For sixteen years she has been teaching and pioneering mindfulness programs in a variety of settings including cancer support, HIV support, physician groups, executive groups, teachers, and Kaiser Permanente patients. She has collaborated on the revision of mindfulness curricula for Kaiser Permanente in northern California and for the Center for Compassion at Stanford, and has spoken publicly on these and related topics, including forgiveness and conflict resolution.
Volunteering Sexism and Machismo: But a female traveller will also face prejudice around the world, in the form of sexism and discrimination, misogyny and objectification. She will have to deal with the resulting fears that may arise. Is she safe in this culture?
Should she actively alter her behaviour, or her style of dress? How can she best minimise the impact of a potentially threatening situation?
Above all, she will learn to trust that feeling in her gut. So after eighteen months travelling through Latin America, I thought it was necessary to address the biggest issue I faced there. The stooped figure of a man in his seventies was approaching slowly, walking stick in hand, and I began to smile even before we passed each other.
He was sweet; his suit looked a bit too big for him, and I immediately thought of the quintessential photos you see of male Latino pensioners. My head was swimming as I marched along the street, thinking disgustedly about how many grandchildren he probably had.
How on earth could a grandpa ever think it was socially acceptable to leer at a young woman like that? The machismo element of Latino culture seems to practically demand that men make these types of comment, and I received them so often that I almost stopped noticing. What I did keep track of, however, was the way it changed me.
Walking along the street and noticing a group of teenage boys ahead, a cluster of old men, even a single male figure leaning against a wall while smoking a cigarette; all would prompt a stiffening of my body, a lengthening of my neck, a slight curl of the fists, and a quickened pace.
So what was I doing to prompt this behaviour? Well, I was either alone or with other women, for starters. Then there were my clothes. But South America is different. We were heckled by Colombian men walking past, even as we posed for this photo, because our legs were bare.
So I would pull awkwardly at the edges of my shorts, rearrange my vest, and start walking more quickly. Maybe I became expectant that this behaviour would come my way, so noticed every time. Maybe I focused too much of my attention on it.Use this list to locate a Certified Teacher of the Compassion Cultivation Training course in your area.
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