Category Archives: Contemplative Practices

Food, Society, and the Built Environment

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Our relationship with our food has changed, as has the perception of our impact. These two elements of our introspective analysis have come together in our search for a better way address hunger, be less wasteful, be more healthy, and become more sustainable. In my own exploration of food and the relationships it has to politics, economics, health, social justice,… Read more »

Plant Inspiration

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In this busy world it is easy to feel disconnected from food. Often food is an afterthought, a product we consume because we know it is essential. Rarely do we give thought to how this product came to be. This mindless eating is not unique to fast food, many people quickly grab some vegetables or a juice to fuel their… Read more »

What kind of soil do I plant myself in?

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Contemplative practice #9 asks what kind of soil I plant myself in. It’s a great question. For a good part of my life, the answer would have been industrial soil—overworked, pushed for yield, with little time to rest. I was not at all unique. Most of my friends and colleagues had talked about their busy-ness like the weather, resigned about… Read more »

Contemplating Fossil Fuels and Food

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The most impactful contemplative practice for me was week 6 when we learned about the use of fossil fuels in our food system. It was interesting to sit and reflect on foods that I eat and the luxury that I have because of fossil fuels. So many people don’t have the same luxuries. When going through the guided contemplative practice… Read more »


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The contemplative practices from week 8 and 9 were both wonderful exercises in meditation. I have enjoyed imagining my “roots” extending into the earth, and the nurturing of earth and water on my body as it joins with the ecology underground. This kind of meditation is not new to me, as one summer I happened upon a huge tree stump… Read more »

Soil Is Not Dirt

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My favorite contemplative practice was from Lesson 8, Soil and Water. I think about soil every day, believe it or not, from the small amount that gathers under my fingernails when I repot my flowers to the large swaths of it that make agriculture possible. When learning about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, I thought about what an… Read more »

My fruit comes from a Sea of Plastic?

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When I think of how much water I consume, and where it comes from I think of Spain. Here in the Netherlands, most of the fresh produce is labeled with the country of origin. I eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and I see Spain on a lot of my fresh produce purchases. In that sense, I consume Spain’s… Read more »

Contemplating access to food

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Much of the food we eat takes an interesting journey to get to our plates. The supply chain that brings us our food is often indirect; the path between producers and consumers can be circuitous, with many people and stops in between. In this industrial food system, it’s rare to think about the small farmer in Africa or elsewhere that… Read more »

The World Food System is a Living System

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The world food system as it currently functions is not sustainable. In the contemplative practice of lesson two we were asked to think about the systems involved in the food we eat. I make a concerted effort to eat locally grown and unpackaged foods but this contemplation helped me to imagine what my diet would be if I truly ate… Read more »

Making the Switch to Fair Trade Chocolate

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As the parent of a small child, there is never a shortage of chocolate in my house, between Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, Easter and Birthdays. When I’m at work, chocolate always seems to find a way into the office to satisfy someone’s sweet tooth. Chocolate is all around me, and it wasn’t until our contemplative practice about chocolate, that I really… Read more »