Transformative social change work depends heavily on regularly utilized awareness practices to enliven and enhance the way progressive non-profits pursue their missions, carry out their programs, and interact with each other. At Hidden Leaf, we define “awareness practice” as any regular activity that helps us as individuals to still our minds and reflect on our internal conditioning — to turn our gaze inward — in order to become aware of our habitual patterns. These awareness practices become transformative when we use them to develop new ways of thinking and acting — and ultimately to change the way we show up in the world. Transformative social change work is when activists use inner awareness to support their efforts to promote systemic structural changes toward a positive society.
When you are immersed in doing without being centered, it feels like being away from home. And when you re-connect with being, even for a few minutes, you know it immediately. You feel at home no matter where you are and what problems you face.
—Jon Kabat Zinn
Here are some of the ways our allies define transformative practice:
Forward Together: We define “transformative practice” as approaches in our organizing and movement building strategies that provide a daily way to embody the change we hope to see within ourselves, our organizations and our society.
Social Transformation Project: Transformative practices are exercises designed to create, through repetition, intentional shifts in awareness, patterns of thinking, and habits of action.
Generative Somatics: Intentional Practices are those that we choose to do in order to transform the way we show up in the world. Through new practices we increase choice and alignment with our values.
Urban Peace Movement: We think of “practice” as consistent engagement with the tools and concepts that help us stay present and mindful – or conscious. These are tools that help us align with the present moment in a state of non-resistance and no judgment, so that we may see and experience what is actually happening (both the “Good” and the “Bad”).