Tree of Contemplative Practices

Hi everyone!

Here’s the “Tree of Contemplative Practices” I mentioned at this afternoon’s Big Rapids group:

Also, I talked about a journal writing practice I have my literature students use to focus on developing a personal response to our readings.  Here’s a copy of my guidelines:

Reading Journal Guidelines



—Jon Taylor

Our upcoming sessions

Our next sessions together are scheduled for the week of March 18.  We’ll be discussing two papers, one by Dr. Jenny Lee, titled “Teaching Mindfulness at a Public Research University” (2012) and one by Dr. Tobin Hart titled, “Opening the Contemplative Mind in the Classroom” (2004).

If you have a moment and don’t already know Drs. Lee or Tobin, I encourage you to explore their academic web pages.

Jenny J. Lee, Ph.D.

Tobin R. Hart, Ph.D.:

The beginnings

When we met in mid-February 2013 for our opening conversations, I mentioned then that I was feeling an edgy excitement about this learning community.  What we were beginning was a little unconventional for higher education and, frankly, not well understood by many.  Hence, my edginess.  The excitement?  It turns out, it’s for these same reasons that I was, and am still, excited about this collaborative work between our two institutions.

While we shared with everyone a long and full set of notes from our opening sessions, I offer here an abbreviated version that I hope gives you a sense of our beginnings.

Twenty-three faculty and staff participated in one or more of three sessions during the week of February 11, 2013.  Key themes that emerged from our opening conversations included:

Our Students

We heard, “I hope the focus is on students.”  And, “I would like to help students to learn to be fully present.”

Our Learning

We heard, “I would like to explore what each of these ideas is.  What personal value does each have, and what value does each have to students?”

Our Teaching

“I am interested in learning how to incorporate mindfulness in the classroom.  How do we move from mindful teaching to teaching mindfulness?”

Our Experiences

We heard, “I am very curious about what resources are available.”  And, “I would like to learn from the other participants in this learning community by sharing our experiences.”

And so we begin.