Contemplative Practice Fellowships

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Contemplative Practice Fellowship Program

About the Fellowships

This program was sponsored by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and made possible by funding from the Fetzer Institute. The fellowships seek to restore and renew the critical contribution that contemplative practices can make to the life of teaching, learning, and scholarship. At the heart of the program is the belief that pedagogical and intellectual benefits can be discovered by bringing contemplative practice into the academy, and that contemplative awareness can help to create a more just, compassionate, and reflective society.

Contemplative practices are part of all major religious and spiritual traditions, and have long had a place in intellectual and ethical inquiry and practice. Depending upon the tradition from which they come, contemplative practices are defined in a variety of ways and can help people develop greater balance, calm, empathy, improved focus and concentration, and enhanced creativity. In time, with sustained commitment, they can cultivate insight, wise discernment, awareness, and compassion.

 

Future Fellowship Competitions

At this time, we are not sure of the date of the next Contemplative Practice Fellowship competition. Please watch this website for updates. If you are on our mailing list, we will send you a notification email when we have information about the next competition. Click here to join our mailing list, or you may follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

2011 Fellowship Program Evaluation

Contemplative Practice in Higher Education: An Assessment of the Contemplative Practice Fellowship Program, 1997 – 2009  

Researched and Written by Barbara A. Craig, PhD, for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, April 2011  

View/download the full report (127 pages, .pdf) or the summary (6 pages, .pdf).

 

Past Contemplative Practice Fellowship Recipients

Jump to a year: 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009

 

2009 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Biernacki, Loriliai
    Associate Professor
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    “Contemplative Practice and its Social Effects in Three Indian Thinkers: Gandhi, Aurobindo and Amritanandamayi Ma”

    This course addresses three 20th century figures whose lives have exemplified the intertwining and mutual interaction between a contemplative practice on the one hand, and social and political activism geared towards work for peace and justice on the other. Students will engage in contemplative practices based upon those practiced by three figures, Mahatma Gandhi, Aurobindo Ghose and Mata Amritandandamayi Ma, whose teachings are being studied. This course seeks to address the juncture between differing religious practices and the various types of degrees of engaged social activism they engender.  This class will also help students to think about differences between types of contemplative practices. Thus, some of the questions the course will begin with are: what types of contemplative practices engender what types of behaviors?  and what are the underlying models and implicit assumptions about the world that specific types of contemplative practices entail?  It is anticipated that the course will help the students’ thinking about contemplative practices, making them more delineated and coherent, and consequently helping to advance the area of contemplative studies as a discipline in its own right.

  2. Goldthwaite, Melissa
    Associate Professor, English
    Saint Joseph’s University
    “Rhetorics of Silence: Communication and Contemplative Practice”

    “Rhetorics of Silence: Communication and Contemplative Practice” will examine the complex rhetorical relationships among silence, speech, and writing. This course will focus on the multiple ways people both deliver and receive silence in intentional (and sometimes unintentional) ways and consider the rhetorical and even bodily effects of these silences.  In this course students will consider how contemplative silences can help individuals listen more carefully to themselves, to others, and even to texts – and, in that attentive listening to develop the kind of empathy that seeks unity and inspires action.

    This course will help students examine a range of practices involving many forms of silence, particularly those silences that involve “social conflict and injustice, the amelioration of suffering, and the promotion of peace,” including the potentially destructive practices of silencing oneself or others, the potentially empowering effects of choosing to be silent for a particular purpose, and the calming and potentially healing effects of meditative silences.

  3. Hogan, Wesley
    Associate Professor, History
    Virginia State University
    &
    Hill, Renee
    Associate Professor, Philosophy
    Virginia State University
    “Degree Program in Justice and Transformation”

    This fellowship will be used to develop a degree program in Justice and Transformation which will empower students to become change agents. The “Transformation” refers to both the transformation of community and of self. Students will first be introduced to theories of justice and reflection on what it means for something to be fair, equitable, just. They will study the historical roots of contemporary political, economic, religious, and ethnic strife, as well as current trends and hot spots. Students will have the opportunity to specialize in specific areas such as Healthcare Equity, Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, Community Organizing, Urban Quality of Life, Education, the Environment, GLBT Rights, Disability Advocacy, etc., which will include not only theory but also working with nonprofits in those areas. In addition to gaining community organizing experience, students will be steeped in contemplative practices, which will support both inner personal transformation as well as outer community transformation

