I. Engaging Change
“ ‘Mind the Gap’ a voice overhead calls out as the doors open for the Tube in London, that is precisely the same thing we aspire to in meditation, to mind the gap between where we are in this moment before we act to get where we are going. If we can recognize that space, hold it open, then we have a chance to transform our actions from blind habit to conscious action.”
Identify gaps in our society and responding wisely to these situations is a critical component of creating a just, democratic, and civil society. Meditation and mindfulness facilitate developing the capacity to recognize gaps within our daily life, to be present with gaps in order to gain clarity and understanding, and to respond to gaps with insight and wisdom for the betterment of ourselves, for our communities and for the world.
The paper explains a framework to promote conscious, inclusive social action, and demonstrates how this framework could be used at the individual and institutional level. It culminates in describing the capacity we need to build to support inclusive problem solving, a necessary step to promoting inclusive, conscious social change.
II. Mind the Gaps: Conscious, Inclusive Action for Social Change
The “Mind the Gaps” framework is broadly applicable to a variety of issues. This 4-step Gap Analysis enables one to “check” the inclusiveness of actions by individuals or organizations. When we encounter a gap in our action plan, the capacity for inclusive problem solving will allow participation of voices not historically engaged in the problem solving process. To be inclusive we need to create a space that allows for diverse constituents to input understanding the problem and for diverse perspectives on the appropriateness of proposed strategies. After we take a proposed action through the 4 steps, we may, ultimately, determine that our initial action is optimal, even if not fully inclusive, but we make that choice consciously, more aware of future opportunities for more inclusive solutions.
Mind the Gaps
1. Gaps of Culture
2. Gaps of GPSE (geo-political socio-economics)
3. Gaps of Systems
4. Gaps of Power Perspective
While the 4-steps of Mind the Gaps may seem familiar or intuitive, we have the opportunity to adopt using the 4-step framework consistently in our personal and professional activities to raise our awareness and Mind the Gaps in our daily life.
 Ingen Breen, a soto zen priest, who shared meditation practice guidance and this brilliant analogy.