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Hummingbird, fly away

We're all captivated by the struggles of a hummingbird trapped in our room trying to get through the glass window. Somehow her fight for liberation, and then our attempts to help, took all our attention, perhaps because it symbolized how we all long for freedom. She reminded us of the suffering all around us and our desire to do something to alleviate it. This was a panel on "Conducting mindfulness research with BIPOC communities: Conceptual, methodological, ethical considerations."

Though we were there to talk, our focus on the hummingbird felt like an expression of compassion and our desire to take action through our research, writing, and teaching. We want to apply our scholarly work to the pressing needs of our communities. The hummingbird helped make my talk more real and urgent, stressing how the work I do in the spirit of transforming self and society with compassion is based in the belief expressed by Grace Lee Boggs that, "Building community is to the collective as spiritual practice is to the individual."

At the inaugural conference of the International Society for Contemplative Research (ISCR) in San Diego on February 2.

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