  4. Kramer, Betty
    Professor, Social Work
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    “Cultivating Mindfulness for Social Action: Enhancing social work curriculum & training”

    Engaging skillfully in social work practice to ameliorate suffering, promote social justice and a more humane society requires a high degree of self-awareness, mindfulness, compassion, and interpersonal skill development. Three learning modules are being designed for integration into the Social Work curriculum. Module 1 will examine the importance of mindfulness for compassionate and ethically based social action. Module 2 will highlight theory, research and practice related to the use of meditation as a therapeutic intervention.  Module 3 will examine mindfulness methods for professional self care. A one day workshop is being designed to highlight applications of Mindfulness in social work. The workshop will describe the benefits of Mindfulness practices with attention to the scientific basis related to the effects of meditation on physical and psychological well-being, and experientially guide participants through mindfulness practices for integration into daily life.  Small group discussion for personal and professional application will be integrated.

  5. Makransky, John
    Associate Professor, Theology
    Boston College
    “Meditation, Service, and Social Action”

    Meditations of compassionate communion and presence are adapted from Tibetan Buddhism for students of all backgrounds and faiths to explore. Contemplative theory, meditation guidance, daily meditation practice and writings of leading social activists mutually inform each other to help students freshly appropriate their own spiritualities as a basis for social service and social action throughout their lives. Contemplative theory is explored through the professor’s recent book and through the student’s deepening meditation experience. This is brought into conversation with readings in Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Dalai Lama, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Ram Dass, Dorothy Day and other social activists.

  6. Phillips, Layli
    Associate Professor, Women’s Studies
    Georgia State University
    “Womanist Perspectives on Spiritual Activism and Applied Womanism Practicum”

    This two-part course engages the theory and practice of spiritual activism from a womanist perspective in local and international contexts. During Part I of the course, students read five contemporary memoirs that foreground spiritual activism by women in different parts of the world and are exposed to diverse contemplative techniques used by these social change agents and others.  Students also engage in local service-learning with Liberian refugee women that links meditation with literacy and life skills. For Part II of the course, students travel to Liberia during a three-week summer mini-mester for an extended service-learning experience focusing on women and development through the utilization of contemplative practices. During both portions of the course, students and the instructor partner with existing organizations that work with Liberian women on both sides of the water in an effort to build bridges of peace and empowerment between two nations with different challenges and gifts.

  7. Schneiderman, Jill S.
    Professor, Earth Science
    Vassar College
    “Deep Time and Slow Violence, or what does it mean to be secure in time and space?”

    Reading both primary and secondary sources from the history of geology as well as secondary sources from varied religious and spiritual traditions, students study both linear and cyclical concepts of time. They explore these concepts of time as a means to understand the implications of environmental degradation, a form of slow violence, for all components of the Earth System. Mindfulness meditation and metta practice are essential aspects of the course.

  8. Schultheis, Alexandra W.
    Associate Professor, English
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    &
    Grieve, Gregory Price
    Associate Professor, Religious Studies
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    “Cultivating Mindfulness and Human Rights in the Humanities”

    In this course contemplative practices will be integrated–primarily through bodily techniques, reflective writing assignments, and group projects–into an existing course on human rights in literature, film, and religion.  Awareness of egregious human wrongs most often produces two responses in students: emotional distress combined with the frustrated query, “Why don’t ‘they’ (‘we,’ the United Nations, the military) just do something instead of talking about it?”  Contemplative practice will enlarge the scope of students’ ways of knowing (approaching and responding to) these events and practices as well as to each other.  Research will focus on intersections of human rights and contemplation. Central to this course is a desire to cultivate students’ compassion across markers of difference while retaining the ability to critically analyze human rights discourses and policies.  Contemplative practice provides something for students to do rather than simply acquire or believe, while fostering their capacity for deep knowledge, compassion, sustained attention, and self-reflection. The goal is to develop those skills and knowledges in relation to specific course content on the Partition of India and Pakistan (Hinduism), the Vietnam War (Theravadan Buddhism), and religious and cultural repression in Tibet (Tibetan Buddhism).  At the same time to meet the needs of a diverse student body and specifically to ward against the possibility of spiritual cultural tourism through contemplation, practices are introduced that draw on multiple models of consciousness.

