FYSE 1345

Art & Nature of Contemplation

The Art and Nature of Contemplation
What would it be like to attend to oneself, to others, and to the world with the concentration and insight of a Zen-inspired poet? How does a forest, a river, a neighborhood, or a city feel to an artist in open attentiveness to the immediate environment? This seminar invites students to experience contemplative knowing of self and surroundings through mindfulness meditation and through daily reflections in words, sketches or photographs. We will learn about the traditional origins of meditation and more recent uses of mindfulness for personal wellbeing. To give context to our own practice we will engage critically with essays, poems, art installations, and films that have arisen from contemplations of nature in ancient and modern times. Our study begins with Japanese poets Saigyo and Basho, the classic filmmaker Ozu, and the anime director Miyazaki. We then explore and compare meditative works by American and international writers and artists Annie Dillard, Andy Goldsworthy, and Maya Lin. We will conclude with the question of the relationship between mindfulness and social awareness in the works of Shigeru Ban. 3 hrs. sem/disc.
First Year Seminar
First-Year Seminar Program
Requirements Fulfilled:


Fall 2016

FYSE1345A-F16 Seminar (Cavanaugh)

Fall 2015

FYSE1345A-F15 Seminar (Cavanaugh)

Fall 2011

FYSE1345A-F11 Seminar (Cavanaugh)