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This chapter presents an argument for mindfulness and secular Buddhism as inherently suffused with what might be called social justice concerns and thus calls for mindfulness teaching which includes practices and teachings that make explicit the links between mindfulness and social justice. Drawing on my experience within the fields of mindfulness teaching, law teaching, and contemplative pedagogy, in the first part of this chapter, I discuss how the practices we call mindfulness tend to cultivate a felt sense not only of interconnectedness and compassion but also of solidarity—unity of agreement in feeling or action (especially among individuals with a common purpose)—among practitioners, that assist us in working together for a more just world. I support these claims by reference to an exploratory case study: an offering of community-engaged mindfulness to address a community facing revelations of racism among law enforcement in a major American city.

This chapter describes the nascent development of a contemplative approach to law and legal education. It describes some of the notable innovations-inspiring new courses and cocurricular offerings-that have been increasingly observed among law schools and argues that because these reforms respond to a range of criticisms of the legal profession they merit further research and support among legal educators. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of New Directions for Teaching & Learning is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

At a recent retreat for mindfulness teachers in Europe, one of my fellow attendees, a man who, if asked, we would identify as “white,” who spoke with a European accent, noted that I was the only “Black woman” in the group of more than 200. “I imagine you’re used to that, though,” he said. I nodded, and we continued on without further reflection on these apparent facts. After all, he was right: in over years of experience within a variety of communities focused on practicing and teaching mindfulness, I have more often than not been one of the few, if not the only Black woman in the room. Within and across a variety of mainstream, Western mindfulness communities, people of color across the spectrum remain significantly underrepresented (Kaleem, 2012).

Most of us know that, despite the counsel of the current Supreme Court, colorblindness is not, by itself, an effective remedy against racism. This is so because it does not comport with our cognitive (or social) experience of the real world. Thus, legal scholars, backed by cognitive scientists, have called for a move from colorblindness to color insight -- defined as an understanding of race and its pervasive operation in our lives and in the law. This Article is the first to explore the role of research-grounded mindfulness-based contemplative practices in enhancing what may be called ColorInsight, and to suggest specific practices, ColorInsight Practices, that assist in its development not only of personal capacity to deal more effectively with race, but, more importantly, of the tools necessary for effective collaborative social change in the 21st century.The Article (1) furthers efforts to push beyond the important but limited cognitive-based understanding of racism and discrimination, focusing not only on emotional but relational and systemic aspects of the dynamics of race and racism; (2) mines a rich body of research on mindfulness as a means of supporting cross-racial interactions and systemic change that has gone unnoticed in the legal domain, and uncovers the ways that the law school classrooms and other organized spaces currently tend to keep emotional-awareness and interactional-awareness out of legal education practice and discourse, and fail to create space for developing positive racial interactions and skill-building in the classroom; and (3) offers more than two dozen specific, original or adapted practices for individual, interpersonal and systemic support in opening up space for conversation, learning, and development of positive interactions across race-based and other identity differences. Although the Article focuses on race in the context of the law school classroom, it implicitly suggests ways of expanding capacity to discuss racial issues wherever they arise. Further, it raises issues and questions for antidiscrimination and equality theory and practice more broadly. I look forward to your feedback.