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About the FellowshipsThis program was sponsored by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and made possible by funding from the Fetzer Institute. The fellowships seek to restore and renew the critical contribution that contemplative practices can make to the life of teaching, learning, and scholarship. At the heart of the program is the belief that pedagogical and intellectual benefits can be discovered by bringing contemplative practice into the academy, and that contemplative awareness can help to create a more just, compassionate, and reflective society.
Deep Listening is a way of hearing in which we are fully present with what is happening in the moment without trying to control it or judge it. We let go of our inner clamoring and our usual assumptions and listen with respect for precisely what is being said.For listening to be effective, we require a contemplative mind: open, fresh, alert, attentive, calm, and receptive. We often do not have a clear concept of listening as an active process; we often see listening as a passive, static activity. In fact, listening and a contemplative mind is open and vibrant yet spacious, and it can be cultivated through instruction and practice. As a classroom practice, deep listening requires that students witness their thoughts and emotions while maintaining focused attention on what they are hearing. It trains them to pay full attention to the sound of the words, while abandoning such habits as planning their next statement or interrupting the speaker. It is attentive rather than reactive listening. Such listening not only increases retention of material but encourages insight and the making of meaning.
A Workplace Table of InspirationA Table of Inspiration is a wonderful addition to life in organizations. The Table of Inspiration creates and develops what might be called a “center of gravity” for your workplace: a place where the community finds its center and communal grounding.
This webinar explores how contemplative practices can deepen feminist and critical race pedagogies in Women's Studies, Ethnic Studies, and other courses about diversity, power, and oppression. Mindfulness can help students both understand their reactions in class discussions and help them become more intentional about them. But they may also evoke for students complex responses to their own experiences of oppression. As teachers, we have a responsibility to help students make sense of those responses.How does embodiment play a role in unlearning oppression? How might our identity locations and our lived experiences shape our responses to mindfulness practices? What kinds of consequences from oppression might arise for students when we integrate contemplative practices into the classroom? How can professors be prepared for these diverse responses and effectively support students? This webinar will establish a foundation for WHY we need mindfulness in these classrooms and then will discuss how teachers can prepare students for the myriad of reactions that might arise when they are asked to be present with what is.
Veta Goler discusses how contemplative practices can be used as tools to recognize the intrinsic beauty within each individual and strengthen self-compassion. She proposes a contemplative framework where individual and cultural healing can occur through storytelling; and places emphasis on how multiple stories can coexist at the same time.