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City Bar Contemplative Lawyers Group: Showing Up and Slowing Down, For Lawyers
Thursday, December 9, 2010 7 PM

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It’s easy enough to understand that a contemplative practice would enable us to slow down in the midst of our daily lives. Stopping briefly in attention to this very moment can offer a refuge, providing not only a "pause that refreshes" (to take a phrase from an old soft drink commercial), but a subsequent skillful reengagement with everyday matters, including the challenges of being an effective lawyer or judge. If the slowing down is undertaken seriously and long-term, however, it can have a lasting effect, one that shifts our basic way of encountering work and life. That is, we should consider "showing up" for contemplative practice, making a commitment to it that we can keep, as best we can, for some time. "Showing up" over and over allows our "slowing down" practice to take root, resulting in enhanced awareness, effectiveness, and well-being in the give-and-take world of work and life.

MARC R. POIRIER, Professor of Law and the Martha Traylor Research Scholar, Seton Hall University School of Law