Charles and Heesoon on the Contemplative Life

Heesoon Bai (HB): Hello Charles, we are yet again doing our favourite thing: dialogue! Aka, hanging out together (Scott, 2009) . . . perhaps not quite in the “Field Beyond,” the Rumi Field (Bai, 2008), but nearby! In the outskirts of the Rumi Field, where we can talk about our contemplative lives, inside and outside.

Charles Scott (CS): I must say that I like this image of hanging out on the outskirts of Rumi’s field. I like to think he’d like us being there, in the outskirts. It’s out there … which is where I think we ought to be, as scholars and individuals, advancing into new terrain, exploring new options, possibly being in the dark, hanging out in and with what might be considered strange, unworthy, marginal. The outskirts can be a liminal space, which I think is an important space to explore as a contemplative. Kant referred to his as the sublime space and, yes, it does have that frisson (or more!) of fright and even possible terror of the unknown. But aren’t we as scholars, especially one’s devoted to contemplative inquiry and spirituality, morally obligated to go there? Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring in Buber with his concept of the ‘narrow ridge’; so I’m happy to see the outskirts as a narrow ridge existing between the certitudes of opposing truths—which is exactly where Rumi wants us to be. So is it possible his field is boundless? Ha—I think so! It’s out beyond, after all. This is the delicious paradox, that the outskirts are, in the end, very much a part of the field! (Remember that delightful story of Monkey, when he felt he could easily jump off the palm of the Buddha’s right hand?) To put it another way, if you’re not hanging out in the outskirts, you’re not in the field.

Then there’s the idea of “our contemplative lives, inside and outside.” I’m just preparing for one of the weeks for the curriculum course with the M.Ed. contemplative inquiry student when we look at environmental education. I’m using this as an opportunity to look at both inner and outer environment

HB: Oh, yes!  You and I, plus some of our colleagues, have written about this inside-outside dynamics and how that works for social and eco activism (Bai et al., 2014). Remember that chapter in our SUNY anthology on contemplative inquiry in higher education (Gunnlaugson, et a., 2014)? We sure have done a lot of collaborative writing and co-authorship during the 15-year period that we have known each other. CS: Wow! And during this period, you did two graduate degrees: MA and PhD. And now you are teaching and supporting a graduate program together with me. I’m blessed to have you in my life! CS: The feeling is mutual! It’s so wonderful to be able to work on and create together what we love most: teaching, which is really playing with powerful ideas and dialoguing with students who are all so keen, living and sharing contemplative philosophy and practices . . .. CS: my sentiments exactly! Now tell me, Charles, how did you become interested in contemplative life? How did you become so passionate about philosophy and contemplation as a way of life? Did it come to you? Did you seek it out? Was there a critical moment in life that “turned you on” and you found yourself on this path of contemplative inquiry?

CS: I think the roots, ahem, go right back to my childhood, as you’ll see below when I mention going out to play in the fields. Very contemplative. And I recall being naturally inquisitive, as most of us are as kids. As a young teenager and an introvert, I felt rather insecure about myself but I was desperate to figure things out about the mind. Teachers at school started talking about ‘ego’ in English classes and I wanted to figure out what that was. All rather normal. But I was really driven by this. And then, being an adolescent in the 1960s, it was no surprise that I would encounter psychedelic drugs. A friend and I got really serious about this and we prepared for our first LSD trip—read all of Leary, Alpert, and Metzner’s works, and all the others who were writing about these drugs. Set and setting. And the drugs delivered. Wow! A new universe is revealed to me (same as the old one, but now I’m seeing with the doors of perception cleansed).  And I’m reading Thoreau’s Walden:

Direct your eye inward, and you’ll find

A thousand regions in your mind

Yet undiscovered.

Travel them, and be

Expert in home-cosmography.

Sign me up! Where do I buy the ticket? Where’s the tour guide? Let’s go! (Reminds me of E. E. Cummings: “listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go.”)

HB: Right, me, too: let’s go! Charles, so, I gather your mind-altering experiment took place before you became a yogi. Tell us about how you became attracted to and got involved in your yoga community?

