Highlighting an arts-based inquiry process that involves contemplation, mindful awareness, and artful writing, this book explores women’s difficult experiences in teaching. It weaves a strong autobiographical thread with artifacts from several research projects with female teachers. By linking innovative approaches to research that involve visual images and poetic writing with feminist poststructuralist theories and Buddhist-inspired practices, Walsh offers new understandings about what it means to be critical in research and teaching—and also what transformation, both social and personal, might entail.
"In this book, Susan Casey Walsh investigates the heart of pedagogy as contemplative, courageous, creative, critical, and compassionate. In erudite and evocative writing, she invites an attunement to daily living experience that is inspirited by Buddhist teachings, poststructuralist theories, feminist scholarship, artful engagement, and mindful practices. This book could only be written after a long experience in teaching, the arts, and spiritual practice. It is a testimony to the possibilities of translation and transformation as readers are invited to ask tough questions, attend hopefully to the world, linger with the arts, and practice breathing gently and generously as a lyrical call of the heart, always with a tireless devotion to embracing new possibilities and ways of being and becoming in the world."
--Carl Leggo, poet and Professor of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia, Canada
"A simply breathtaking, breath-giving work! Walsh maps her contemplative practice and moves us to a place of awareness, spaciousness, and openness to heightened sensation and perception. Writing ‘with’ her encounters ‘with’ teaching, she explores post-qualitative approaches as a way of being in the world. Profound examples of developing compassion will undoubtedly open readers up to their own practice of mindful breathing and deep listening."
--Rita Irwin, Professor of Art Education, University of British Columbia, Canada
This book is a love letter to educational researchers, social justice workers, feminists, and those who engage in contemplative work and spiritual activism. Walsh takes us through this meditative, mesmerizing journeying with images, verses, creative writing, research findings, and narrative proses, with meaningful pauses, for us to be still with her, while holding the space to take our own journeys. The writing is stunning, absolutely innovative in its genre, and we are blessed to have such a brilliant scholar amidst our mix who has broken several grounds in writing this book. I have relished reading this book and intentionally delayed completing the reading because I did not want to end the experience of my journey unfolding in more ways than I ever imagined before. An essential book for multiple re-reads, Walsh combines Barad’s work with poststructural feminist sensibilities, contemplative theories and approaches, and educational research. These ideas are not easy ideas to bring together in one space, but Walsh does it masterfully through embodied experiences, while focusing on her mind, body, spirit, and personal and professional practices. Not only is this book ground breaking, but it breaks rank with traditional practices of scholarly writing, allowing scholars to imagine ways in which creativity, contemplation, theory, and educational research can be imagined from their own ontoepistemological orientations. This is an enactment of love and a must-buy for those in academia who are social justice scholars, contemplative practitioners, and researchers seeking ways to integrate the ways in which their fragmented parts play a role in shaping their knowledge-making endeavors.
--Kakali Bhattacharya, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Kansas State University
1. Introduction 2. Writing gaps and spaces 3. Contemplation, artful writing 4. Shifting 5. Research as compassionate practice 6. Listening, communing, awarenessing