On June 25, Valley Insight was honored to have wise and compassionate Insight meditation teacher Ruth King visit our sangha and give a Dharma talk on her new book, Mindful of Race. Ruth’s talk packed the Norwich Congregational Church. Ruth calls racism a “heart disease” that can go unnoticed and untreated for a long time. She talked about the eye-opening experiences of encountering her own preconceived ideas, and the sometimes-challenging experiences encountering those of others, and then took questions from the audience. Ruth’s book is divided into three parts:
Part 1: Diagnosis: Understanding Habits of Harm––we discover the narrative we hold along racial lines;
Part 2: Mindfulness-Heart Surgery––we explore how to stay present to racial distress through mindfulness meditation;
Part 3: Cultivating a culture of care––Recovery, we shift our focus outward. We learn how to spread understanding, caring, and equanimity about race from our sangha to the bigger world outside.
Ruth King’s visit invited our sangha to open our heart-mind to investigate racism both internally and externally. In the weeks following, book groups were formed within the sangha to read and study Mindful of Race.