I found a strong website for white people who want to be part of the solution for racial justice, Practice Showing Up. The author, Jardana Peacock, writes a compelling introduction about practice. She says that for white people to show up in support of black and brown people, we need practices of wellness, healing and culture to ground us and support us.
Jardana talks about practice as hard – not only in the beginning but most of the time. That’s because the practice she is talking about demands inner change. It demands letting go of judgment and blame. It demands paying attention to the present moment. It includes Buddhist sitting, bringing the mind back to attention. It includes Yoga and doing the dishes mindfully. The anonymous author of Cloud of Unknowing is writing about practice. Daily prayer is practice. There are many kinds of practice that heal us, ground us, support us to take right action.
The site offers some space for journal reflection and it publishes what some others have written. Finally, Jardana provides a biographical essay that describes her own path and she makes some suggestions about the kinds of practice we could choose.
The point of the practice is to strengthen ourselves so that we do show up in support of black and brown people. Show up at street demonstrations. Show up at court hearings. Show up in the office of your state legislator. Show up at community meetings. These invitations to show up are sporadic. It takes a hard internal push to accept the invitation. Before that, it takes the practice of mindfulness to hear and recognize the invitation.
Working through the exercises on the website is only isn’t a huge investment of time or engergy. But it does offer strategies for strengthening our will to do good, for changing our lives, breath by breath.