MISSION AND MINISTRY | Contemplation, meditation and introspection are valued pursuits at Loyola Marymount University. There is a twice-a-week group, led by Paul Humphreys, professor of music, to practice these spiritual explorations, and speakers on campus frequently explore these spiritual practices.
Renowned author and translator Bill Porter, who also publishes under the name Red Pine, shared his thoughts and experiences with faculty, students and the public during a three-event tour of LMU.
Porter visited campus on Wednesday, Oct.11, starting at the Center for Teaching Excellence, where faculty heard his thoughts about the intersections between Chinese wisdom texts and applications of contemplative pedagogy. Discussion turned at several points to methods of approaching translation not only across languages, but across hundreds and in some cases thousands of years. Porter’s next stop was at Theological Studies for an afternoon conversation with graduate and undergraduate students focusing on the Daodejing, among the most ancient of Chinese wisdom texts.
He finished his day at the William H. Hannon Library for a public talk, “Road to Heaven: The Chinese Hermit Tradition.” Drawing on published accounts of his extensive travel in the mountains of central China, Porter spoke to the ways of solitary contemplatives whose cultivation of virtue is a millennia-old tradition. The talk was preceded by a performance of traditional Chinese music by the Silk and Bamboo Project, directed Charlotte D’Evelyn, assistant professor of Asian and Pacific Studies.
The events were made possible by a consortium of support from LMU’s Asian and Pacific Studies, English, Music, and Theological Studies departments, as well as the Marymount Institute, University Core Curriculum Office, and Yoga Studies Program.
On the subject of contemplation, since 2006 a group of LMU faculty, staff and administrators have gathered in the early morning twice a week in the Marymount Center for Prayer and Peace to practice Zen meditation. If you are interested in exploring this practice, you can arrange for instruction in sitting and walking meditation in advance of your first session by contacting Paul Humphreys at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read his recent reflection on the connections between Zen and Ignatian spirituality that appeared in Conversations magazine in 2015.