Day 2: Mindfulness at Morven

It’s Day 2 here at the Morven Summer Institute and what a gorgeous day it is after all the rain yesterday! This morning we had a special guest, Marga Odahowski, Director of Studies at the International Residence College and faculty member at UVA, lead the class in a mindfulness session. Students learned breathing techniques, helpful journaling tips, and reflected on the importance of taking a step back from our electronics and hectic schedules to be more receptive to our daily surroundings.

Marga Odahowski

Marga also led a mindful eating exercise – students slowly ate a single California-grown raisin and focused on paying attention to the texture, the taste, their thoughts, and their feelings about process. With so many meals eaten on the go these days, mindful eating can help reconnect us to our food and help us appreciate the time and energy that went into growing what’s on our plate.

The mindfulness session out on the Meeting Barn’s patio.

During lunch, several students took advantage of the beautiful weather to explore the grounds and gardens at Morven. Afterwards, Prof. Freedman and the class dug into today’s readings, notably Wendell Berry’s classic piece “The Pleasures of Eating” and excerpts from Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals”. Lessons from today’s mindfulness session were a great addition to the discussion as students examined how we choose what we eat and how cultures shape food.

Another great day to be out at Morven! Tomorrow we’ll be taking a tour of the kitchen garden — yum!

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