I first participated in a guided meditation during a training for young people who were working on issues of economic justice. Since issues of class and race would have a great impact on our work, we spend a lot time looking at issues like diversity and oppression. To begin examining how we’d been affected by stereotypes, we were led through a guided meditation and asked, from a place of deep relaxation, to recall our first memories of difference with regard to race and ethnicity. What were the words we remembered hearing? The images? What were we told by people close to us, such as family, friends, and teachers? What situations and events did we remember? When we finished the meditation, we met in “affinity” groups; white people and people of color met separately to discuss the commonalities and differences of our experience. We talked about how society’s message about race had affected us, even before we were old enough to begin making adequate judgments about what we were hearing. And we were able to be honest about the stereotypes and messages that still impacted us as adults. When the whole group came back together, we shared the “data” we’d come up with, and it began to create a bridge of understanding that only got stronger with time.

Claudia Horwitz in The Spiritual Activist