2016-17 Pigott McCone Events

The Pigott McCone Chair in Humanities is sponsoring these special events in 2016-17:

  • Installation of Professor Sharon Suh as the Pigott McCone Chair, November 3, 2016
  • Meditation and Movement Retreat: Creating Space in Your Body and Your Life. March 3-4, 2017
  • 2016-17 Lecture Series: Occupy This Body

Installation of Professor Sharon Suh as the Pigott McCone Chair

November 3, 2016
4 - 6 p.m., Student Center 160
RSVP to pigott-mccone@seattleu.edu

The Theiline Pigott McCone Chair in Humanities is dedicated to promoting scholarly life among faculty. The President of Seattle University bestows this award to a member of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty who is an outstanding teacher and scholar in one of the basic humanities disciplines. President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., will install Professor Sharon Suh as the Pigott McCone Chair on November 3. Following the installation ceremony, Professor Suh will give a presentation about her book project, Occupy This Body: Meditation as Political Recuperative Strategy that examines mindfulness and meditation as social justice praxis and reparative political strategies for survival in the face of multiple intersecting forms of disempowerment. She will discuss how contemplative practices can be deployed to counteract the damaging effects of multiple intersecting forms of oppression.

Meditation and Movement Retreat: Creating Space in Your Body and Your Life

March 3-4, 2017

Pigott McCone Events 2016-17

Featuring Mushim Ikeda (left), a founding and core teacher at East Bay Meditation Center, who has practiced Buddhism since 1982 as both a monastic and lay person in North America and Asia, and Master Ellis (right), owner of Ananda Martial Arts, a martial artist with more than 30 years of experience in helping people strengthen the connections between the body, mind and spirit.

The focus of the “Meditation & Movement” retreat is to help people carry the benefits of awareness, in stillness and in movement, into their daily lives. Participants will be introduced to the Five Realms Form 1 created by Master Ellis, a simple yet profound series of gentle movements with variations suitable for people of all abilities. Often Westerners practice meditation and walk away immediately stressed out about the next 10 things on their agenda. The awareness and insight we gain from still meditation and moving meditation can help us become more grounded in our daily journey, offer us more clarity, help us focus our passion, and give us the flexibility to flow with life’s circumstances. Rather than disconnecting from the world, the Meditation & Movement retreat aims to help people live a more balanced, harmonious life. Five Realms Meditative Movement will help each participant explore  the connections and flow between the body, mind and spirit by harnessing the universal and innate energies of Air, Fire, Earth, Water and Space.Movements are taught standing, sitting and reclining; and most are appropriate for diverse physical capabilities. No special equipment is needed, and no experience in meditation or movement is necessary. A complete agenda of the two-day retreat is hereRSVP to pigott-mccone@seattleu.edu

2016-17 Lecture Series: Occupy This Body


Pigott McCone events 2016-17

The Pigott McCone Lecture Series invites you to participate in a three part workshop with Seattle Insight Meditation teacher, Tuere Sala on 1) The Science of Mindfulness; 2) Finding Safety Through the Body; and 3) Mindfulness and Social Activism. Over the past 40 years, research around the nature and impact of mindfulness has grown exponentially. There is a complex and inextricable link between attentional control/stability and high-level cognitive capacities such as situational awareness and working memory capacity. Additionally, these foundational attentional skills and the resulting capabilities related to working memory are known to be correlated to crucial behavioral factors related to emotional regulation, emotional intelligence and impulse control. During this series we will learn the four basic foundations of meditation and how to develop a strong and supportive practice. Students will be given practice instructions and reading assignments to do between each workshop part. 

Part 1:  The Science Behind Mindfulness: How and Why Mindfulness Works

Wednesday November 9, 2016, 6-9 pm
Boeing Room, Lemieux Library

Mindfulness is moment to moment awareness of ever shifting conditions.  The practice of mindfulness stimulates the prefrontal cortex and awakens two aspects of the brain’s executive functions, an important process for reasoning and the guidance of decision making and behavior.  First, the practice of aiming and sustaining attention on a chosen target object increases working memory capacity (WMC).  People with high WMC have an increased capacity to access, retain and update relevant information, are better at filtering out distraction and focusing on pertinent information, and are able to down regulate their stress levels.  Second, the practice of returning again and again to a chosen target strengthens the insula cortex, the region of the brain that governs interoceptive awareness (IA).  IA is the ability to feel internal bodily sensations.  The higher level of activity in the insula cortex the easier and faster it is recover from a stressful experience. This class will focus on how and why mindfulness works.

Part 2:  Finding Safety in the Body

February 8, 2017, 6-9 pm
Student Center 160

Mindfulness generates courage, confidence, and inner strength.  Yet to truly experience these qualities one must let go of all conceptualizations, opinions, judgments and beliefs about what these qualities should or should not look like and feel like.  They are not a states of mind.  They are naturally arising qualities when we abide in the present moment.   Those of us living with the residue of racism, trauma, disassociation and negative self-images know how difficult it is to have any type of genuine relationship with our bodies.  Our lives are driven by our thinking, judgment,s and rules about ourselves and the world.  Our rigidity in life and tendencies to control our surroundings are based on an overwhelming need for safety, acceptance and order, and any deviation can cause us to become stifled by our fears, anxiety and mental fixations.  Any type of work involving social justice, social change and racial activism demands the qualities of courage, confidence and inner strength.  Mindfulness works from the inside out and enables us to access and cultivate these internal qualities.  This class will focus on how to be patient with the uncomfortable so that we can connect with a deeper wisdom.

Part 3:  Engaging the World From A Place Of Strength

April 26, 2017, 6-9 pm
Bannan 102 - Auditorium

There is no greater charge for an activist than to be willing to speak truth to power.   This requires us to see beyond existing causes and conditions.  It requires a degree of centeredness that will allow “the other” to listen and hear our truth.  Mindfulness is about learning how to fully access any given moment.  It is the practice of fear and anger, both of which also inherently carry the truth of safety and peace.  Social engagement rooted in mindfulness is not weak and placating.  On the contrary it is built upon a strong foundation of a warrior’s fierceness.  It is compassion, kindness, joy and equanimity that gives one the capacity to show up again and again.  This class will focus on how to take our practice out into the world while remaining forever connected to our inner core.

Tuere Sala is a Guiding Teacher at Seattle Meditation Society (SIMS). She is a retired prosecuting attorney who has practiced Vipassana meditation for over 25 years and has been a practicing member of SIMS since 2001. She is also the founding teacher of the Capitol Hill Meditation Group. Ms. Sala teaches introduction to meditation classes, intermediate and advance practice courses, and Buddhist study courses. She offers daylong meditation retreats on various Dharma principles, workshops using nonviolent communication (NVC) to support a mindfulness practice and mindfulness based resilience training. She has completed extensive trainings including: Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader Program, Focusing for Complex Trauma Course and Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training Course (MMFT). She has sat 300+ days of meditation retreat (including residential, non-residential and day-longs) and has a long history of assisting others in establishing and maintaining a daily practice.