Fall 2020

Contemplative Practices FIG update, Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020
(While this page is supposed to be limited to the Fall 2020 semester, I thought it would be useful to parse the update relative to the pandemic so far.)
  • ​In the spring, we migrated online, which enabled me to hold Zoom meditations twice a week, prompted by the concern that many folks with great stress couldn’t meet at the best single time.
  • Over the summer, we dropped back to once per week, which coincided with a drop in funding, but we continued that once-a-week pattern in the Fall
  • We have been meeting with decent numbers all along, from a few to about a dozen, but roughly 5 or 6 on average, although I’d have thought more folks would be able to show up online, and would be motivated to do so
  • But the membership has increased slightly compared to previous semesters on campus
  • And those attending report, or appear to derive, greater benefit compared to on campus sessions, with the greater need for stress reduction playing a role
  • The format has been roughly the same, in that we meet and chat as folks arrive for a few minutes, we hold a roughly 20 minute semi-guided meditation, after which I have been briefly recapping the instructions we followed, to facilitate memory, and then chatting a few minutes or so before folks leave
  • That’s a total of about a half hour, after which typically a few of the attendees will stay on, sometimes for up to an hour, just to talk shop, talk the pandemic, the election, life, etc., which points to the need for social interaction under the pandemic, and reveals the extent to which just meeting with faculty in FIGs plays an important role in supporting faculty community and connectedness under the pandemic
  • I’ve been recording most of the meditation and recap components of sessions, after muting and hiding all the video feeds of the participants to maintain their privacy, and uploading links to them to my page on the KCTL website, except when I forget or there’s a recording that comes out unusable, and sending periodic updates to an increasing list of weblinks to these which link to where they are also stored in my Dropbox
  • A final note of comparison: doing this on Zoom at home turns out to have at least two advantages and three disadvantages: 
    • + it is a much shorter walk than the walk to M391
    • + it is usually more quiet than the hallway adjacent to, and the extended office space within the rest of, M391
    • – I miss the smiling Jocelyn
    • – I miss my ability to pop in on Janine in her office 
    • – I miss the free snacks
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