Navigating these Times with Mindfulness & Compassion
In this time of major social upheaval, we at SIYLI stand in solidarity and support for equity, racial justice and social transformation.
The protests in the U.S. following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and the enormous multitude of Black lives lost as a result of systemic, institutionalized racism; the mass suffering and deaths due to the ongoing COVID pandemic around the world and the massive economic destabilization the pandemic is causing (disproportionately affecting minority communities)–all shake us and affect us each personally and collectively. Today we stand in solidarity and support for peaceful, radical action against systemic racism.
We stand in grief and protest and believe that we must come together to end the discrimination against and murder of Black and marginalized community members around the world. At SIYLI we strongly believe that working towards equity and justice is a lifelong commitment of inner and outer work. Our inner work requires that we dedicate ourselves to learning, cultivating awareness, building empathy and reflecting on our deep conditioning; our outer work asks that we advocate for institutional and systemic transformation. In the words of Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, “We gotta stop looking for easy answers and instead join the hard work.”
We know there are no easy solutions to the challenges we’re facing and that the deep roots of injustice will not be uprooted quickly. SIYLI is committed to making mindfulness, compassion and emotional intelligence skills practical and accessible; and this is a time when those skills are being called on to address injustice and inequity. We commit to staying engaged and working towards equity and justice for the long haul, with humility, a learning mindset and an open heart for the ongoing journey and work that these changes will require.
Accordingly, here are a few resources related to learning, integration, and action towards racial justice and social transformation:
- Leading Social Transformation: The Inner Work of Racial Justice with Rhonda Magee: join us for a conversation with Professor of Law and SIYLI Board of Directors President Rhonda Magee, next Monday, June 8th.
- What Will It Take to Bridge Our Differences: articles and resources from The Greater Good Science Center
- Supporting your Black Coworkers during this time: Maintaining Professionalism in the Age of Black Death
- Pause and Practice: Meditate & Connect in Community: join us as we come together on Thursday, June 4th for a 30-minute mindfulness-based practice, with a focus on cultivating compassion. All experiences and levels are welcome.
- Leadership Principles for Times of Massive Disruption: Navigating Inner and Outer Worlds with IntegrityNavigating these Times with Mindfulness & Compassion: a conversation and practice session with HR and Wellbeing Advisor and Chief People Officer Golbie Kamarei, on Thursday, June 25th.
- Compassion Visualization: a practice if you’re struggling to find center or wishing to enhance your capacity for compassion.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice’s educational toolkits: SURJ is the U.S.’ largest white, anti-racist organization comitted to building a racially-just society. For those of us who identify as white, this is a suggested starting place.
- Join the Black Lives Matter Week of Action and take a look at this list of ways to take action.
Our aspiration at SIYLI is to support and come together with you as part of a global community committed to addressing inequity and injustice and cultivating a more compassionate, peaceful and connected world that we know is possible. In the timeless words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”
Onward together then, towards a more peaceful, just and equitable world.
In solidarity and support,
As we face this unprecedented moment and global pandemic, our thoughts and hearts go out to everyone who is impacted– everyone who is suffering from COVID-19, who is struggling with anxiety, fear and overwhelm, everyone caring for loved ones, parents home with their kids, employees working remotely and those who find themselves out of work; in other words, all of us. This is a moment to inhabit our common humanity: to recognize how connected and interdependent we all are, to turn towards this present moment and to do so with as much compassion as we can.
Resources for Resilience
As we face a roller coaster of feelings and reactions, we believe that proactively cultivating skills for individual and collective resilience are essential. SIYLI has put together a ‘resilience resource list’ and below are additional ways to support you in fostering connection with yourself and your community.
What this Means for SIY
Our global community of mindfulness and emotional intelligence practitioners is at the center of everything we do. As our goal is to support you in thriving throughout your life, SIYLI has cancelled many of our upcoming in-person programs and will be taking a precautionary approach to in-person gatherings. In the meantime, we encourage you to join our global community online and connect with us directly about offering SIY virtually to support your team over the next few months.
Leaning into Community
We have been so moved to see people coming together in these times– from stories of streets of people singing from their balconies, to those supporting elderly or at-risk neighbors with grocery shopping, to our own SIY teacher who is organizing the #PandemicOfLove to match thousands of families in need with those who can help in her community. SIYLI’s vision is that our global community works toward a more peaceful world in which all people feel connected and act with compassion. We are grateful to see this vision come to life through continued acts of kindness during this difficult time.
- We launched a Free Online Series: Towards Our New Reality. Join us May-July for webinars, practice and other resources.
- SIYLI has put together a‘resilience resource list’ to support you throughout these times with practices for cultivating mindfulness, resilience and connection.
- We also put together a specific resource page for those of you supporting your colleagues and organizations.
Resources from our Partners
- Our friends at Wisdom Labs are offering their [email protected] app for free for 3 months.
- Check-out TenPercentHappier’s Coronavirus Sanity Guide which includes a wealth of guided meditations and talks.
- Resilience Resources from Mindful Leader: Mindfulness Techniques for Managing Coronavirus Anxiety at Home and Work.
- Audio recording from Jack Kornfield: Compassion in the Time of Coronavirus.
- From the Good News Network: 10 Positive Updates from COVID19.
Practice in Community
- Spirit Rock’s wonderful ‘Monday Night Talk and Sit’ with Jack Kornfield and Friends – 7:15pm PST
- Mindful.org is hosting [email protected] practice sessions every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3:00p.m. ET
- Greater Good Science Center’s Daily Dose of Togetherness: Mon-Fri, 12-1:50pm PST, March 23 – April 5
- Sounds True Resilience in Challenging Times: free access to daily video sessions and webinars
- The Awake Network’s Mindful Living Summit: 4 day, free offer with daily practices and sessions, March 19-22
- Mindful Leader: Mon-Fri, March 23 – April 3rd, daily meditation and support groups for 30 minutes; see their website for times as they vary each day.
Connect with Support
For people, families and businesses who have been affected by COVID-19, get financial help– or if you’re in a position to help those in need, please see the C19 Help Squad.
May we all stay healthy and find ease during these times, and may we remember that we’re in this together.