Philosophy Workshop: “How to Meditate with a Text”

For thousands of years, people seeking after wisdom have approached important texts as invitations for meditation, whose treasures can be uncovered through careful, deliberate practices of attention. In this workshop, we explored some of these techniques, combining practical instruction with reflections on the theoretical and conceptual background needed to make sense of the practices. Access photos & resources here!

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Philosophy Workshop: “Beyond Mindfulness – Western Meditation Techniques in Theory & Practice”

In this workshop, we explored several techniques of meditation with deep roots in Western spiritual, religious, and philosophical life and practice.  We examined two daily practices, popular among the ancient Pythagoreans and Stoics, for developing the power of recollection and preparing ourselves for challenging circumstances.  And we considered more broadly the ways in which meditative practices can help us to develop our powers of attention, concentration, clarity, and discernment.  Learn more & access resources here!

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Philosophy Workshop: Grief as Self-Discovery

In this workshop designed and led by Merlin Student Scholar Fellow Julianna Breit, we offered a framework for acknowledging and understanding grief’s role in our lives through the lens of philosophy. Access resources & photos here.

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Philosophy Workshop: “Transformative Experiences”

Some experiences in life are so significant, so profound, so intense, that after we go through them, there’s a very real sense in which “we’re not the same person we used to be.” That might involve a change in how we understand ourselves or the world, or in what we value or take to be important. In this workshop, we developed some basic concepts and categories, that might help us make sense of these transformative experiences. We also pointed toward some of the bigger philosophical questions that are lurking behind the problem of transformative experience, including rational choice, personal identity, and freedom & the Good. Access the session recording & other resources here!

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Community Workshop: “Thinking About Place”

Gertrude Stein’s “there is no there there” has been used as a description for placeless spaces.  By contrast, place has some kind of “there” going on.  But what is this?  What exactly is “place”?  There are lots of ways to think about it.  In this workshop, we reflected upon Helena’s sense of “place” in terms of our urban outdoors. Learn more & access resources here!

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Philosophy Workshop: “Beyond Mindfulness – Western Meditation Techniques in Theory & Practice”

In this workshop led by David Nowakowski, we explored three techniques of meditation with deep roots in Western spiritual, religious, and philosophical life and practice. We began with two simple exercises, popular among the ancient Pythagoreans and Stoics, for developing the power of recollection and preparing ourselves for challenging circumstances. Then we turned to a practice known as “discursive meditation.” Learn more & access resources here!

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Philosophy Workshop: “Justice as Fairness – An Introduction to Rawls”

In this outdoor workshop we explored the idea of justice through the lens of equity and fairness as advanced by philosopher John Rawls. The workshop was introductory in nature explored the dynamics of Rawls’ arguments and their implications, as well as the intellectual climate within which his philosophical contributions arose. Competing perspectives and modern day comparisons on justice were also be touched upon. Access resources, watch the intro video, and view pictures here!

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