Examples: Contemplative practices quiet the mind in order to cultivate a personal capacity for deep concentration and insight. CP can include various kinds of ritual and ceremony designed to create sacred space and increase insight and awareness to be forms of contemplative practice. Sitting in silence Single-minded concentration Mindful walking Yoga Focused experiences in nature Physical practices Artistic practices Journaling/writing Centering prayer
Why ? Contemplative practice has the potential to bring different aspects of one’s self into focus, to help develop personal goodness and compassion, and to awaken an awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. They are practical, radical, and transformative. Help develop empathy Develop communication skills Improve focus Enhance concentration Reduce stress Enhance creativity Over time the practices Cultivate insight, inspiration and a loving and compassionate approach to life
Sources Arthur Zajonc— Amherst Parker Palmer Association for the Contemplative Mind in education Thomas Keating— centering prayer Dalai Lama Thich Nhat Hahn Neurological research-- Richard Davidson—UW
Ignatian pedagogy— Based on the spiritual journey of St. Ignatius of Loyola founder of the Jesuits Corporeal – See – Smell – Taste – Feel – Hear o Paying attention o Reflection on experience o Change in attitudes, behaviors, values o Evaluation/assessment
Practical application for classrooms/disciplines
Minutes of silence At the beginning to settle – At the end of class as an “examen” of what was learned – In the midst of class—response to something provocative, challenging – For observation (e.g. sciences, engineering, math) – For digestion (e.g. philosophy, theology) – For imagination (e.g. history, theology, nursing)
End of class or midterm “examen” Review in your mind this class Remember walking in and sitting down: how were you feeling? Gut check? As the class continued: what jumped out— anything jarring? Consoling? Supportive? Challenging? Were you clueless at any point? Why? What are you called to do to be ready next time?