I came to teaching certain that learning locked up in a classroom was not only boring, it was not mindful. So when I began teaching Media Ethics I was determined to bring mindfulness into my teaching practice. Sharing wisdom gained through mindfulness was one thing. Preparing future media professionals for the tasks ahead of them was quite another. Or maybe not. Thus this blog was born.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the esteemed Buddhist priest, suggests that the practice of mindfulness brings our mind back to our body. In mindfulness we experience the present moment deeply, simply and often profoundly. Our senses awaken. Our heart responds. We see and hear deeply, with non-judgment and compassion. In mindfulness understanding, acceptance and ultimately love are born.
Parker Palmer, an extraordinary teacher of contemplative pedagogy, suggests six paradoxical tensions built into an engaged learning space. It should 1) be bounded and open; 2) be hospitable and charged; 3) invite the voice of the individual and the chorus the group; 4) honor the small stories of learners and the big stories of disciplines and traditions; 5) support solitude and embrace the community; and 6) welcome silence and speech.
Contemplative learning seemed the perfect way to help build the kind of space Palmer describes. Meditative practice, which I have long engaged in, is profoundly useful for that task. It helps turn off the chaos reflected in and perpetuated by postmodern media. Meditative practice helps turn down the external volume and turn up the internal volume.
Welcome to Ethical Action. A place for open, hospitable and charged discussions. A place that invites all voices and honors all stories. A place offering both quiet solitude and community engagement. A place for mindful silence and thoughtful words. A place to mindfully explore options for ethical actions across media.
The blog has eight categories. Each is predicated on mindful explorations of media and the individuals who work there. Big Pharma, Big Money explores the ethical tensions between research and marketing in pharmaceuticals. Transparency, Truth and the Future of Branding exposes the tension between fact and fiction in branded messages. Vanishing Creative Women explores the lack of women in advertising creative departments across the globe. Fragmentation and Postmodern Journalism explores the changing face of journalism in an ever-mediated world. Mindfulness offers commentaries on the struggles to experience the present moment deeply and simply. Manipulation, Power and Political Voices expresses critical perspectives relative to media and the political process. Public Relations Ethical Opportunities offers insights into the world of spin. Gendered Representations reflects on how gender impacts media production and how media both constructs and reflects our understanding of gender.
Share your wisdom with a guest post at firstname.lastname@example.org and enjoy the blog!