Removing Obstacles: Using Guided Visualization to Imagine Change by Doreen Maller, Ph.D., MFT and Leane Genstler, MA

It is so easy to get stuck in patterns of fear, oppression, or habits of mind. Whether you are teaching a class in physics, calculus, creative writing or science or working in social justice and human potential sometimes the solution, answer or outcome we are searching for doesn’t seem obvious; either for the community or for your self. In fact, at times it can feel nearly impossible and unreachable to come to a settled place. Even the thought of moving from stuck and paralyzed, from not knowing how to take the next step, or realize what the next step is can feel daunting. This work, of mindful self-awareness can help open the heart and gain perspective. 

 

Unstuck...from Inaction to Action Research indicates that use of guided visualizations deepens the connection to our subconscious mind and can improve our visualization skills, which can help to improve right brain thinking. Guided visualizations also strengthen the connection between the right and left hemispheres of our brains, leading to more holistic or ‘whole brain’ thinking.

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How to Help Diverse Students Find Common Ground By Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

Here are what I see as the key steps to creating an environment on campus where students can “cross borders” and reach a place of genuine understanding and connection. I believe these principles are relevant to any classes or other on-campus forums aimed at fostering inclusion and positive cross-group relationships; I hope instructors for other courses also consider how to incorporate some of these principles into their work.

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Embodied Writing in a Sociology of the Body Class by Dr. Deborah J. Cohan

It is often said that we teach what we need to learn. Nowhere in my teaching career have I found this to be more the case than in my creation and implementation of a new course for our university’s curriculum titled, Sociology of the Body.

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Meditations on Facing Injustice, Transforming Race and Privilege By Susal Stebbins Collins, M.A.

In my role as the Contemplative Life Advisor at Hampshire College, I support students to practice, develop and integrate meditation, mindfulness, and related principles of awareness and compassion into their lives. This includes reflecting on key systemic forms of suffering, particularly oppression, climate disruption and other environmental damage, and potential remedies/right actions of social justice and sustainability.

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Listening as a Transformative Practice by Jaime O'Connor, MA

Deep listening is a contemplative practice that assists us with dropping our habitual story lines so that we can genuinely engage with other people and the world around us.  It is a practice of listening with an open mind, suspending our tendency to immediately label, analyze, critique, or organize the information that we are receiving.  It is a more experiential approach to hearing in which we don’t just hear what the voice is saying, we hear the quality of the voice itself.

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Forum Theatre: Using Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed to Build Receptive Competence By Rasha Diab, Ph.D. and Beth Godbee, Ph.D.

In our lives we often witness oppressive situations. We witness them, but do not consider the possibility of intervening. To disrupt this pattern, we find real value in Augusto Boal’s theatre of the oppressed. To educators, he is perhaps best known for his book Theatre of the Oppressed (1973).

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Larry Yang and the Practice of Intention by Beth Berila, Ph.D.

Larry Yang is well known for his work in Buddhism and social change, particularly with LGBT/ Queer communities and communities of color. In his article, “Buddhist Intention: Being Kind in Unkind Times,” from The Huffington Post, he responds to the continuous flow of violence against marginalized groups that pervades the news.

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Breathing Together Through "I Can't Breathe": The Ethics and Efficacy of Mindfulness in Working Toward Justice for All, Keynote talk by Rhonda Magee, JD

Watch Professor Rhonda Magee's powerful keynote talk at the "Meeting the World" conference hosted by The Center for Mindfulness in the Spring, 2015.  In her presentation, she both leads us through practices to sit with discomfort and find some grounding and explains why these practices are so critical to both dismantling systems of oppression and healing from them.

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