Okay, so I’d had these wonderful, mind-expanding experiences with LSD and mescaline.  And I realized that Ken Kesey was right: there was no fun getting to explore paradise for a few hours and then getting kicked out. I wanted to be there all the time, to have that expanded awareness. Consciousness became really important for me (Bai & Scott, 2012). Yoga and Asian philosophies were popular at the time, back in the late 1960s. One day I was talking with an Indian scholar, and he said “You have to read Shankara’s The Crest Jewel of Discrimination (the Vivekachudamani). Oh, and if you really want to get to know what this is all about, you have to read Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi.” I was hooked. Sold! Yogananda and what he offered by way of teachings appeared to be pretty solid, so I signed up. I quickly found that meditation practice delivered. It worked for me with respect to being able to quieten things down and become aware of a new, more expansive sense of self: this Self they talk about (see Bai, Cohen, & Scott, 2013; Bai, Martin, Scott, and Cohen, 2016). And I liked being with fellow travelers; most of us in our local community were pretty young and we were intense about these explorations.

The other thing I really liked about yoga—Raja or Ashtanga yoga—was that it offered a complete, comprehensive teaching that offered philosophies of both the universe and of a way of living. I was attracted to the meditative techniques and the absence of dogma: practice, and if it works, it works. If not, then at least you tried. Worked for me. So I’ve been engaged in this work since 1971.

HB: Yes, I too embrace that kind of pragmatic philosophy. Dogmatic stance does not work for me. Behind every dogma–I am willing to declare–is fear. When we evoke in others fear for their survival, however subtly, we are doing nothing less than psychological manipulation, which completely goes against my philosophy of education.  I will talk about this later, but let’s focus on you!  So, is there an intimate connection for you between teaching (perhaps I should say, how you view teaching and in the way you teach) and contemplative practice?

CS: Yes! (You ask good questions!) HB: Thank you! I am glad you like my questions! Both are based in inquiry. For me, teaching is as much about exploring as it is about ‘delivering’ some pre-packaged curriculum; heck, it’s even more about exploring. I found Freire’s work so appealing in this regard—problem-posing education. More on this below. So, with respect to both teaching and contemplative inquiry and practice, I’m drawn to the intersubjective, to relationships, to (shared) interiors, and then to interiors in the contexts of exteriors (Scott, 2014). Teaching is thus inherently relational, exploratory, and dialogical. The same for contemplative inquiry and practice. This is why I jumped eagerly when you recently proposed we write a paper on bhakti yoga (which we have now done): the yoga of devotion just naturally appeals to me and I can’t help but have a devotional epistemological orientation to the inquiry, whether it’s with another person, a tree, a blade of grass, a rock, the whole Kosmos. It’s all teaching, or, rather, ‘teaching-learning.’ The two to me are irrevocably, irretrievably intertwined, indeterminately. I remember reading where Aldous Huxley told his wife that he wanted to be in a permanent state of love. Works for me! The teacher-contemplative as lover (Scott & Bai, in press).

HB: Yes, Charles! I sure like and appreciate that about you: your capacity for lovingkindness and devotion. You approach teaching as a devotional practice! That I know! And deeply, deeply admire.

Now, another question: what is the connection for you between writing and contemplative life? (I recall hearing your improvisational poem, Ode to Strawberry, that you composed during our own Contemplative Inquiry program’s graduate students’ conference presentation, and being deeply struck by its vivacity and beauty. I was familiar with your wonderful prose style but I never heard your poetry. The poem you composed was incredible!)

CS: Writing is a wonderfully contemplative practice, a wonderful way to inquire … and to build relationships; there’s always a reader, even if it’s just yourself (developing a healthier, deeper relationship with yourself). Very Bahktinian. I’ve been blessed to have many wonderful writing teachers in my life, and I’ve been exposed to so many brilliant writers in the academy. Our field and the field of arts education, for example, has so many wonderful writers. Celeste Snowber, for example, has been so great at getting us to write poetically outside the bounds of common scholarly conventions; the “Ode to Strawberry” owes its genesis to the kind of work she would have us do.

And when you get into the flow of writing, things start happening, cognitively and contemplatively. As you well know and have written about (in your “Towards Human Agency” essay in 2006), the ancient Greeks, Augustine, Descartes, and de Montaigne knew about this. Not to mention Foucault with his concept of ‘technologies of the self.’ Pierre Hadot also writes about writing in his Philosophy as a Way of Life as he explores the contemplative practices of the ancient Greek schools. Foucault defines technologies of the self as truth games that “permit individuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct, and way of being, so as to transform I themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality.” Writing, I would suggest, is a technology of the self and it has the potential to play a major role in a curriculum of the self, a curriculum that can be, among other things, one of contemplative inquiry and realization. I could now start riffing into Bill Pinar’s concept of currere, a curriculum of the journey of the self, but that will be for another time.

