A 12-Minute Meditation for Learning About Our Biases

This guided meditation is a mindful journey of introspection and forgiveness. Tovi Scruggs-Hussein guides us to reflect on ingrained prejudices and the impact they have on our interactions and societal structures.


This meditation is a key part of our Racial Healing series, led by Tovi. This series offers a space for reflection, vulnerability, and learning, aimed at dismantling racism through emotional intelligence and cultural humility. Each session, including this one, builds on mindfulness techniques to explore race and racism, fostering deep, systemic change through personal and collective healing. Join us as we navigate these critical topics with compassion and awareness, striving for a more inclusive and mindful society. You can find the first article of the series here.

With this practice, we’re exploring how mindfulness can help move us toward racial healing and understanding our deep-seated biases. In this guided meditation, we delve into the roots of implicit biases—those “carefully taught” lessons that subtly shape our attitudes and behaviors towards others. This approach fosters an environment of introspection and forgiveness, encouraging us to reflect on these ingrained prejudices and the impact they have on our interactions and societal structures.

As we engage in this practice, you’ll be guided to recognize and interrupt these biases, using mindfulness as a tool for both personal and communal healing. This session is an opportunity to explore the ways in which our biases were formed and to courageously confront and transform them. By understanding and addressing these biases, we open pathways to empathy, fostering a deeper human connection and a shared commitment to creating a society free from the distortions of prejudice.

A Guided Meditation for Cultivating Compassion in Racial Awareness

  1. Before beginning, I invite you to listen to a beautiful song sung by Billy Porter and India Arie. The song is called “Carefully Taught,” and it’s about 4.5 minutes. So if you choose, play that song and then engage in this meditation. 
  2. Sit comfortably, being reverently alert, and close our eyes or gaze down. Take three deep breaths at a pace that feels good for you. 
  3. After those deep breaths, allow your breath to settle at a rhythm that feels restorative and relaxing. Generally, this means we might slow our breathing down and bring our breathing more fully down into our stomach area. 
  4. As we start to explore our own bias and to support our healing from our bias, I invite you to think about your own childhood. How have you been carefully taught? What bias were you taught as a child? Think of a story or something that happened to you that might illustrate this lesson you were taught.
  5. Just sit and be with what arises. And as we think about our own conditioning, where we learned some of the bias and practice that arises in us now, generations and decades later, can we trace it back to when the seed was planted, so that we can unearth that seed in us? 
  6. As we explore our bias with both compassion and self-compassion, I invite in forgiveness. Can we forgive who taught us this bias? Can we forgive who shaped our conditioning? Because more often than not, we love them. And it is okay to love them. They, too, were carefully taught, and then went on to teach us what they had been taught. So we let them know: I forgive you for mis-teaching me. They are products of this society just like we are. And that is compassion
  7. We can also invite self-compassion into our forgiveness. Can we bring ourselves to self-compassion and self-forgiveness for the times that we acted on this bias, or for even holding the bias? Now we know better and we can be better and we can do better. 
  8. When we think about self-compassion, remember what Kristin Neff says: that self-compassion is like talking to ourselves the way we would talk to someone that we love. When you speak to yourself like someone you love about your own bias, what do you say to yourself? Let it be okay to forgive yourself and love yourself in spite of your bias. Let it go. There are no villains. We are all here experiencing our own evolution and healing for the transformation of a better humanity. There are no villains. Let us take a deep breath on that. 
  9. As we start to come out of this meditation into our present awareness, let us make a commitment to interrupt our bias. Knowing it gives us power. The self-awareness of knowing what our bias is is an empowering act of courage. And we become even more courageous, so that when we feel it arising in us, we take that pause and we interrupt it. We don’t act on it. The bias in and of itself is not harmful. Acting on it is what creates the harm. So we interrupt acting on it. And that is our commitment to a better humanity. That is our commitment to our own self-healing and self transformation. For systemic transformation. Breathe that in. 

Thank you for sitting with me today.

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