Contemplation and mindfulness in education: between self and other in modernity

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William M. Bryant (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Glenn Hudak

Abstract: The following work identifies what the author contends are the two primary problems of modern behavior that inhibit the full development of human potential, namely: an over-confidence in reason, and a desire to influence other people for personal gain. These inhibiting behaviors are shown to originate specifically from features of the modern paradigm. To counter these problematic behaviors, the author suggests that contemplation can be an antidote. However, the author stresses that solely thinking of contemplation in its secular or spiritual categories is a limitation to its etymological roots and usage. Thus, the author introduces the term aneutral contemplation to move the reader past these restricting categories. The notion of aneutral contemplation is uniquely equipped to handle both modern behavioral limitations mentioned above, specifically by creating a space amicable to the contexts of silence and solitude. To clarify these contextual characteristics, examples are provided from the author's 44 days spent living and observing the monks of Mepkin Abbey. Finally, the project turns specifically to the process of education. The term transformative education is introduced to indicate a variety of education interested in promoting the contexts of silence and solitude. It is shown that only through the practice of mindfulness can this type of education be actualized. In other words, contemplation acts as the theoretical basis for the practical measures of mindfulness. The following project is meant to be a philosophical examination rather than a project of practical methods. I hope those who read this work will find the motivation to take off where this project concludes.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Contemplation, Mepkin, Mindfulness, Modernity, Silence, Solitude
Abbey of Our Lady of Mepkin (Moncks Corner, S.C.)
Contemplation $x Study and teaching
Education $x Philosophy

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