Mindful of Race Training

"Racism is a heart disease, and it's curable. Understanding how we have been conditioned to think and react is at the root of both racial distress and racial healing."

Racism remains one of the most rooted and painful impasses of our time. We could say that racism is a heart disease AND it’s curable! Racism is fed through unawareness and the misuse of power. Embedded in racism is the skeletal shape of all oppressions. To understand the dynamics of racism and the flesh we put on its bones is to also understand other forms of oppression and our relationship to differences, divisions, and diversity. Mindful of Race Training is designed for leaders, groups, and dedicated practitioners to grow wise about race. Participants become aware of the relational reality of race and their role in racial distress – its formation and transformation.

This program blends Ruth King's professional background in organizational development, leadership coaching, diversity program design, and her experience as a mindfulness meditation practitioner and teacher. Unique to this training is the infusion of the Integral Matters™: Thriving on Difference framework, developed by Drs. Barbara E. Riley and Delyte Frost of The Chambers Group, LLC, where we explore race and its power dynamics from three levels of experience: individual, group, and institution, and the dominant and subordinated dance of oppression embedded in our mind that is reflected in the world.

Mindful of Race Training supports an engaged exploration of our racial conditioning through a mindful lens. With mindfulness practice, we learn to stay present to what’s true and what’s difficult with a caring and wise heart as we investigate our “individual” and “collective” racial conditioning and “systemic” proliferation. The aim of this training is not to encourage the cosmetics of racial inclusion, or an unrealistic ambition or anxiety-driven desire to eliminate racial hatred. Rather it offers a process for gradual healing through a deep understanding of our racial programing, its impact, and our potential. 

This program consist of a 4 1/2 day training and a 1-day meeting six months following the training to share and integrate the teachings. Participants in this training:

  • Recognize the ways in which our racial history shapes our perception of others and ourselves;
  • Become aware of the construction of oppression and social suffering and our role in it;
  • Discover how our inner life is reflected in the world;
  • Become more sensitive to individual and racial group impact;
  • Understand how our views impact our use of power and influence;
  • Wake up to micro and macro-aggressions;
  • Soften the grip of anger, guilt and fear, and use discomfort to brighten awareness and clarify intention;
  • Aim our energy toward awakening, non-harming, and unification;
  • Transcend our racial narrative by becoming more intentional;
  • Experience the relief that self-awareness, honesty, vulnerability, and presence makes available;
  • Experience our kinship and innate propensity for kindness and care;
  • All this while having a bit of fun!

Mindful of Race Training is a call to those who are brave and committed long-term to reducing harm, ripening self-awareness through relationships, and fostering collective well-being.

Please Note: This training is available to groups and organizations upon request.

  • This program is designed for intact groups and teams, not as a “general audience” offering.
  • Your group need not be racially diverse to benefit from this training.
  • Commitment to a mindfulness or contemplative meditation practice is advised.
  • Read Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism From The Inside Out prior to attending this training.
  • Participation in a Racial Affinity Groups following this training will be encouraged to support integration and sustainability of the teachings.   

Ruth King’s Mindful of Race workshop was the beginning of an important transformation both for me personally and the Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville. With compassion, humor and nuanced presentation, Ruth guided us to experiencing the depth and complexity of white privilege and the history of race in our culture. Previously, I had conflated race and class erroneously believing I was colorblind….seeing everything through the lens of class struggle. Since her first workshop with us (we have had her back several times) my daily experience of my whiteness and deeper understanding of the non-white experience in our culture has informed my thinking and behavior. I am not the same person.

Ruth’s work is essential in these times, offering a true bridge of the many felt separations that divide us. Her work offers a usable template for bridging all separations be it race, gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity, political persuasion or disability. Since our exposure to Ruth our meditation community has begun numerous small study groups we call “White Awake” with the expressed intent of bridging the inner separation around race as our template for all other separations wherever they are found. This is the essence of spiritual practice.  ~ Pat Coffey, Founder, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville

Charlottesville Tricycle OnLine Article

Contact up to explore training for your team!

Statements of Gratitude

Guiding a group inquiry into the intricate issues of race requires wisdom, compassion and a highly refined sense of humor.  Ruth King embodies all these qualities.  What she offers those willing to explore these issues is nothing short of magic. ~ Jonathan Foust, Founder, Meditation Teacher Training Institute, former president of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and Guiding Teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Washington

The training was clear and informative but more than that Ruth’s skill in teasing out our understanding and growth along the path to awakening was inspired. It was a very moving experience.  ~ Carolyn Stachowski, Insight On The Inside Prison Project, DC

Thank you for sharing your considerable wisdom, humor and truths with our Charlottesville community. I am still basking in the glow (and feeling the overwhelm in my heart). I was incredibly moved by your teachings, both the message and how it was delivered. I saw so much transformation in others and myself over the course of the retreat, a transformation that I am praying will remain long enough for us to dialogue with an eye toward healing. Thanks so much! With deep gratitude, Zan Tewksbury, Director, Human Rights Commission, Office of Human Rights, Charlottesville, VA 

Ruth King’s work has had a positive impact on me personally and is highly influential in our community, Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. As we all strive to end suffering and confusion, Mindful of Race is ... a map to freedom. — Noah Levine, author of The Heart of the Revolution: The Buddha’s Radical Teachings of Forgiveness, Compassion, and Kindness

On behalf of the Common Ground Community, I want to thank you for your wise, fearless, and kind teaching and presence. You are a Dharma Treasure and we hope that it will make sense for you to continue to support us down the road. With great gratitude. ~ Mark Nunberg, Co-Founder and Guiding Teacher