Contemplative Teaching, Living, and Activism
Michelle Coghill Chatman
"How Africa Changed My Life'
TEDx Talk, Bergen Community College, 2016
Wisdom from the Mat is a community space for scholars who are using contemplative approaches to enhance our living, inform our teaching and research, inspire our creativity, and ignite our social activism. Here you will find essays, articles, videos, photos, practices, and other resources we use in our work. In these times, we feel that it is essential to have a space that allows us to propose solutions for the mass injustices occurring in our communities, on our campuses, and all around us, from a contemplative and holistic perspective. This site also aims to bring more visibility to scholars of color engaged in contemplative pedagogy and practice as a means of challenging injustice and structural oppression.
We offer our wisdom from the various "mats" that serve as the foundations upon which our contemplative practices stand -- be it the yoga mat, the divination mat, the Muslim prayer mat, the floor of the Buddhist temple, the mat of family, culture, or history, or the mat of Great Mother Earth!
We hope you will find value in these offerings and that they will prove useful as you merge the head and heart in your work of service to the world. Feel free to reach out with comments, questions, or contributions.
In Justice and oneness,
Michelle Chatman, PhD
Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.
What is Contemplative Pedagogy?
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society defines contemplative practices as those that cultivate critical, first- person awareness. Such practices might include mindfulness, meditation, yoga, rituals, reflective writing, and a range of other activities that when engaged, can deepen our awareness of and connection to ourselves, the human community, and the natural world. Integrated into the teaching and learning environment, contemplative pedagogy (and practices) can transform learning, promote true community, and empower us to a more just and compassionate society and world.
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