On Dialogue, Identity, and Place: A Conversation on Meditative Inquiry


  • Ashwani Kumar
  • William Pinar


currere, dialogue, identity, meditative inquiry, subjectivity


In this conversation, Dr. William Pinar and Dr. Ashwani Kumar explore Kumar’s thoughts on meditative inquiry and how it has informed his teaching, research, musical journey, and life generally. Guided by Pinar’s questions, the authors reflect on a variety of broad themes. They discuss how meditative inquiry relates to holistic education, particularly as described by Jack Miller, and with Pinar’s celebrated concept of currere. They delve into Kumar’s ongoing meditative inquiry into Indian classical music through teaching, learning, and performing. Throughout the conversation, they highlight the significance of human subjectivity, identity, and the role of stillness in the human experience, and implicitly and expressly critique prevalent neoliberal models of education. Pinar prompts Kumar to share his thoughts on teaching and learning as an expression of who we are. Kumar notes the importance of asking students to explore their true purpose, acknowledging the value of Pinar’s concept of autobiographical inquiry. They conclude that meditative inquiry is a sensibility that exists as more than a method or a practice, that it extends to the presence of
being. In closing, Kumar affirms that he is continuing to deepen his understanding of meditative inquiry and shares his plan to write about it accessibly and for broader audiences.