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 monk, 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 should be 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. In fall 2014 I added 10% Happier, by Dan Harris an ABC news anchor, as our central reading. Harris too advocates meditative practice. For him it is a way to turn down the external volume and turn up the internal volume allowing for more nuanced professional practice.
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 multiple categories. Each is predicated on mindful explorations of media and the individuals who work there. Transparency, Truth and the Future of Branding exposes the tension between fact and fiction in branded messages. 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 challenges us to reconsider ethical boundaries for media practitioners. Gendered Representations reflects on how gender impacts media production and how media both constructs and reflects our understanding of gender. Vanishing Creative Women explores the lack of women in advertising creative departments across the globe.
Share your wisdom with a guest post at email@example.com and enjoy the blog!