The deep and polarizing events and divisions further exposed by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America require reflective, thoughtful, and innovative teaching, action, and higher education leadership in the search for solutions and justice.
Through contemplative practices we can gently but effectively widen our capacity for awareness and compassion, developing the means to confront that which we usually want to avoid with bravery, honesty, and vulnerability. We can develop an intention to look directly and with an open heart at ourselves, our society, our history, and our actions, and discover sources of strength and justice to sustain us as we face challenge after challenge.
Particularly in higher education, as students live and learn with each other, contemplative practices can be powerful tools for developing self-awareness and working with difference. In the coming months, CMind will be offering more resources on how contemplative practices in higher education are being used to support and sustain communities. We will do what we can to continue to be a resource for transformation that bridges inner and outer, self and society. Let’s walk together along the long arc bending toward justice as we enter this next era of America.
Please join the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society in advancing, holding, and infusing the ideals of a just and compassionate society in higher education.
Please use the comment section, below, to suggest additional resources.
- John Welwood’s work on spiritual bypassing may offer additional perspectives on our avoidance of discomfort, and our urge to transcend intra- and interpersonal challenges.
- If our privilege has helped to shield us from personally experiencing sexism, racism, or other manifestations of prejudice, hate, and bias on a regular basis, we may react with anger, fear, or other forms of self-protection when that shield (our dominant position) seems to be under threat. Or, as the saying goes, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression“: read the blog post by Chris Boeskool.
- Steven Murphy-Shigematsu identifies principles that promote a truly inclusive university, with practical advice for the classroom, based on his classes at Stanford.