Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Liberating arts?

The second session of "Buddhism and Liberal Arts" was as exciting as the first! Turns out we have lots of thoughts about Buddhism - especially about meditation. (Very interesting discussion about the value of journaling about meditation, something a New School instructor requires of his students.) The prompt "liberal arts," however, drew a somewhat embarrassed blank, and some rather cynical views when I prodded. (You wouldn't guess that from our whiteboard, though: we brainstorm around "Buddhism" next week.) It's curious. These are just the sort of students who should be at a liberal arts college and they're doing everything right (like finding out about "B&LA"!), but they've been given no articulate sense of what we're doing and why it's worth doing. It's easier to say what liberal arts is not, one said. What's missing seems (at least at first) to be a sense that liberal arts might involve a truth that sets you free - that there might be objective truths and not just endless varied interpretations in matters human. Let's see if they have similar expectations from Buddhism. Next week we meet at MoMA.

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