Journal of Contemplative Inquiry


Veta Goler


When the U.S. seemed to disintegrate in 2020 from the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing murders of unarmed Black people by the police, my fear levels rose dramatically, and understandably so. Like other Black women, I experienced intersectional oppressions including, but not limited to, racism and sexism. I needed to shore up my inner strength. In this essay I discuss online retreats that I have been facilitating for Black women since September 2020. I describe my approach to the retreats, how participants have responded to them, and the community that has developed through them. The retreats are healing spaces that offer Black women contemplative themes and practices to explore in community. And through contemplative practices, the retreats increase Black women’s self-love, which helps dismantle their internalized oppression by offering them more accurate—and beautiful—images of self. These images shift their inner experience, which then shifts their external experiences.