Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Communication

Major Professor

Mariaelena Bartesaghi

Keywords

Contemplative Pedagogy, Diversity, Mindfulness, Relationships, Spirituality

Abstract

In this dissertation, I am in conversation with the following questions: How can individuals and communities teach and learn to engage more peacefully, nonviolently, and compassionately with each other? Further, how can one practice a style of communication that helps at least one person suffer less each day? In asking these questions, my goal has been to imagine as well as attempt to actualize a world where individuals and communities work together to create less suffering in each other's lives by first developing compassionate awareness of our interconnectedness, then "waking up" not only to our own divinity but also to that place in all of us where the entire universe dwells. In this dissertation, communication is situated as both a spiritual practice and as a practice of yoga.

To illuminate this notion, I have sequenced this text as a yoga practice in and of itself, employing Shiva Rea's "wave methodology" to introduce and support the peak purpose of this text -communication as yoga - via svadhyaya, or self-study, as a path to expand relational awareness through everyday small acts or micropractices. Communication, thus, becomes an emergent process based in yoga philosophy and practice wherein one learns to acknowledge and take responsibility for one's interactions with others and other realities by recognizing one's shared vulnerability. To heighten this awareness, this text includes 108 asanas or micropractices, which serve to explore my guiding questions as well as exemplify communication as yoga - as an everyday practice.

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