Welcome to Wisdom from the Mat. I am Michelle Chatman (Iya Omo Olufina), an anthropologist, activist, artists, and contemplative educator. I have been a student of contemplative practices for over two decades and have, in the past four years, integrated more mindfulness, meditation,deep listening, secular ritual, and other contemplative approaches into my teaching and research.
This site is offered as a resource for teachers, social workers, artists, and others. Here you will find articles, practices, poetry, prose, and other resources designed to help you merge the mind and heart in your work of service to the world. This collection comes from contemplative scholars of color, mostly professors and administrators in higher education. We feel that a space which allows us to speak to the mass injustices and racially motivating assaults occurring in our cities, communities, and on our campuses, is essential.
Here, we offer our wisdom from the various Mats that serve as the cultural, spiritual, and religious foundations upon which our contemplative practices rest, be they the yoga mat, the divination mat, the Muslim prayer mat, the floor of the Buddhist temple, the mat of family, or our Great Mother Earth, upon which we ALL stand and must rely. We hope you will find value in what we have shared and that you will visit often.
Michelle Chatman, PhD
Iya Omo Olufina