Meditation for Global Healing

Instructor Name: 
Julie Porter
Course Description: 

With meditation as our framework, we will explore the concept of personal healing and awareness as a foundation for global healing. Meditation is a practice that encompasses a philosophy of living with a quiet mind, open heart, and in service to others.  This capstone provides an opportunity to explore ancient Chinese philosophy, personal healing, and social responsibility within the context of a mindfulness practice. Working with a community partner gives you the chance to be of service to people who are homeless in Portland and learn about their needs and your engagement in the context of the course material.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Acquire knowledge of Qigong and meditation form and philosophy.
  • Investigate the concept of personal and community healing from the perspective of this ancient Chinese practice.
  • Coordinate with community partners to create your service learning experience.
  • Condense acquired knowledge into a community event.
  • Utilize mindfulness principals in the class / team environment.
Project Description: 

Attendance, Participation and Engagement
A "Qigong state" connotes awareness, mindfulness, intent, and receptivity. We will strive to embody these principals in class and to do so requires attendance, participation and engagement (i.e. attention, questioning, listening, sharing, involvement). You are expected to turn in assignments in a timely fashion and participate in discussions and class exercises with integrity and an open mind.

Five Reflective Assignments
Reflection assignments are a tool to explore your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs on subjects pertaining to the readings, class participation, and/or personal experience. You are encouraged to express yourself freely and dig deep to gain greater insight into yourself and the topic. You are given the option to reflect through prose, visual art, music, poetry, etc. You have written extensively by the time you are a senior in college, please consider expressing yourself through another medium.

Personal reflection may be a new concept. It is not an exercise in restating ideas you have read or heard but in considering your own ideas and beliefs in the context of what you are learning. Your work is not assessed on correct or incorrect ideas but for depth of reflection, insight, and self-awareness. Rather than focus on what you think might be the "right" response, trust and write from your own innate wisdom. In Qigong, it is said, "If you are comfortable, I will be comfortable."  

Qigong Meditation Practice [90 minutes per week] &  Five Personal Journals
Journals perform a variety of functions in this course. They serve to document your meditation practice and provide a means to reflect upon the experience inherent in that practice as well as the readings, class work, and community work. As with the reflection assignments, the journals are a tool for delving into your experience and deepening your awareness.

There are two format options for documenting and reflecting upon your practice. You can choose one or adapt them. You are free to use the same format throughout the term, experiment with both, or alternate with each assignment-it is up to you. Each journal will consist of your insights into your practice and "mini-reflections" pertaining to the readings and community work. I'll post questions for each journal to provide some focus to those reflections.

In addition, the journals provide valuable information that helps me teach to individual and group needs and are a great forum for posing questions that you may not feel comfortable or remember to ask in class. The format and function of the journals is more personal so they can be hand written.

Community Involvement
There are two components to the community involvement:  1) As part of a small group, work with your chosen community partner to contribute to the well-being of the partner participants and gain a greater aunderstanding of your community; 2) individually organize and a community gathering with at least five other people of your choosing. This project is intended to help you put class experience into practical application while sharing with others.  

In working with the community, consider the concepts of this course, your education and interests, and the community needs. Points will be given for the quality of your service work, your initiative and creativity, and the manner in which you contribute to the group process. You will be responsible for constructive communication and problem solving within your team and may be asked to evaluate your own and each other's efforts.