we mention certain explorers, then we have to know that we were born of different races and we have grown in that direction. In fact, one of psychic Sylvia Browne's predictions was that one day, we would all have skin a lovely mocha color because of the mixing of Author Ruth King says what needs to be said. If we continue to give the very word race the power and the fear that it's had thus far, then we choose to let it pull at the American tapestry. This country was not born in a vacuum. Unless we mention certain explorers, then we have to know that we were born of different races and we have grown in that direction. In fact, one of psychic Sylvia Browne's predictions was that one day, we would all have skin a lovely mocha color because of the mixing of races. What then organization's of hate? King states that racism is a curable heart condition. It's true. King notes the importance of being mindful of the hurt that we put onto one another. So needless. So. On. Time.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nildene

    As someone who has tried transcendental meditation during my mother’s diagnosis with cancer, this book really brought that back to me. I think a little bit of bias in the fact that I disliked doing that meditation kind of came in here – but the entire premise of racism being a heart condition that could be cured was really interesting to me. I enjoyed the short history points, as I’m Australian I don’t really learn about American history as much so it was interesting to read. The writing itself wa As someone who has tried transcendental meditation during my mother’s diagnosis with cancer, this book really brought that back to me. I think a little bit of bias in the fact that I disliked doing that meditation kind of came in here – but the entire premise of racism being a heart condition that could be cured was really interesting to me. I enjoyed the short history points, as I’m Australian I don’t really learn about American history as much so it was interesting to read. The writing itself was a little repetitive, and I felt some parts could have been combined into one section rather than two sections and a summary. • 3.5/5 • This was an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Quinn

    Ruth King does an exquisite job of brining her mindfulness training into helping all of us work through the difficult and challenging racial injustices we experience in our everyday life. King is wise, thoughtful and very practical in how we can learn to look inward to our bodies to be prepared to look outward to the world. Our bodies feel this racial tension and until we can set our intention we will continue to be uncertain on how to approach these conversations with our friends, family and co Ruth King does an exquisite job of brining her mindfulness training into helping all of us work through the difficult and challenging racial injustices we experience in our everyday life. King is wise, thoughtful and very practical in how we can learn to look inward to our bodies to be prepared to look outward to the world. Our bodies feel this racial tension and until we can set our intention we will continue to be uncertain on how to approach these conversations with our friends, family and colleagues. One of my favorite quotes of her book appears in the first chapter. "Racism is a heart disease. How we think and respond is at the core of racial suffering and racial healing. If we cannot think clearly and respond wisely, we will continue to damage the world’s heart." Excellent read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Felser

    A truly insightful exploration of the role meditation can play in the inner work of unpacking racism and racist tendencies. Contained both useful practices and background info for white people (most of the background will be common knowledge for most BIPOC) and simple-enough, useful practices to build anti-racist community and complement outer work (i.e. protesting, voting, phone banking, donating, etc..) with personal work. It's mindful of not only talking to white people but still has to expla A truly insightful exploration of the role meditation can play in the inner work of unpacking racism and racist tendencies. Contained both useful practices and background info for white people (most of the background will be common knowledge for most BIPOC) and simple-enough, useful practices to build anti-racist community and complement outer work (i.e. protesting, voting, phone banking, donating, etc..) with personal work. It's mindful of not only talking to white people but still has to explain bits of racism that will probably be known to most BIPOC. The book ends with messages to white and BIPOC readers separately that are incredibly useful and helpful. Will absolutely be engaging these practices in my own anti-racist journey as a white man.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bohdan Pechenyak

    A fantastic book, full of wonderful insights, clarity, compassion and wisdom. Looking at the experiences of racial distress from the points of view of all sides involved - POCs (black and brown), whites, immigrants - Ruth King uses the framework of operational antiracist training programs to lay out a heartfelt account of what it means to be mindful of race and how we can proceed to overcome racial hatred and distress, meanwhile learning to abide in the present moment with equanimity, compassion A fantastic book, full of wonderful insights, clarity, compassion and wisdom. Looking at the experiences of racial distress from the points of view of all sides involved - POCs (black and brown), whites, immigrants - Ruth King uses the framework of operational antiracist training programs to lay out a heartfelt account of what it means to be mindful of race and how we can proceed to overcome racial hatred and distress, meanwhile learning to abide in the present moment with equanimity, compassion, empathy, and wisdom. I think this is a MUST-READ in the current climate.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    One of the few books I have read that changed my life permanently regarding waking up to what it means to be white. Which is really the question: I never asked myself what it means to be white which turns out is for me a facet of white privilege. I did read it with a small group which really helped to talk openly about what we are reading. It is a book that touches a lot on mindfulness meditation but I don’t think one has to be a meditator to get something out of it. Truly a book for the times w One of the few books I have read that changed my life permanently regarding waking up to what it means to be white. Which is really the question: I never asked myself what it means to be white which turns out is for me a facet of white privilege. I did read it with a small group which really helped to talk openly about what we are reading. It is a book that touches a lot on mindfulness meditation but I don’t think one has to be a meditator to get something out of it. Truly a book for the times we are in.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    I borrowed this from the library and will be ordering a copy for my bookshelf. The first half is a solid introduction to several mindfulness meditation practices. King does a great job of providing accessible philosophical and practical guidance. The second half of the book is where I really felt like she was offering something new ... a framework for how to apply the work of mindfulness to how we navigate race in our lived and the world. With chapters written specifically for white and POC read I borrowed this from the library and will be ordering a copy for my bookshelf. The first half is a solid introduction to several mindfulness meditation practices. King does a great job of providing accessible philosophical and practical guidance. The second half of the book is where I really felt like she was offering something new ... a framework for how to apply the work of mindfulness to how we navigate race in our lived and the world. With chapters written specifically for white and POC readers, King offers many tools to add to the process of healing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I feel like I’m always looking for new books on mindfulness or race, and then BOOM: I find this gem that combines the two! Ruth King writes with equal parts wisdom, heart, and fire, and has shown me a new path to processing white supremacy while also practicing self-care. If you find yourself regularly raging against the machine - regardless of your racial identity - King has valuable advice to help you keep breathing and in touch with your humanity. I can’t recommend this book enough.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark Bourdon

    This book is not an attempt to resolve the racial injustice that pervades society. Rather it offers a framework for understanding racism and our role in it, as well as mindful strategies that reduce mental distress and increase clarity, stability, and wellbeing. Each of us must ask, “What kind of society do I want to live in? How can my life be a reflection of racial harmony and an example of racial wellbeing for future generations?” (Ruth King)

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