HB: When you came into my undergraduate class this spring, you ended your talk by reading a poem, The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver. The last line—a question–from this poem is haunting!

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

Well, Charles, tell me! What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

CS: Ah, thank you for asking! Well, I certainly want to be wild or at least hang out with those who are or who live in the wild. The inner and outer wild. It’s fertile, filled with humus, pungent, dynamic and flowing, overflowing with chaos. I like that. I can breathe that and it smells and tastes good. It is interesting to see how Mary talks about planning your wild life—as if one could, entirely! Clearly, she knows that, so I love the juxtaposition she so adroitly places before us. So part of the planning is listening to what the cosmos has placed before me: being attentive, becoming aware. Presencing, as Olen would say, riffing off of Otto Scharmer’s work. And part of that is “you just never know.” Given the chaotic characteristics of the Kosmos (the Greek concept of Kosmos, as you know, includes both inner and outer cosmos), I like being able to hang out in that space.

That’s why the work of Ted Aoki, William Doll, Dennis Sumara and Brent Davis on postmodern and chaotic/complex models of curriculum so appeals to me. I like being a poststructuralist, in both a literal and metaphorical sense. Rigid structures don’t attract me for very long. I start to feel confined. It the dynamics, the process, the unknown that I like and where I find certainty and solidity. The flowing, turbulent, Heraclitean creek.

I can so well remember the freedom of my childhood when my mother would just tell me to out and play and get lost in the nearby fields (ha—we can’t seem to escape those fields, can we?) and just come back for supper. I spend day after delightful day exploring the fields. Inspecting. Prospecting. Sifting. Probing. Burrowing. Delving. Reconnoitering and orienting. Touring and traversing. Turning things and myself inside out.  Leaving no stone unturned, no plant untouched. I discovered and was befriended by birds, insects, mice, frogs and tadpoles, minerals and fossils, plants of every kind and leaves of grass—and in the midst of all this getting delightfully and deliciously dirty.

Returning to the Kosmos, I plan to become a Kosmopolitan and I want to spend time with you and others so we can be Kosmopolitanii, roaming the universes, finding our folk (Scott, 2010b). The thing I love so much about teaching is ‘teaching with,’ ‘learning with,’ This to me is the Freirean idea of hanging out in the student-teacher contradiction so that the roles are dynamically played by everyone involved and the boundaries of ‘teacher’ and ‘student’ become wonderfully blurry and eventually dissolve entirely into this new enzymatic alchemy of student-teacher, teacher-student (Bai, Eppert, Scott, Tait, & Nyugen, 2014/2015). The explorations here are so great because they inevitably involve going into what is really meaningful and then they get juicy in those realms of the co-emergent, relying on using what is at hand, bricolage. This is dialogue to me, this ontologically dynamic space (Scott, 2010b). In those realms, identities are at once both fluid and solidly stable, and those in these third, hybrid, wild spaces get it; the laughter of the luminously emergent is pretty attractive, wouldn’t you say?

HB: Yes, definitely! That’s one thing (out of many, of course) I can say about hanging out with you: we laugh! Not only voluminously but, as you say, luminously! Things light up and lift up when we laugh: uproariously, joyously, ironically, absurdly . . ..

And I’m aware—painfully, at times—that I have a rebel streak in me. HB: Ha! Don’t I know that about you! J It likely goes back to my childhood when at times I was on the outside, looking in, and feeling left out. At times I felt I just didn’t fit in, but I had no idea where I could fit in. (That came later, in late adolescence, not surprisingly.) And out of that experience comes an appreciation of what it’s like to be marginalized. And I could see that organizational systems of oppression lead to this, knowingly or otherwise. Jesus nailed it, and was nailed for it, when he said to the ever-present Pharisees, after they had admonished him for letting his disciples pluck the ears of corn on the Sabbath: the Sabbath was made for humans, and not humans for the Sabbath. The institutions and organizations exist for us and not us for the institutions and organizations.

That’s a very Thoreauvian perspective, as well, and I’m happy to hang out with Henry on the paths around Walden pond, making our way through the forest. You’ll recall that when he was out walking he wrote: “… in wildness is the preservation of the world.” HB: Yes, that statement has been inscribed in my heart.

