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This morning I woke up thinking how easy it is to get trapped in the duality of good and bad, right and wrong, success and failure. After a while it seems tiring, like a trapping, and a thoughtful reflection on how buying into such duality informs me, my everyday lives was extremely insightful. Perhaps there is no need for such duality. Perhaps the only need that there is, is for being in integrity with self. Then, consequences seem inconsequential and there is peace without attachment to the outcome. 

When I think about how this insight my serve me in teaching, I think about creating a learning environment that is not about penalizing students just because they did not get a concept right the first time. It is creating a learning environment that is supportive of a rich journey where there might be challenges and various types of help to address those challenges.
 
In my research, I think of the ways in which a deeper journey within allows me to integrate my epistemology, theoretical framework, methodology, and how I choose to represent what I represent. I want to move myself out of my own comfort zone and develop a deeper understanding of the human condition and present such understanding in my writing, publications, conference presentations. Such in-depth analysis is only possible if I do homework before fieldwork. 

There are many contemplative practices I enjoy. Movement-based practices work the best for me. These include,  walking, hiking, tai-chi, and yoga. Otherwise, I also enjoy creative practices that include journaling, writing, and using art. And then when things get a bit too crazy, I go towards stillness as a contemplative practice through being in silence, centering, and when needed through quiet meditation. 

What I have learned through these practices is that as an academic, I tend to stay in my head more than anywhere else in my body. But I do have a body, attached to my head, and I am now in the practice of working with my entire body as I move through the intellectualization of my work while integrating materiality of existence. 

If you are reading this blog, then for today this is my wish for you. May you find joy in what you do today. May you make the connections needed for your fulfillment today. May you smile more today than you did yesterday. May you be able to handle any and all challenges if they enter your consciousness today.

 


Comments

Jo Foy
03/01/2014 12:56pm

Hi Dr. KB,
You've opened up a place in me for which I have been yearning. I am checking out the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education. I think this is what Brene Brown is also reaching for, but has not yet been able to find in the academy. She had to make the decision to go part-time several years ago.

As a faculty wannabe, I am very concerned about the work/life balance of academy. I have been told that it just does not exist. I have been there done that, working for TAMU for eight years as a scientist. Giving my will and my life over to the academy is not my dream; contributing, mentoring, coaching, writing, researching, and facilitating my students--now that is more like it--with a mindful and compassionate heart and mind (and body).

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People always ends up being trapped into two different things at the moment like good and bad and then they get caught up not knowing what to do anymore. I think the reason why this came up to your mind is because you are able to see different people struggling with duality without them knowing. Teaching gave you insight about how important having a supportive learning environment is for your students. Stepping out of your comfort zone will make you have a deeper understanding of the things surrounding you. It is reasonable that you spend most of your time in your head, but remember that you have an entire body to work with.

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04/11/2017 11:36am

It's your painting? Wow, looks fantastic. Please, keep it up! You are very good at drawing.

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    I am a faculty at Kansas State University, teaching mostly qualitative research classes. For years I have been working on a deep journey within and implementing my insights through creating opportunities for students to think deeply in order identify their passion, motivation, and integrate their work, education, and lifelong goals together.

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