Monthly Archives: February 2016

MLK & Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative (Part 2)

After the opening remarks on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the American Friends Service Committee hosted two panel discussions on racial justice. I was proud to moderate the first panel of student fellows for the Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative of the CRSL described in the previous blog.Before asking the student panelists the questions, I made some opening remarks.

Organizers of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and Michael Eric Dyson, author of I May Not Get Here With You, shed light on the ways in which MLK day holiday has been “domesticated” and “whitewashed” King himself—his deeply radical nature made more conventional in order to fit neatly into a society that has been mistakenly viewed as post-racial. BLM organizers call to reclaim MLK Day: Continue reading

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Zazen Meditation: Adapting to a Different Meditative Practice

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We joined together in CC 102 Thursday evening to participate in Zazen Meditation, led by Sensei Catherine Anraku Hondorp, a Soto Zen Buddhist Priest and heal practitioner. Anraku Hondorp Sensei is also a Buddhist Community Religious Adviser for The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

Zazen, or seated Zen, is a meditation that is deeply rooted in the Buddhist spiritual tradition and “the very heart of Zen practice.” In her introduction to the participants, Anraku Hondorp Sensei spoke about trying to find “the middle path” in our meditation. She emphasized seating positions and finding one that was most comfortable. To maintain balance and keep thoughts away, she suggested folding your hands and making sure the thumbs were “gently touching” to bring yourself back. Once we settled in, Sensei Anraku Hondorp tapped the Kesu Meditation Gong three times, and we began. Continue reading

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MLK & Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative (Part 1)

Over January Term (or J-term), two students participated in a fellowship for with our Center as part of our Justice, Identity, and Social Change (JISC) initiative. These students, Raven Fowlkes-Witten and Lucy Tucker, serve on our JISC advisory board.

The JISC Initiative of the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life (CRSL) seeks to integrate social justice work with our mission: We discuss ethical and moral matters beyond sectarian spheres, provide interfaith dialogue and interaction, reflect deeply on community engagement, and undergird social justice work with spiritual/contemplative practice and ideals.

For the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, the JISC fellowship project reflected on the intersections of spirituality and social justice. Continue reading

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