  9. Sharify-Funk, Meena
    Assistant Professor, Religion and Culture
    Wilfred Laurier University
    “Sufi Contemplative Traditions: A Bridge to Intercultural Dialogue and Peacemaking”

    Islam’s contemplative tradition, Sufism, is an exceptionally varied, culturally diverse, and historically significant spirituality.  For centuries, Sufis played formative roles in Muslim cultures from West Africa to China, leaving for posterity a remarkable tradition of philosophy and spiritual practice, calligraphy, music, dance, and architecture. This course provides a framework for exploring this legacy, with particular attention to resources within Sufism for peacemaking and global intercultural dialogue. This course seeks not only to acquaint students with knowledge of historical Sufism, but also to illuminate contemporary Sufi perspectives on peace, religious diversity, and social ethics. In the process, the course highlights the continuing presence of Sufism in multiple world regions, and endeavors to utilize its subject matter as a means of advancing intercultural dialogue and empathetic understanding among Muslims and members of other religious and cultural communities.

  10. Thiele, Leslie Paul
    Professor, Political Science
    University of Florida
    “Conflict, Community, and Contemplation”

    “Conflict, Community, and Contemplation” approaches the intellectual and practical challenges facing students entering a precarious world through the lens of community and the practice of meditation. While conflict can and often does occur between individuals, its most threatening forms today rise between collectives – nation-states, ethnic groups, religious sects, and ideological organizations. The call to community is a prerequisite for virtually all organized strife and war. But if the cultivation of community is often the cause of–or excuse for–violent struggle, it also presents a crucial avenue for solidarity, compassion, and peaceful coexistence. By exploring the promise and pitfalls of community, and the nature and practices of the contemplative community, students in this course gain the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate a more compassionate and hopeful engagement with a world that may appear condemned to increasing social fragmentation, domestic divisions, international conflict, and suffering.  The course achieves this goal through interdisciplinary scholarship, meditative practice, and experiential encounters.

  11. Umbreit, Mark
    Professor, Social Work and Conflict Resolution
    University of Minnesota
    “Peacebuilding Through Transformative Dialogue in the Global Community: A Mindfulness-Based Approach”

    This course on peace-building through transformative dialogue in the global community is grounded in contemplative practice and mindfulness and based on the recognition that true peace-building requires human encounter through face to face dialogue among people in conflict, not simply the actions of court systems or politicians.  This approach is distinctly different from conventional courses or training seminars on peace-building and dialogue which are highly cognitive, problem solving oriented, and focused on increased intellectual understanding of the complexity of the presenting issues.  While this conventional approach is important and necessary, it is not sufficient.  A more contemplative and mindfulness-based approach is a different way of understanding and responding to conflict and trauma. As an approach grounded in an open hearted moment by moment non-judgmental awareness, the focus is on honoring the enormous healing power of story rather than simply obtaining a thorough intellectual understanding of the issue. Gaining a better understanding of the context of the conflict is important, but learning to work with the energy of conflict and trauma as expressed through what many believe to be the most powerful form of human communication, the non-verbal language of the soul, is even more important in repairing relationships and building bridges of understanding and tolerance between individuals and groups that have experienced intense conflict and even trauma, including former combatants. Contemplative practice and mindfulness allow one to tap into an inner reservoir of strength, compassion, and wisdom that can foster the deepest expressions of unconditional love, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

 

2008 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Arias, Maria
    Adjunct Professor, Law
    CUNY School of Law
    &
    Goode, Victor M.
    Associate Professor, Law
    CUNY School of Law
    “LAW: Love in Action with Wisdom (a Wisdom that contains Compassion)”

    This course for law students explores the benefits of contemplative practices for lawyers doing social justice work. Students will practice a variety of meditation and contemplative practices to develop inner wisdom, awareness, and insight to inform work and decisions in lawyering for social justice. Students will explore developing compassion for themselves and the people being served. These practices will be used to open up the possibility of how to solve problems using one’s most creative selves and greatest wisdom. Students will explore how through social justice work one can transform themselves and the communities being served.

