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Mindful of Race

Transforming Racism from the Inside Out

Sounds True – June 2018


How to grow our inner capacity to face racial ignorance and suffering with a wise and caring heart

Drawing on her expertise as a meditation teacher and diversity consultant, King helps readers of all backgrounds examine with fresh eyes the complexity of racial identity and the dynamics of oppression. She offers guided instructions on how to work with intense emotions mindfully, and shows us how to cultivate a culture of care from a less tangled place to a place of greater clarity and compassion. 

Ruth King is an international teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition, a recognized diversity consultant to leaders and organizations, a life coach, and the author of Healing Rage: Women Making Inner Peace Possible. She created the Mindful of Race Training program and is the founder of Mindful Members Insight Meditation Community of Charlotte, NC.


This powerful and penetrating book offers us healing medicine for the great suffering of racism. Ruth King, a deeply wise and caring Buddhist teacher and diversity consultant, not only helps us understand the complexity of our great racial divide, she offers a core of practices, reflections and actions that gives us hope for transformation. Our world needs this book. We need this book. Please read with a receptive heart, and share with all you know!  Tara Brach, Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

Mindful of Race presents a remedy to the pain that has cut across us as human beings and has left a seemingly indelible scar upon our hearts. King boldly states, this mark can be dissolved! With great care she carries us to the place in which we can rest and heal the racial divide. Deep bows!   Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Author of The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender

Important medicine. Wise and heartfelt, both demanding and comforting, with many tools for the real work on racism we need in these polarized times.  Jack Kornfield, Author of A Path With Heart

Mindfulness of Race is a breath of fresh air by which everyone can find a way to contribute to healing racial pain and divisiveness. By applying mindfulness practice to address racism, Ruth King provides one of the most exciting, hopeful, and useful applications of mindfulness for our times. The book shows how each of us can look within so that contributing to overcome racism is not a burden, it is an expression of our compassion, wisdom, and mutual respect.  Gil Fronsdal, Author of The Issue At Hand: Essays on Buddhist Mindfulness Practice

In her outstanding new book, Mindful of Race, Ruth King explores the role of mindfulness in understanding the suffering of racism and the power of mindfulness for healing that corrosive conditioning.  This is an arena of profound challenges, and her many years of meditative practice provide a depth of insight and wisdom that illuminates the work we all must do. Mindful of Race is a wonderfully pragmatic and inspiring guide on this journey of transformation. Highly recommended. – Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

In Mindful of Race, Ruth King boldly declares that “racism is a heart disease that’s curable.” She then proceeds to guide us on a three-part journey to healing. In doing so, King brings all of her compassionate insight, talent and grit to bear. This is a book for the ages, and it is exactly what the world needs now. Jan Willis, author of Dreaming Me, Black, Baptist and Buddhist—One Woman’s Spiritual Journey

In Mindful of Race: Understanding and Transforming Habits of Harm, Ruth King accomplishes a rare feat: she offers us an incredibly accessible, relatable, and useful guide for addressing the range of ways we internalize racist messages. She also beautifully lays out the common thoughts and feelings that function – despite our best intentions – to protect rather than ameliorate racism.  In so doing, she has made engaging with this text a deeply affective as well as intellectual experience. Perhaps most importantly, King addresses the emotional and spiritual impacts of racism that are so rarely addressed in workshops and textbooks, but that are critical to our collective and personal healing. King includes reflection exercises and discussion questions, making this a very useful guide for a range of settings. Mindful of Race is a brilliant and unique addition to the struggle for racial justice. Robin DiAngelo, PhD., author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism 

Ruth King brilliantly breaks down one of the most complex experiences of human suffering — racism and racial oppression — with the transformational life skills of mindfulness and Buddhist practice. Like the aspects of insight and concentration in meditation, she provides a laser focus in re-building our collective humanity using universal potentials of awareness and kindness in all of our hearts and minds. Ruth’s book is a must-read, must-practice, must-live experience.Larry Yang, Author of Awakening Together

This masterful and courageous book is a gift offered from the searing depths of America’s ancestral racist wound. Its truth telling, both profoundly insightful and challenging, with its compassionate means and liberating goal makes Mindful of Race a clarifying and necessary addition to every home, school, and university curriculum. Ruth King’s authentic writing invites us to meet her with vulnerability and honesty while at the same time, inspiring us to faithfully engage the urgent task of accountability and racial healing. While having immediate appeal to those familiar with mindfulness, this highly practical book goes far beyond a clique audience. This is a book for everyone. Pick it up, read it, live with it, and share it on. —Thanissara, Author of Time To Stand Up, An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth

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 more than just a great book, it’s a map to freedom. — Noah Levine, Author of The Heart of the Revolution: The Buddha’s Radical Teachings of Forgiveness, Compassion, and Kindness