So you and I can be like trees. HB: Oh, I like that! I am deeply in love with trees. When I grow up, I want to be a tree: an oak, a cypress, a pine, or a gingko . . . any tree would do, really, as I love them all.  Henry goes on “Every tree sends its fibres forth in search of the Wild. The cities import it at any price. Men plow and sail for it. From the forest and wilderness come the tonics and barks which brace mankind.” I think this, the wild, is the gift we can offer: come, come, whoever you are into this wild, rhizomatic space, as Rumi might put it (Scott, 2010a). And I could riff now on into a Romantic vision of trust, since trust makes it all work—a trust in wildness, in our savage nature (shades of Levi-Strauss’ “la pensée sauvage,” and Huxley’s savage). BTW, have you seen Lisa Jackson’s “Savage” video? It’s available on Vimeo and is very powerful. But all this talk about trust will be for another time. HB: Okay, yes, another time. It’s a deep, big issue that all of us individually and collectively need to talk about! A profoundly important topic for humanity. Back to you for my question to you: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

So, in sum: what do I plan to do? Explore, inquire, wonder, be struck with awe, touch, feel, contemplate. And to do all of these with those I love (the family keeps getting bigger, eh?). Beyond that, who knows? Gone, gone, going on beyond ….  HB: Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate bodhi svaha.

CS: And now some questions for you:

And what for you were the early life influences that brought you, however indirectly, to contemplation and contemplative inquiry?

I think the seed was sown in me in my childhood that witnessed a lot of turbulence and suffering around me, in the family and outside the family. CS: Once again, suffering is the prod. I don’t know exactly when I began and how old I was, but I was regularly taking refuge in my own solitude. CS: We share that experience! I recall being an elementary school child, probably before Grade Four: I say this because I know that by Grade Four, I was busting my head, studying into the night to prepare for my upcoming Entrance Exam for Junior High/High School. (CS: Wow—by grade four!) I would spend hours, lying on my back, watching the clouds. I would squat around tiny pools–basically potholes filled with water in the yard that were created after the rain–looking at pebbles in water. My spare hours, when I wasn’t studying, like during summer and winter vacations, were spent in this kind of “seeing” activities, in reveries.  I was particularly fond of hanging out with trees, flowers, insects, and rocks.

Another crucial event in my life that took me to another level of inwardness was during the one month that I spent in confinement, mostly in semi-darkness (because of pain when exposed to light), during Grade Seven when I contracted measles as a young teenager. I am not kidding when I say that I became an existentialist through this process. The next defining event in my career as a contemplative is the dissolution of my marriage and my becoming a single mom, which coincided with my going back to grad school, with no money. I took refuge in the practice of meditation, to learn to sit with searing pain and fear. Also important to mention are the non-ordinary consciousness experiences I had here and there throughout my life: these experiences gave me glimpses of the so-called ‘higher consciousness’: basically experience of expanded awareness that flooded me with bliss and love, dissolving ever-present, however subtly, existential Angst that permeates ordinary consciousness.

CS: You have written: “Following Raimon Panikkar’s (1918-2010) lead, I understand philosophy’s task for today’s troubled world to be “to know, to love, and to heal” (Bai, 2015). I bring this three-fold task of philosophy into my teaching and research.” Some philosophers might find that somewhat unconventional. Can you tell us more about what has led you to agree with Panikkar? Where do contemplative inquiry and practice fit into these tasks of philosophy?

HB: Gosh, that’s another very big question! But a totally pertinent one. A simple and effective way to answer is this: I was exposed to this kind of holistic conception of philosophy from the beginning when I was introduced to philosophy in my high school in Korea. Basically I was introduced to the wisdom traditions, which included Buddhism as well as Ancient Greek philosophy. The academic philosophy that I was trained in during my five years in Philosophy at a Canadian university was more like a detour, a break, from the wisdom traditions, although a major and serious one. When I became a professor in Education, and was mandated to teach Philosophy of Education, I took my liberty—although a gradual process–to get back to the idea and practice of philosophy as following wisdom traditions. More than ever, I believe in Panikkar’s understanding and practice of philosophy.

Another major influence on my notion of doing philosophy is Pierre Hadot the French philosopher and historian of philosophy. His work, Philosophy as a way of life (1995), was my trusted guide on doing and teaching philosophy in education. Hadot, as you know, is famous for his historical (i.e., Greco-Roman antiquity) analysis of philosophy as spiritual exercises. Reading Hadot, I realized that bringing in contemplative philosophy and practice to Philosophy of Education is a totally legitimate thing to do, and I knew I was well-equipped to do so.

CS: You also write: “In my work I call for reanimation of our selves within all spheres of human beingness in the service of living ethically and in beauty” (Bai, 2016) Indeed, these are major and recurring themes in your work (Bai, 1997, 2001, 2003a, 2003b, 2004)! Would you care to elaborate on these thoughts and what roles contemplative inquiry and practice play here?