  2. Barbezat, Daniel P.
    Professor, Economics
    Amherst College
    “Buddhist Economics: Skillful Means and the Marketplace”

    This course will examine the relationship between Buddhism and Economics to engender a means to understand individual market interactions and their connection to global economic issues. Students will be introduced to Buddhist scriptures and writings pertaining to economic matters and shown Buddhist practices and their relationship to economics and markets both in microeconomics and macroeconomics, and to businesses that have implemented Buddhist practices in their operations. In recent years, there has been much interest between cognitive sciences and economics. This course will enable students through their own contemplative practices to examine closely the local and global impacts of their market activity.

  3. Beffel, Anne E.
    Associate Professor, Art
    Syracuse University
    “Contemplative Arts and Society”

    Can art engender empathy amidst a sea of reality shows and YouTube? “Contemplative Arts and Society” engages college and high school students in contemplative video art projects and facilitated conversations in order to engender empathetic communication. Additionally, students share cultural resources across the town/campus divide in Syracuse, N.Y. In support of these interactions, students will read and discuss articles on public art, Buddhist meditation practices in the West, and social psychology. Creativity and compassion building activities include: reading; sitting meditation; creation and exchange of contemplative videos and writings; and facilitated conversations with contemplative video screenings. Contemplative videos are created from a non-aggressive state of mind for periods of five minutes. Each student uses a video camera, motionless and affixed to one object, or scene, as a tool for focusing attention more carefully upon events as they unfold at a range of paces. Facilitated conversations utilize conflict resolution techniques to engender empathetic conversations. The course will culminate in exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art and Art Museum of the University of Memphis.

  4. Carmin, JoAnn
    Associate Professor, Environmental Policy and Planning
    MIT
    “Urban Climate Vulnerability, Adaptation, and Justice Practicum”

    Students enrolled in this course will develop guidebooks and toolkits for planners and public officials working to prepare their cities and towns for the impacts of global climate change. A particular emphasis will be placed on preparing for the impacts of climate change on the urban poor and achieving just outcomes for these and other vulnerable populations. While in the classroom, as well as while working in the field in cities throughout the world, students will engage in a series of reflective and contemplative exercises. These experiences will be used as a basis for creating materials for integrating reflective and contemplative practice into practicum and professional field-training courses that focus on social, environmental, and climate justice.

  5. Carruyo, Light
    Assistant Professor, Sociology
    Vassar College
    “Contemplating Race, Knowledge and Power: Towards Healing Forms of Critical Inquiry”

    Can learning feminist anti-racist praxis and social transformation be conceptualized as healing? In the classroom, the feelings that emerge when discussing issues of race, power and justice–be they anger, guilt, shame, denial–often make it difficult to have compassionate, honest and productive conversations. This course will use meditation in the classroom to explore how the parameters for conversations change when instead of suppressing emotions and or letting them drive responses in an unreflective way, meditation is used as a tool for acceptance. The project explores how meditation may open up possibilities for what can be taught and learned about structural inequalities and healing forms of inquiry.

  6. Francl, Michelle M.
    Professor, Chemistry
    Bryn Mawr College
    “Quantum States of Being: Incorporating Contemplative Practices Into the Chemistry Curriculum”

    By embedding a set of contemplative practices into the teaching of introductory quantum chemistry, this course will demonstrate for students and colleagues the value of these approaches in learning and doing science and produce materials specific to the sciences that others can use to bring contemplative practices into teaching. In the longer term, the hope is to provide nascent scientists with another set of ways to reflect on their work in relationship to the larger world. Fundamentally, a curriculum that includes contemplative practices has the potential not to merely produce scientists, but to form scientists. Science touches nearly everything; the world therefore deserves scientists who do not see themselves as masters of nature, able to trick the natural world into their will, but as those who can listen attentively enough to the world to hear its will for them. Embedding contemplative practices in a course that is perceived as rigorous and fundamental to the discipline by its practitioners lets students grow as scientists in a culture that acknowledges that such ways of seeing and relating to the world are useful for their work and congruent with what a scientist should be.

