Contemplating great things in soul and place

Susan A. Schiller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The holistic activity described in this chapter integrates mind, body, and soul in a process of harmonious interconnections among images, words, silence, and creativity. Images, words, and silence are used repeatedly to initiate a movement from outer to inner and back again. This "is a basic human rhythm" (Neville, as cited in Kessler, 2000, p. 56) that I also consider as a practical gateway leading to creativity and transformation. Participants are asked to express the inner by creating their own poem about the greatness they have been able to see anew. Kessler (2000) informs us that, "When creativity breaks through . . . [m]ind, body, heart and spirit come together to spark the passion that fuels the motivation to learn to contribute and to savor our infinite capacity for growth" (p. 114). When participants share their creations at the end of the process, the capacity for growth is proclaimed and witnessed within the community. This validates their soul. In this context, "soul" refers to the inner depths from which feeling, knowledge, and change originate. This process further creates the potential for participants to understand that greatness is accessible to us at any time if we allow the soul to transform our vision and to see that great things help our soul to emerge. While the outer shell of the process is linear, activities within each step are not; they awaken the participants to infinite opportunities for seeing greatness in soul and place. The relationship between linear and nonlinear ways of learning is created and allowed to flow. Ultimately participants learn that greatness is everywhere if we just let our soul feel and see it, and that the soul itself is a transformative power we can access in order to resee the world. Balance, inclusion, and connection, so vital to holistic learning (Miller, 1996, p. 3), are maintained as they lead us to see that the transformative power of the soul can be studied as a phenomenon. As a phenomenon, this power can be sought; it does not need to remain a mystery. Our soul, then, becomes a paramount and practical place of growth and infinite learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHolistic Learning and Spirituality in Education
Subtitle of host publicationBreaking New Ground
PublisherState University of New York Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0791463516, 9780791463512
StatePublished - 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Contemplating great things in soul and place'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this