Contemplating Consumption: A Meditation and Mindfulness Exercise
In this example of using meditation and mindfulness exercises to teach sustainable consumption, activities from two different cases are presented to illustrate how contemplative activities can be used to stimulate self-reflection and learning about sustainable consumption.
By: Manisha Anantharaman (Saint Mary’s College of California) and Daniel Fischer (Wageningen University)
Session type: Single session, Undergraduate/Graduate level, Small/Medium size
Introduction to the teaching example:
The teaching example entails two cases.
Case 1: The session's objective is for students to start questioning, gain knowledge of the resources and work that go into producing goods as well as cultivate an inquiry-based mindset. Students first learn about the link between consumerism and (un)sustainability as well as the effects of consumer choices on the climate. They also gather all receipts they receive for the remaining four days of the same week and bring them to the next session. After that, they are welcomed on a guided meditation that encourages gratitude for the tools, products, and services they have at their disposal. The examination of their receipts and a discussion of their consuming preferences serve to debrief the meditation.
Case 2: The guided meditation exercise seeks to develop students' knowledge of social aspects of sustainable consumption as well as their capacity to observe and consider morals and motivational-affective processes. By concentrating explicitly on the creation of clothing, the activity introduces students to the social aspect of sustainable consumerism. Students are invited to investigate the route that clothes take before being worn by customers through a 10-minute guided meditation activity. After the guided meditation, fresh insights, emotions, and new questions are discussed utilizing certain guiding questions.