  7. Kahane, David J.
    Associate Professor, Political Science
    University of Alberta
    “Citizenship for Democracy: Bringing Contemplation and Compassion into Community Service Learning”

    This course will introduce students to theories and practices of democratic deliberation and dialogue, using a range of contemplative practices to help them explore habitual modes of engaging with injustice and suffering, and develop compassion for self and other. Contemplative practices will include meditation, conscious embodiment work, lovingkindness meditation, and free writing. These practices will orient a collective exploration of our understandings of political conflict and injustice, as these play out in different modes of structured dialogue and decision making around controversial issues.

    The course will culminate with group projects, in which students work with community organizations or convene campus dialogues; these projects will provide a context in which students can mindfully notice and work with their tendencies and reactions as citizens and activists. Students will come away from the course with experience in a range of contemplative practices, new skills in compassionate speaking and listening, adeptness with different models of group dialogue, problem-solving, and decision making, and with a large space of choice when it comes to relating to their experiences of personal, social, and political suffering, as well as to fellow citizens.

  8. Kaszniak, Alfred W.
    Professor, Psychology
    University of Arizona
    “The Psychology of Empathy and Compassion: Contemplative and Scientific Perspectives”

    This upper-division undergraduate honors course will combine contemplative practices and reading/seminar discussion of recent research on empathy and on compassion drawn from neuroscience, affective science, and social psychology. Each class session will begin with a period of sitting meditation to reinforce a contemplative context, and students will be encouraged to practice meditation exercises outside of class. The foci of readings, seminar discussions, and council circle will include: (1) What difference might exist in the world if more compassion were manifest?; (2) How does compassion specifically manifest in the students’ various cultures of origin?; (3) How do factors such as health/illness, sleep, diet, exercise, and physical environment/architecture affect compassionate expression?; (4) How do emotional and cognitive factors such as fear, anger, aversion, desire, stereotyping, and “judging mind” impact the ability to manifest compassion?; (5) How can discerning and skillful decisions be made in social situations without putting others “out of our hearts”?; (6) How does research in social neuroscience and affective science inform our understanding of compassion and factors that facilitate or inhibit it? How do observational and neuroscientific studies of long-term contemplative practitioners inform our understanding of the cultivation of compassion?

  9. Wapner, Paul
    Associate Professor, International Relations
    American University
    “The Practice of Environmentalism: Cultivating and Sustaining Meaningful Environmental Engagement”

    Global environmental problems compromise the quality of life for many on earth and, in the extreme, threaten the planet’s life-support system. How can we best educate students to feel confident in their ability to personally and politically respond to such monumental dangers? This course involves students in practical, environmental projects and introduces them to contemplative practices through which they can appreciate the spiritual dimensions of their work. Its aim is to make environmental engagement more meaningful by experiencing environmental efforts as a practice which can both make a difference in the world and internally nourish practitioners. The course integrates vipassana meditation, dharma discussions and journaling with traditional academic study to help students understand their political motivations, the level at which their own inner, consumptive cravings are related to environmental harm, their capacity to generate compassion toward political opponents and nonhuman creatures, and their ability to develop a sense of calm and balance in their political efforts.

  10. Wong, Rita K.
    Assistant Professor, Critical and Cultural Studies
    Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design
    “Cultivating Ecological, Cross-Cultural, and Interdisciplinary Contemplations of Water: a Proposed Humanities Course”

    Taught at the Emily Carr institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, which has strong interests in collaborating with local First Nations and increasing environmental sustainability, this course will explore cultural and ecological perspectives on water. In light of the anxiety caused by industrial pollution of public water sources and fears of increasing water scarcity, it is important to holistically consider what can be learned from historical, environmental, philosophical, literary, scientific, political, artistic, and spiritual texts regarding human relationships to water. The first part of the course will consider local indigenous perspectives on water, and raise questions of how to respectfully learn from First Nations knowledges. This interdisciplinary contemplation of water will also be integrated with an embodied practice. Students will take walking meditations that trace where salmon streams have been diverted or drained from their original paths. Vancouver was once home to approximately 57 salmon streams, most of which have been destroyed with urban settlement, yet small residues remain. In walking these paths, students will meditate on how contemporary urban life is a palimpsest upon an earlier landscape, and interrelations within the rapidly changing ecosystem.  Students’ experiences will be written and translated into art projects, and compiled into a document that offers contemplative responses to the growing water crisis.

