Our approach to education challenges the dominant left-brained Western education model—one that defines truth as “clear and distinct ideas” (Descartes) and therefore as left brain or rationality exclusively. Instead, it integrates "art as meditation" and body prayer as essential parts of the learning process, thus bringing in the right brain or intuition/mysticism along with the body and mind, into balance.
FICS embraces a pedagogy that calls forth a society infused with an engaged, compassionate spirituality, a place where you become more a maker than a consumer of contemporary culture.
Most education is education into the norms of consumer culture, but the Fox Institute is dedicated to providing experiences that enable each person to claim his/her power as creators of culture and agents of change.
It is our hope and intention that through the education paradigm, students discern the calling forth of their unique gifts and life-giving vocation.
deeply ecumenical | inclusive | engaged spirituality
At Fox Institute as we integrate wisdom gleaned from both Eastern and Western spirituality, we learn and foster inclusiveness and respect for our differences.
Rooted in an ecological worldview that sees all of Creation as interconnected and sacred—emphasizing the necessity of biodiversity for an eco-system to flourish—FICS embraces diverse religious cultures and indigenous traditions.
Together we are moved by the deep wisdom that has emerged from the communal roots of spiritual practice and insight. In the emerging new cosmology where we recognize interdependence at every level, we learn to counteract polarization with dialogue across difference and celebrate life-sustaining diversity.
Following is a typical day/week at FICS:
|8:30-9:15am||Announcements and Body Prayer|
|12:30-2pm||Lunch and Community time|
|2-4:30pm||Art as Meditation|
|4:45-6pm||Process Group (Monday–Thursday)|
body prayer | academic seminars | art-as-meditation | process group
A five-day “intensive” starts with daily “body prayer,” which awakens students to the day, focusing them in current time and place and prepares them to engage their whole being in the learning process. This morning meditation, which may include singing, dance, chant and other embodied practices, prepares students for morning seminars that align closer with traditional academic classes.
FICS seminars are didactic and interactive, drawing on:
- the latest research and writings on science and spiritualty
- the wisdom revealed in the texts of the world’s spiritual traditions
- the works of mystics - new and old
- the critical issues of our day
- the thought leaders who inspire/lead compassionate action
Students come prepared with a paper reflecting their integration of the assigned readings and leave ready to articulate their learning and personal vision in a longer and more in-depth writing assignment.
An experiential practice we call “art-as-meditation” takes place in the afternoon, providing an opportunity to calm the reptilian brain, engage the right brain and sink into creativity and one’s body.
Art-as-meditation returns us to the “divine artist within,” moving beyond the limitations of the patriarchal ego self and invites us into a magnanimous world of the creative “I Am” – The creative Self. This intentional focus on intuitive learning and the expression of internal experience allows knowledge to take root in a very organic way. A wide range of classes are offered such as, “Pray, Create, Illuminate - Wisdom Texts,” “Photography as Spiritual Practice,” “Calling the Beloved: Writing Your Way Home to the Heart,” “Embodying the TAO - Tai Chi as a Meditative Practice,” and “Singing and Embodying the African American Spiritual, Freedom and Protest Song.”
A “process group” at the end of the day provides dedicated time and a supportive community for students to explore how the whole learning experience is working on all levels in their lives.