Contemplative Practice

It’s always good to take a step back. There’s so much to think about, we can’t possibly think about it all. Contemplative practices let you zone in on one specific thing and really give it some thought, or think about the connectedness of different things. Food is an especially crazy thing to think about in depth. Where does it come from? How many people have handled this food in some form or another before it got to me? What did they do?

But reflection in general is useful. It’s like a conclusion in an essay – it reminds us what the important points are, where our lives have been, and where they’re going.

Personally, it’s hard for me to focus on one specific thing, like we do in the contemplative practices in class, but it’s easier to reflect as a whole. My mind wanders. As I eat that raisin I’m thinking about what I’m gonna make for dinner when I get back, whether or not I can put off my homework until tomorrow, and why the hell that person’s laptop is open and set to maximum brightness in a dark room.

Sometimes the absence of distraction makes it easier to be distracted.

But contemplation is very different inside the classroom versus outside. Inside we are students, sitting, listening to the voice of the professor. Outside, there’s less guidance. This class is teaching us how to become our own guide for our own contemplative practice, how to ask ourselves the right questions, and come to the right answers.


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