Sitting Group for Black & Indigenous People
The Mindfulness Journey
A Q&A with AMI’s Dominique Harmon
A new sitting group offered through Atlanta Mindfulness Institute aims to provide a safe space for Black and Indigenous people impacted by systemic racism. Participants will learn how to heal and recover from race-based stress and trauma using mindfulness techniques. Instructor Dominique Harmon, a licensed clinical social worker and yoga instructor, provided details in a recent interview.
Q: What can people expect if they attend this sitting group?
A: Our time together will begin with 30 minutes of mindfulness. That means being in the present moment without judgement and noticing what you become aware of as you sit. For the next 30 minutes, we will have a discussion around issues related to race-based stress and trauma, including how to recover from those experiences.
Q: Why is this group so important to have right now?
A: It’s a safe place for people of color to come together as a community. (In this case, over Zoom). You can see other people who look like you, who may have had some shared experiences that you have had. It is important for Black and Indigenous people to recover and experience repair from race-based stress. The practice of mindfulness is one way to do that.
Q: Why are you excited to teach this group?
A: I have a passion for wellness and see great value in nontraditional methods for healing and achieving optimal well-being. Mindfulness is one of those methods, one that Black Americans have not traditionally leaned towards. I’m excited to introduce people to another way of healing, health, and wellness that they might not have been previously open to. I’m an African American woman offering this group to other African Americans and Indigenous people. This community setting lets people feel the energy of others who have a shared desire to be well.
Q: Who should attend? Is meditation experience necessary?
A: All Black and Indigenous people are welcome to attend, whether you’ve never practiced mindfulness or if you have a daily practice you’ve been doing for years. During our time together, we will talk about what mindfulness is and why it’s beneficial in the healing process.
Q: How will participants benefit?
A: Participants will have the opportunity to become more aware of what is happening internally as they think about racial identity and the experiences they’ve had as a Black or Indigenous person in America. It’s not just knowing things intellectually but also knowing how experiences show up in our physical bodies. This group is also a place for community support. You’ll hear others’ stories and testimonies about their resilience and how they’re learning to care for themselves and advocate for themselves. I want to support people in becoming empowered to face difficult or challenging situations with skilled, wise, self-affirming responses.
Q: How can someone join this sitting group?
A: We meet via Zoom on the first Sunday of each month from 7-8 p.m. ET. To join, you just need to register online. It’s free to attend. We suggest a $10 donation and appreciate any amount you might be willing to offer. Once you register, you’ll receive a Zoom link and additional details.