ABSTRACT

This chapter outlines the prominent criticisms of using contemplative and mindfulness practices, and argues for why these concerns, while valid, are particularly relevant for anti-oppression courses. Organizations such as the contemplative mind in Society and the Association for Mindfulness in Higher Education have provided strong leadership in grappling with issues of oppression and creating change through contemplative practices and pedagogy. Contemplative practices offer valuable tools for moving the study of oppression from a mere object of study to a deeper process that is both internal and external. Many of the practices included in contemplative pedagogy, including yoga, pranayama, Tai Chi, Qigong, and particular meditation practices, come from Eastern and Indian cultures. The critique of the exclusionary nature of mainstream Western yoga culture is accurate. The chapter explores how different students may respond to contemplative and mindfulness practices in unexpected and fraught ways, and concludes by offering several tips for addressing those responses.