Journal of Contemplative Inquiry


In this article I explore how systems of capitalism and colonialism—the larger anti-Black world—have conditioned modern mindfulness meditation to be unattractive for Black contemplatives (Sharpe, 2016). I describe the Four Pillars of R.E.S.T. as a contemplative offering that is free of colonial influence. R.E.S.T. is a contemplative practice, intended to be practical and accessible for Black folks who are fatigued from America’s centuries-old repeated attempts to break our bodies and spirits. The intention of R.E.S.T. is to offer Black people a contemplative path to liberation that not only empowers us to remain resilient in the face of overt forms of injustice, but also acknowledges our exhaustion and affirms our need to rest. R.E.S.T. is an alternative to mainstream mindfulness meditation that so often portrays suffering as an outcome of a personal inability to pay attention properly, completely ignoring the fundamental integration of life, where both the social and the personal are constantly interacting and influencing each other.