HB: Goodness! You really know my work inside out! You are right: this call for reanimation is a recurring theme, and I am not only interested to explore it because I am moved to do so but also I have been experiencing a lot of receptivity to this theme from educators, especially science education and environmental education communities. The science education community’s enthusiasm has been a big surprise. At any rate, to encapsulate my response: there are a number of sources for my research interest and passion in reanimation. First of all, I grew up in a family that sort of made a transition into modernization and westernization but not quite. My folks, especially female folks, inhabited animistic and shamanistic worldviews and modus vivendi. So, these are my own animistic roots in flesh-blood-bones. Despite such deep roots, I made my own uneasy transition through the elite modern schooling that I received in Korea, with predominantly modern western knowledge content. When I arrived in Canada at the age of 18, I knew far more western philosophy, literature, and arts than any of my peers in high school and first-year university! This is what colonialism does to you . . ..

Next comes my philosophy-trained criticisms of the consequences of what shedding of animistic worldviews and modus vivendi did to humanity: my answer basically is that we came to see all beings, even human beings in (all too) many instances, stripped of intrinsic worth. Beings and things have primarily or solely instrumental value (like price tags). Strip anyone or any being of spirit, affectivity, conscience/consciousness, etc.: you have matter as not alive. Our perception alters: we begin to see each other, including trees and rocks, water and soil, without affection and compassion.

We need to recover our animistic bond with Nature beings and, of course, with all human beings. Challenges we face in doing that is stupendous! I see contemplative inquiry and practices to hold great promise (Eppert et al., 2015; Bai et al., 2014; Bai, 2013; Bai et al. 2013; Bai, 2012).

CS: I want to now talk about you as a teacher. Being in classes and learning spaces with you and others has been a wonderful experience for me. What I so appreciate is that you seem to teach through presence, through being. It is as if the knowledge you have acquired is encapsulated in who you are. So the knowing is expressed in and through being (Bai, Scott, & Donald, 2009; Scott, 2014). But there is something more that I have so come to appreciate, and it so resonates with me. It seems you have an innate trust in those present and in the educational process that will unfold; you are very relaxed and that allows people and knowing to come forth. You offer a wonderful openness and responsiveness—and sincere, caring inquisitiveness. The result is, as so many of us have experienced, a wonderful, rich experience in learning. For me, your stance is the embodiment, literally and figuratively, of the Latin concept of educere­—to lead or draw out. Your presence allows others to come into a greater fullness of being and knowing.  The resulting dynamics become the emergent curriculum. Can you elaborate on any of this and share anything about what animates your pedagogical practice?

HB: Oh, wow, Charles! I want to meet this teacher! J You honour me incredibly with the highest appraisal for my teacherly self. (Ha, ha, ha . . . I have to quote you!) I too find it rather strange and amazing that I came to be seen the way you describe me as a teacher (even if only half of that is true). How did that come about? My speculation is that I was enormously helped, supported, and cared for by so many caregivers and teachers in my life. My grandmother and my mother were extremely devoted to me and to my care (and I needed a lot of care for various reasons, which I won’t go into here). They were inevitably my model of how to be there for another person, with devotion and trust. And also the fact that I became a professor as a mature of person, in my early 40’s, while parenting my children has something to do with it. I was a stay-home mother up until I showed up, rather by a surprising confluence of events, and I didn’t have a professional presence separate from my personal and familial presence. Of course, I wasn’t seeing and treating my students, some of them older than me, as my children; however, I approached them with the same care ethics and love for them. Like my mother, I worked hard for them with their utmost wellbeing and flourishing in mind. To this, my students responded with great respect, appreciation, and warmth and trust. I could also see how this way of working with students drew the best and most out of them in terms of their own ethics and academic studies. Success breeds success, and here I’m today, as a well-regarded graduate supervisor/advisor in my entire university. (As you know well–since you were one of the nominees and wrote a letter of support–I received last year’s SFU Dean of Graduate Studies Supervision Award. Thank you, Charles, for your ever-present support and confidence in me.)

CS: You are most welcome! Ah, I am aware that our conversation is getting really long. Maybe this text we generated here is too long to go on Professor Orr’s Mindfulness website? We probably should wrap up our conversation but I have a couple more questions!

What longings, hopes, and dreams propelled you to develop the M.Ed. program in Contemplative Inquiry in the Faculty of Education at SFU?

