A Meditation to Celebrate the Power of Pausing Together
In this practice framework, each letter of the word “breath” serves to remind us of our responsibility to honor and promote equity.
To begin this practice, let’s ground ourselves in deep gratitude. Gratitude for all those who have come before us and those who have paved the way for us to sit in this moment with a sense of relative safety. Whose tireless efforts allow us to be and move within the spaces we navigate each day. Acknowledging the responsibility we also share in making the world a better place than we found it. In this way, we can recognize our own sense of belonging as we take time now at the start of our practice to breathe for belonging.
In this mindfulness framework, each letter of the word “breath” serves to remind us of our responsibility to ourselves and to others to honor and promote equity. “B” invites us to breathe for belonging. “R” for restoration and renewal. “E” to exercise equity. “A” to activate and advocate. “T” asks us to trust the power. “H” is for healing.
A Guided Meditation to Celebrate the Power of Pausing Together
- Let’s pause for a few breaths to allow us to focus on our breathing for belonging. As we focus on the positive elements of belonging and our gratitude for all that has made this possible, begin to feel a sense of restoration and renewal.
- Belonging. Restoration and renewal. The first two letters of our equity breath will prepare us to receive the world with as much positivity and energy as we can. With this in mind, take some time to breathe for belonging as well as our collective restoration and renewal.
- Allow a welcome pause. For several breaths focus on restoration and renewal. Take some time to turn inward and focus on a sense of belonging, restoration, and renewal.
- Let’s turn our attention outward to the rich diversity of people in our lives and everyday interactions. With that, we will begin to reflect on how we exercise equity as well as activate and advocate for that equity—the “E” and “A” in our equity breath.
- Now we can turn our attention to opening our hearts and minds to the vast intersectionality of our world in ways that cause us to examine things like: Who holds power across our communities and across facets of our society? What is grounded in the ways that we live, work, and play?
- In our collective efforts to advance intersectional equity, may we take the necessary steps to recognize and value each of our many identities. May we exercise equity through our genuine care and concern for one another. Through sharing, openness, and curiosity. Through open invitations to participate, broadening access and opportunity, and through collaboration and co-creation with those impacted by institutions, systems, and communities. Holding those most affected in our hearts and directing this practice toward justice. May we breathe for safety for ourselves and one another. May we breathe together for justice, for the positive change we see each day in the march toward social justice. May we honor and nourish the relationships so necessary in advancing equity in our world as this cannot be done alone.
- Let’s pause again and enjoy a few deep breaths to focus on our vast potential to exercise equity. To activate and advocate. Anchoring ourselves in our equity breath as we now turn ourselves to the end of our practice. We use the breath as a tool to focus on breathing for belonging, restoration, and renewal, exercising equity, activating and advocating, trusting the power, and healing through hope.
- Holding ourselves with the utmost compassion, we move into the last two elements of our equity breath, allowing ourselves to trust the past and heal through hope. Anchoring our awareness on the breath; focusing on simply breathing in and breathing out. Aware of our body, let us release all of the tension and pain.
- Now, let’s bring our awareness to our hearts. Welcome tenderness to our hearts, bringing our awareness to our emotions. Holding in compassion. Smiling. Easing and releasing with the breath. As we notice our own suffering, notice how it manifests in the body, in our emotions, in our tone, and in our words and actions. Try to hold the suffering with deep compassion. Easing suffering with the beautiful power of our breath. Being aware of suffering as a pattern in the world. Visualizing how it affects so many. As we take in this pattern of suffering, hold it in compassion, and send ease with each out-breath.
- As we notice the suffering of others, what are you aware of? What do you feel in your body? What emotions? Hold it all with compassion, sending ease and relief to your mind.
- Now slowly return awareness to the breath. Welcome ease and with each out-breath, release any tension. Notice the suffering of those that hold privilege. Recognize guilt and disconnection. Feel this energy and hold it with deep passion as we release it with ease and send relief.
- Return awareness to the entire body. Our heads, our hearts, our hands, and our feet. From this awareness, honor your deepest intentions to address suffering and what we need to do in order to create conditions to thrive. Strengthening and bringing into awareness the steps we take next. How does this feel in your body, in your head, in your heart? Hands and feet? What are you? What are we? Carrying forth from today may we keep the flames of determination, courage, and conviction burning no matter what difficulty or odds arise.
Change ripples out from the places we heal ourselves, writes editor-in-chief Heather Hurlock. And when we connect, we’re capable of great things.
Our mindfulness practice can be a strong source of support for our efforts to combat bias in ourselves and others.
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