Buddhist and arts-based practices for addressing racial oppression: building upon Cleveland and Tobin’s mindfulness in education

  • Helen KwahEmail author


In this response to Richard Cleveland’s review of the Special Issue on Mindfulness in Education by Kenneth Tobin (Learn Res Pract 4(1):112–125, 2018., I follow his call for ‘nonjudgmental scholarship’ by discussing possibilities for engaging in contemplative practices to address the current societal need for healing from racial oppression. I start by revisiting traditional Buddhist ideas and practices of wisdom and compassion, and considering how these ideas and practices can be applied to the goals of resisting racism and enacting individual and collective healing. I then discuss the potential for using arts-based modalities to conduct counter-hegemonic contemplative practices, especially as arts-based modalities draw upon embodiment and affect. To support my discussion, I provide examples from the work of prominent Black Buddhist teachers and my own arts-based contemplative scholarship.


Mindfulness Compassion Arts-based research Contemplative arts Racial oppression Buddhism 


En la respuesta que realizan Kenneth Tobin (2018) publicada en la edición especial de la revista Mindfulness in Education, sobre la revisión desarrollada por Richard Cleveland plantean la necesidad de adquirir una posición “académica/intelectual libre de prejuicios” con la cual yo coincido y desarrollo. Dicha posición se encarga de discutir posibilidades de prácticas contemplativas para abordar la necesidad social actual de remediar la opresión racial. Comienzo por revisar las ideas y prácticas Budistas tradicionales sobre la sabiduría y la compasión, y considero cómo estas ideas y prácticas se pueden aplicar a los objetivos de resistencia al racismo y la sanción individual y colectiva. Posteriormente, analizo la posibilidad de usar modalidades basadas en las artes para llevar a cabo prácticas contemplativas contrahegemónicas, especialmente porque las modalidades en las artes se basan y se enfocan en la personificación y el afecto. Para sustentar mis discusiones, proporciono ejemplos del trabajo de prominentes maestros budistas negros, así como mi conocimiento y experiencia contemplativa basada en las artes.

Palabras Claves

Atención consciente y plena Compasión Investigación enfocada a las Artes Artes Contemplativas Opresión Racial Budismo 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HobokenUSA

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