Contemplative practices: Maybe not for me

We don’t just stop and think anymore. Society today keeps people feeling too busy, and apart of a culture that is constantly bombarded by advertisements, and one that, frankly, does not care much for the environment or details of food systems. These factors combine for why contemplative exercises, like those practiced by Professor Litfin, are uncommon and may be thought of as unusual. Admittedly, after the first contemplative practice with the raisin, I was confused at the purpose and thought it was a somewhat uncomfortable period of class. For me, this was a new classroom experience and unfortunately, not as rewarding as I believe was intended. It may be an issue with focusing on a specific or an abstract on my own as is expected for our contemplative practices, but I have struggled with using this to its fullest.

That being said, there was an instance outside of class where I felt I had a very beneficial contemplative experience. While preparing to write my Hungry Planet paper, I took time after learning about the drastically different food culture of Bhutan. Still, I would describe the contrast between the Namgay family and my family’s food options/availability as incomprehensible, though devoting time to stop and think about the differences increased by awareness of how my situation is unique in the world. Despite my personal learning experience not being enhanced by the classroom contemplative practices, I do still view the benefit that this concept can offer to many of the other students.

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