Annotation: From personal to structural, racism may be understood as an endemic public health threat with crisis-level effects. Mindfulness practices, originating from numerous cultures and spiritual traditions, are an active area of scientific investigation for health and other benefits. Mindfulness is often studied for its internal effects in individuals. However, many important research questions remain underexplored. For example, how might mindfulness practices be applied to disrupt bias and minimize racism’s harms? How might the science of mindfulness be directed toward further exploring their external, interpersonal, and systemic effects?
Rhonda V. Magee, J.D., professor of law, long-time mindfulness teacher, scholar of contemplative education, and practitioner of mindfulness, delivered the 2021 Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Therapies. Professor Magee described some of the research on how mindfulness has been shown to help us, for example, increase our emotional resilience; address fears, anxieties, and other emotions; choose how we will respond to injustice; and change unhelpful habits. She also discusses an exciting new area of study: focusing on external mindfulness and its effects as individuals interact with others, their environments, and the array of challenges facing us all.