Meditation 
It's hard to explain why I meditate or sit. I think it's just playing with awareness and relaxing into myself and the present moment. Early trauma apparently divorces us from both. It's really an exercise in being friends with your mind. Loosening it. Letting feeling and sensation have their way too.

I just spent a month at Upaya Zen Center. I was new to the Soto Japanese lineage but found it very beautiful once I settled in. The practice period was based on the four Bodhisattva vows. Two of them relate to cutting through our stories and delusions. But living a somewhat monastic life made me deeply appreciative of enchantment. I wonder about the line between delusion and enchantment. The connection between stillness and social justice. Between structure and letting go.

It's a powerful feeling to drop into "one body" when you are largely in silence working at an energetic awareness of others, moving in step, voices chanting, candles flickering. We communicate so much more than we realize energetically. There's something deeply relaxing about letting go of who we are and melting into these rhythms. I was often moved to tears.

More on Upaya at the link below...

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Inspiring school in Harlem: what if we grounded ourselves in our bodies from early on? 
One of the most inspiring parts of the Transformative Learning conference at Columbia U this year was a visit that we arranged to the Thurgood Marshall Lower School in Harlem. Wow. These students practice gratitude, compassion, checking in to their feelings, reflection, meditation daily. They even have classroom charters grounded in how they want to feel. These have extended to even family charters. When I asked Cameron, our 7 year old guide and peer mediator what he liked about the school he told me" I like that we share our confidences." Gulp. Imagine a world full of these practices? This is what meditation can be, I believe. An ability to be in step with ourselves so we can be in step with others.







Slithy Toves 


Photos: Maggy Burns

Hiking today with Maggy in Ferguson's Cove. It really looked like this. Delight and gratitude. This too. Joanna gets the prize for naming the furry vegetation in the pond "slithy toves" from Jabberwocky which Maggy knows by heart!

Frustrating the Experiential Learning Cycle: A Hologram? 
A key element of transformative learning is experimenting with real-world problems. David Kolbís experiential learning cycle continues to be pivotal. Yet cycles, even spirals, donít capture the dynamism (and dangers) now available with online and blended learning. Informal means of learning such as podcasts and viral social media posts abound. On one hand, frames have never had more possibility to engage with such a diversity of experiences, bodies, identities, and communities. How to bring feminist and critical pedagogy to these spaces? This paper works to critically frustrate and extend the learning cycle with a hologram which helps to capture online multi-dimensionality as well as distortion.

Online there is both performance and projection. Holographic visualization offers multiple dimensions, movement, refraction, frustration, doubt. But online learners can be supported to move more consciously to meaning and their own deliberations while embedded in life, work, negotiations. This messiness and muddling is key to the transformative potential of online deliberations. The space also has potential to collapse gender and power dynamics in interesting ways as learners shape their own reflective paths at their own pace. These gendered power dynamics are not removed but can be fore-fronted in the learning. The lag between experimentation and insight can be used. Facilitators and peers can act more like coaches, real-time in real messiness.

Meridian 7: Fireflies 






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