- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-7626-4
- Pages: 272
- Price: £14.99
- Published Date: May 2024
Disrupting white mindfulness presents a thought-provoking critique of the prevailing narratives that shape the mindfulness industry, namely whiteness, postracialism and neoliberalism.
The industry presents itself as 'apolitical', but this only serves to create institutions that fit comfortably into our increasingly divided societies. The White, middle-class profile of decision-makers, educators and staff is mirrored in its audiences, and the industry's whiteness is endlessly recycled through corporate pedagogies, edicts of authority, disengagement with difference and inappropriate uses of mindfulness that distance People of the Global Majority.
At the same time, an emergent movement focused on a justice-infused mindfulness and liberatory well-being is decolonising mindfulness and decentring whiteness. Rooted in indigenous, global South, queer knowledges, this movement leverages difference to produce new possibilities for liberation. As this book shows, there is room for White Mindfulness to change.
'Karelse delivers a cracking Black Feminist call to decolonise "Wellbeing" with her forensic exposé of the darkside of the White Mindfulness industry and its colonial co-option of Eastern teachings for Western gain.'
Heidi Safia Mirza, author of Race, Gender and Educational Desire
'Disrupting White Mindfulness offers a generous and critical lens of exploration helping to free the ancient practice of mindfulness from systems of dominance, restoring the practice back to its original project of liberation for all who seek it.'
Lama Rod Owens, author of Love and Rage and co-author of Radical Dharma
'Karelse importantly invites the mindful to reimagine their communities, untethering themselves from the de facto white, colonial cultures that undergird and infuse their most popular forms. She instead encourages others to imagine along with her how such practices can be used to foster a more inclusive and just world through intrapersonal and collective reflection, new forms of community building, and action.'
Jaime Kucinskas, author of The Mindful Elite
Introduction: encountering the world of White Mindfulness
Part I: The roots of exclusion and Othering
1 Othering: the roots of colonisation and Orientalism
2 Cementing whiteness: inclusion through a neoliberal, postracial lens
3 Western Buddhism: a postracial precursor to White Mindfulness
Part II: Wrapping Mindfulness in whiteness
4 Stuck in whiteness: patterns in Western mindfulness organisations
5 Reproducing whiteness: pedagogies of limitation
6 Corporatising education: metrics, tools and neoliberal skills
Part III: Embodying justice, changing worlds
7 White Mindfulness, Black Lives Matter and social transformation
8 Taking back the future: beyond Eurocentric temporality
9 Disrupting space: the politics of pain and emotion
10 Politicised twenty-first-century mindfulness: creating futures of belonging
Conclusion: embodied liberation and worldmaking
Cathy-Mae Karelse (she/her) is a scholar-practitioner, changemaker and public speaker on issues of race, difference and belonging. She received a PhD from SOAS in 2019. Her work addresses all landscapes: the inner, outer and in-between. She is currently the DEI Lead at The Mindfulness Initiative and holds the position of Systems Change Lead at Resilience Capital Ventures. She works on policy and change programmes globally.