HB: Basically, the thought of having a graduate program that was dedicated to the kind liberatory philosophy, worldviews, and practices that you and I have talked about here (and we talked with our other colleagues) was on my mind for a long time, and some of our colleagues who share such understanding talked about mounting a program but, you know how it is . . . professors are in general incredibly busy bunch. Most of us work 24/7 as we live our research questions, dream our pedagogy, write, and talk about them all the time. So, I was not doing anything concrete about it till one day, I get this email from Dr. Laurie Anderson who introduced himself by reminding me that I was the Internal/External examiner at his PhD defense! He said that he was now the new Executive Director of our SFU Downtown Campus but was former Assistant Superintendent of the Vancouver School Board, etc. He proceeded to tell me that SFU need a contemplative education graduate program as such programs are popping up everywhere in the States being as part of the wildly spreading contemplative movement. He also said he had been a long-time devoted practitioner of mindfulness practice, and he thinks the time is ripe for SFU to take the lead in BC, especially given the popularity of such programs as MindUp. So, I hurried to go and meet Laurie in his office, and two years later, after regular and frequent meetings and working out the details, we had our first charter cohort starting their contemplative inquiry program. That was two years ago! You and I, along with Laurie and other colleagues who taught in the program, have been witnesses at their capstone event this summer to this first cohort’s incredible transformation.

CS: I remember your telling me a few years ago that your work and thinking was moving you in the direction of exploring consciousness, that you felt that these explorations were where you and we educators needed to go. Can you share more about that?

HB: what a phenomenal memory you have, Charles! But you actually know the answer . . . at least part of it. We created this program, Masters in Education degree in Contemplative Inquiry, and we did go there with our students! And with the second cohort, we started the same journey, and we will soon have our third cohort. We are also working on designing an Educational Doctorate program with the contemplative and somatic inquiry themes. We are creating wider and wider circles of influence. In the meantime, I am working on going deeper with my own consciousness work, which has meant for me facing and grappling with certain configurations of my own consciousness and my identity formation that take me to the edge of growth. For me to grow further, I need to look deeply into certain psychological issues that govern my psyche. I do believe that spiritual work and psychological work are intertwined (to cite both Avraham Cohen and Reginald Ray), and that somatic work too is fundamentally linked. So is the heart work! We have so long been categorically separating out these interlinked parts that integrating them is a big piece of consciousness work, and it is healing work!

CS: That’s a nice way to wrap up, wrapping up all these modalities in a comprehensive, holistic, integrated fashion! I thoroughly agree with you. My first encounter with holistic approaches was in reading Aldous Huxley’s work; I could see him evolving a holistic perspective beginning with The Perennial Philosophy (1945) and culminating in his utopian novel Island (1962). We will talk about all this more, later!

HB: Let’s! I really enjoyed hanging out with you in the outskirts of Rumi Field! Thank you, Professor Orr, for listening in!


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Scott, C. (2010). Epistemological multilingualism: A tool for conviviality. Paideusis—International Journal in Philosophy of Education, 18(2), 43–54.

Scott, C. (2014). Dialogue as an intersubjective contemplative praxis. In O. Gunnlaugson, H. Bai, E. Sarath, and C. Scott (Eds.), Contemplative approaches to learning and inquiry pp. 325–340). Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.


Dr. Heesoon Bai is an educational philosopher who teaches and researches in the intersections of ethics, ecological worldviews, contemplative ways, and Asian philosophies. Her co-edited books include: Fields of Green: Restorying Culture, Environment, Education (2009); Speaking of Teaching: Inclinations, Inspirations, and Innerworkings (2012); Speaking of Learning: Recollections, Revelations, and Realizations (2014); Contemplative Learning and Inquiry Across Disciplines (2014); The Intersubjective Turn in Contemplative Education: Shared Approaches for Contemplative Learning & Inquiry Across Disciplines (forthcoming). She is a recipient of Simon Fraser’s University Excellence in Teaching Award, Dean of Graduate Studies Supervision Award, as well as Canadian Society for the Studies in Education Graduate Student Mentorship Award. Dr. Bai is also a practicing psychotherapist in private practice. You can find her downloadable published works.

Dr. Charles Scott: I work in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Working on integrating theory and research into teaching practice (and vice versa) is an ongoing, dynamically reciprocating focus for me. My research interests include the development of theories and practices in contemplative inquiry and their applications in education in a key area of investigation; my own contemplative practices are based in the Raja Yoga tradition. Dialogue and its applications in developing learning relationships in educational settings is another area of focus. I am also interested in narrative writing and the roles narrative plays in identity formation.

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