Kathleen D. Noble
Explores the complex processes involved in implicit cognitive and neuroplasticity; the role of thought, emotion, and meditation in shaping the brain; and possibilities for enhancing human psychological development. Prerequisite: BSE 322.
Our minds are intricately and inextricably involved in creating our physical, psychological, interpersonal, and collective experiences. This course will explore the profound implications of interconnectedness and the roles of mindfulness, happiness, wisdom and rest in helping us become more balanced and aware human beings.
Student learning goals
1. Recognize the ways in which interconnectedness or “one mind” permeates all aspects of our individual and collective lives.
2. Appreciate the power of mindfulness and expanded awareness in achieving and enhancing happiness, harmony, and well-being.
3. Understand the importance of wisdom and rest to consciousness and well-being.
4. Demonstrate the ability to distill, discuss, and evaluate the principal ideas presented in textual material.
5. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on, write about, and discuss your own ideas and insights about these issues
General method of instruction
BST 321 and BST 322. Commitment to attending and participating in every class.
Class assignments and grading
1. Written outline and analysis of readings [except Sabbath] (25%): Double-spaced, 12 point font. Hard copies only. 2 pages per chapter, single spaced: What are the author’s main points? So What? Your so what? Do not use quotes. All writing must be in your own words. Each outline is due at the beginning of the appropriate class and will form the basis of class discussion.
2. Sabbath reflections (25%): Our readings from “Sabbath” are your opportunity to structure Sabbath principles into your life and learning. Consider this work as an extended meditation about the mindful practice of conscious well-being. a. For each set of readings: Do at least one practice from the book or one practice of your own creation based on this set of readings.
b. 5 written reflections: (2 pages each, double-spaced): Which retreat practice did you do or create? Where did you do it? When? Why? Describe your experiences during these practices. What was your frame of mind (e.g., thoughts? feelings? insights?)? What did you learn?
3. Participation (25%): Students will be evaluated by the professor and themselves based on their preparation to discuss and raise questions based on the readings, use of notes and texts to support their questions and contributions, and respect shown for other participants. Students must be present in class to earn credit for participation.
4. Final Reflection Essay (25%): 5 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font. This essay is your reflection on what you learned during the course. Your task is to think and write about the material we read or watched and discussed throughout the quarter. I want to know what you think about these ideas and issues and how you and your ideas have grown over the course of the course. Students will present and discuss their final essays during the last day of class.
Each writing assignment will get a variation of the following checks. I'll translate them to grades at the end of the quarter. Here's what they mean:
Check ++: You're a rock star and you taught me something. Thank you. Check +: Excellent; no improvement needed; you could teach this session. Check(+): Very good; you've almost reached the heights of excellence; just a little tweaking needed to be great. Check: Good, acceptable, but with a little work this could be awesome Check(-): Needs more work but you're on the right path Check -: Not failing because you tried but needs a lot more work. If you read my comments and take them seriously and/or if you meet with me you will improve immensely. Check --: You're not serious, are you?
I truly want all students to be in the check (+) range at minimum.