Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Decolonizing Contemplative Practice: Cultivating a Loving, Liberating Presence in the World

with Claudia Love Mair and Christine Valters Paintner

Friday, October 27, 2023

4-6pm Ireland

11am-1pm Eastern

8-10am Pacific

Program Description

Since the start of 2022, Claudia Love and Christine have engaged in a project of transformation. What began as a book club to amplify and learn from contemplative writers of color transformed into a wonderful friendship and the deepening desire to contribute to a more just, loving, and beautiful world.

Through the 30+ books we have read and the conversations we have had with the authors, we want to pause and reflect on some of what we have learned together with this community. To be a dancing monk or spiritual seeker, means to widen our vision to bring more compassion to others, and to ask why so many struggle because of systemic neglect and violence.

We believe contemplative practices of radical love and hospitality, of slowness and spaciousness, of loving intention and awareness of the divine presence in all things and people, all have the potential to be acts of resistance in a world that demands we rush and fill our lives with things that deplete us and our communities. We will open ourselves to humility and vulnerability so we can receive wisdom about what is essential from a diversity of voices. Some of these include:

  • Claiming love as the foundation of our practice
  • Opening our hearts to the stranger within and without
  • Ongoing liberation for ourselves and the wider human and Earth community
  • Discerning ways we are being called to offer medicine and healing


We will create a safe space and a brave space to ask where we struggle with and feel challenged by anti-racism work. We will explore how the contemplative path offers us vital practices.

Through teaching, stories, meditation, reflection, conversation, and creative prompts, we will open this conversation together.

This is an ever-unfolding journey. We do not have answers, but we can suggest practices and share some of what we are discovering. This is not a final word, but a starting point. We hope to offer one another grace and encouragement.

Even if you have never listened to a single episode of the Lift Every Voice podcast or read any of the books we discuss you are still most welcome to join us.

We will turn on closed captioning during the live Zoom session (which you are able to turn off in your settings if you find distracting) as well as provide a video recording after the event with closed captioning available and a text transcript of the session.

The program will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time or who want to view again. You will be sent a notification when this is ready to view.

You have lifetime access to all online programs.

Your Guides for the Journey

Claudia Love Mair (1)

Claudia Love Mair, MFA

Claudia Love Mair, MFA is a writer, artist, and Ringmistress of the Beautiful Soul Circus, a private Facebook group for creatives, queers, and tender souls. She’s an Inspirationalista who, when she’s not creating something herself, helps other creatives tap into their deepest intuition and longings through writing and painting. Claudia is the author of the God Alone is Enough, the critically acclaimed novel, Zora and Nicky, and her memoir, Don’t You Fall Now. She is a Certified Intuitive Painting and Expressive Arts Facilitator and the Coordinator for the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative. Claudia lives in Lexington, with two of her adult children, and three cats, including one who thinks he’s a dog.


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is the online Abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery and global community integrating contemplative practice and creative expression. Her programs draw on the wisdom of the desert, Celtic, and Benedictine spiritual traditions as well as the joy of the expressive arts, embodied practice, and Earth-cherishing wisdom. Christine is the author of numerous books on spirituality and creativity, including three collections of poetry. She lives on the west coast of Ireland with her husband John and dog Sourney. Find out more about her here.


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee  is for those who need financial assistance and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!

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Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

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If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.