Our journey through Southern India during Term Three of the 2010-2011 school year included exploration of contemplative practices that flow out of Hindu teaching and Christian mysticism especially the notion of “Namaste,” which means revering and living from the Divine Within. Amid our study we learned a variety of formal and informal meditation techniques which can help us more skillfully face anxiety and fears, let go of the ego-mind, and assist in the inner life of work and servant leadership.
To enrich this educational process, we studied sacred texts as the Bhagavad Gita and the New Testament, talked with Christian and Hindu leaders about the Divine Within, and explored the spiritual wisdom of such mystics as Fr. Bede Griffith, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Swami Prabhavananda, and Martin Luther King, Jr. We learned pranayama breathing, studied four main types of Hindu yoga (Bhakti, Jnana, Karma, and Hatha), and practiced lectio divina contemplation. In addition, we kept a daily meditation journal to track how various formal and informal contemplative practices impacted our inner and outer journey. From our experience in India, we observed ways in which two different religions share many of the same fundamental beliefs.
Rebecca Spanier, ’11
St. Cloud, MN
Maria Davis, ’13
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Sponsor: Catherine Quehl-Engel