This assignment is designed to get you to experience for yourself what it is like to engage in a daily art form or ritual that manifests some culture in which you participate. You will need to refer to this practice in each of the guided reflection assigments.
- Choose one of the art forms or rituals listed below, which should take 2-5 minutes to complete. It should be something that helps you think about your place in the world, or your relationship to some greater reality, or is in some other way significantly meaningful to you--SOMETHING THAT HAS AN OVERALL POSITIVE INTENTION AND THAT YOU WILL BE WILLING TO DO EVERY DAY. You may also email me with an alternative that you feel better meets your needs; but note that practices done without approval early in the term will NOT receive full credit.
- Write out a poem, short story, or play, or make a drawing, painting or sculpture--either one a day or one piece at a time.
- Pick a favorite song to recite in the shower, adding 2-3 gestures or hand movements to go along with the refrain.
- Sing a patriotic song (e.g., "The Battle Hymn of the Republic") or recite a patriotic text (e.g., "The Bill of Rights"), either American or from some other culture, while standing facing some important symbol, holding your hand on your heart.
- Recite some inspirational reflective passage, inside or outside, in a quite setting close to some special objects (e.g., candle, image, tree), pausing before, during and/or after to contemplate and/or write in a reflection.
- Recite a poem, short story or play out loud, by yourself and/or to an audience.
Texts, songs, etc. for all of these may composed either by you or someone else. In particular, in the first option listed above, you may copy someone else's work.
- Decide on a set time every day when you are able to do your practice. Pick a time that you will be able to keep daily as much as possible.
(a) If you recite something as part of your practice, to begin with you may read your text, but after a couple of weeks you should make a specific effort to MEMORIZE it to whatever extent you haven't already done so.
(b) If you are creating something as part of your practice, written or other (see the first option above), make sure to keep a log of your work, dating each entry.
- Fill out and turn in the Daily Practice Form (MS Word/PDF) by September 20 to make sure you have included everything; if asked for more detail, return it ASAP. As you do the daily practice, pay attention to what happens to your thoughts and mood.