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Posts Tagged ‘contemplation’

Dissolving Borders between Self and Other

By Richard ChessFebruary 21, 2018

The Buddhists have four stations of the heart: Metta (kindness), Mudita (compassion), Karuna (joy in the joy of others), and Upeka (equanimity). The Jews have four matriarchs: Sarah, a mother who laughs and who does not speak when her husband takes her son before dawn to offer him as a sacrifice in the place God…

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The Mysteries of Revision

By Bryan BlissJuly 5, 2017

When a former MFA professor asked me to come to her class and speak on revision, I immediately said yes. Not only was she a writer and an academic that I respected, there had been an ongoing, semi-inside, joke between me and some of my MFA cohort members about my desire to be acknowledged by…

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John Slater’s Lean

By Peggy RosenthalFebruary 1, 2017

What is poetry, anyway? I found myself musing about this as I sat with John Slater’s stimulating new collection, Lean. First I recalled what I’d once heard poet Li-Young Lee say at a reading: In poetry, language is not the only medium; silence is also a medium. This is a difference of poetry from prose.…

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You Must Be Present to Learn

By Richard ChessAugust 10, 2016

For the past five years, I’ve been experimenting with the use of contemplative practices in the classes I teach at UNC Asheville. For a quick overview of the range of contemplative practices being used in higher education today, see The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society’s Tree of Contemplative Practices. On the eve of a…

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Attending to the Body, Part I

By Brian VolckAugust 1, 2016

The following is excerpted from Attending Others: A Doctor’s Education in Bodies and Words, a new memoir by Brian Volck. I don’t recall when I first learned of lectio divina, a reading practice rooted in Christian monasticism still followed by contemporary Benedictine monks, nuns, and laypersons. Lectio divina is traditionally divided into four parts: lectio…

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Poetry Friday: “The Grackles”

By Betsy ShollApril 15, 2016

Here is a poem that silently enacts a conversion.  The poem starts off with a string of scornful terms for the speaker’s new neighbors, culminating in the almost mean pun on their child’s “grin” as “grim.” But right after this, the speaker begins to soften her terms: she notices a “warmth” in this noisy, dirty,…

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Poetry Friday: “Meditation on the Evangelista”

By Karen An-Hwei LeeMarch 11, 2016

What if God turned up at your door in the form of a brush salesman? That’s the premise that Karen An-Hwei Lee’s prose-poem plays with. Mystery and comedy merge in this delightful meditation. First, an unnamed “He” does not do certain everyday things, like shampooing your carpet. Then “God” slips into the poem as the…

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