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Audio Diary: Dawn Meditation with Dr Andy Letcher

Dartington Gardens in mist

In this audio diary, Dr Andy Letcher, programme lead for the MA Engaged Ecology at Schumacher College, steps out into his garden on the Dartington estate to meditate on the meaning of the dawn across cultures.

He suggests that while observing the dawn is an almost universal aspect of human religiosity, ritual responses are hard to square with our modern, secular, post-enlightenment worldview.

Drawing on Alfred North Whitehead’s ‘fallacy of the bifurcation of nature’, in which science has tended to bracket off the question of why there are perceiving subjects capable of having qualitative experiences of a phenomenon like, say, the dawn, he suggests that irrespective of whether we are religious or not, we can all observe the dawn and pay attention to the qualitative feelings it elicits in us.

In doing this we may find a way to participate in the dawn as something more than mere observers.

A beautiful example of a Hindustani dawn rag - Bhaskar Das playing Raag Bhairav on the bansuri - can be found here.

Listen: Andy's Audio Diary