  11. Zlotnick, David M.
    Professor, Law
    Roger Williams University School of Law
    “Integrating Mindfulness Theory & Practice into Trial Advocacy”

    Trial lawyers notoriously suffer from burnout and substance abuse and often adopt cynical attitudes towards their clients and themselves. Law students hoping to become trial lawyers frequently succumb to public speaking anxiety and hold self defeating conceptions of what they hope to become. This course seeks to address these issues by making the learning and practice of trial advocacy more mindful and more humane for everyone involved. This integration takes place on four levels. First, meditation and relaxation techniques will be integrated into every class to help students reconnect to their bodies and hearts. Second, students will use mindfulness to connect with their clients and witnesses on a deeper emotional and spiritual level. Third, the course will integrate Buddhist teaching about illusions of control and about connectedness to cut through the chaotic and adversarial veneer of trial work. Fourth, western notions of duality in the trial process such as right and wrong, guilty and not guilty, will be contested and students will explore more nuanced ideas about truth and justice to encourage these future trial lawyers not to discard possible alternative notions of dispute resolution such as restorative justice and mediation.

 

2007 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Andrews, Thomas
    Assistant Professor of History
    California State University, Northridge
    “Animals in America: Contemplating Cultural, Moral, and Environmental Histories”

    This course uses contemplative practices to deepen students’ understanding of past and present relationships between humans and other animals in what is now the United States. In particular, it includes: 1) overhauling a current seminar to incorporate contemplative practices; 2) designing an upper-level course in animal history; 3) creating a set of teaching materials comprising a course “doer” that integrates reading, contemplative practices, and writing assignments; and 4) sharing the results with university and K-12 faculty through publications and workshops.

  2. Biddick, Kathleen
    Professor of History, Temple University
    “Taking Refuge: Contemplating Asylum”

    This course explores the historical, contemporary, and contemplative dimensions of taking refuge and asylum: as a religious and legal practice in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and in the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome; as an Enlightenment dream in Kant’s “Perpetual Peace” (1795); as an Enlightenment nightmare in asylums for the mentally ill and in prison designs enforcing contemplation in solitary cells; as a compassionate practice advocated by two political exiles, the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh; as an utopian democratic movement; as a personal act of silence and compassion through contemplative practices in the classroom; and as a collaborative contemplative project of community engagement in which the class explores Philadelphia’s membership in the North American Network of Cities of Asylum.

  3. Cavanaugh, Carole
    Professor of Japanese
    Middlebury College
    “Mindfulness, Decision Making, and the Problem of Mass Destruction”

    The course identifies and analyzes decision-making contexts and processes to consider whether contemplative practice can prevent actions with destructive outcomes. Coursework includes the study of life-changing decisions made by contemplative poets and artists, Manhattan project scientists, and suicide bombers. Students track their own decision-making and mental awareness in journals they write on their daily practice of mindfulness meditation.

  4. Emmanuel, Steven
    Professor of Philosophy,
    Virginia Wesleyan College
    “Contemplative Practice in the Context of Service-Learning”

    This model course, called “Peaceful Steps,” serves as the basis of an innovative service-learning initiative integrating contemplative practice in the service-learning experience.

  5. Fernandes, Leela
    Associate Professor of Political Science
    Rutgers University, New Brunswick
    “Contemplation and Non-Violence”

    This course addresses the links between contemplative practice and theories and cases of non-violent social change. It focuses on historical examples, contemporary social movements, and individual practice. Texts and cases draw on contemplative traditions within four religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. The project involves academic research and an experiential training program designed to develop pedagogical practices for the course.

  6. Fewkes, Jacqueline
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology
    &
    Hoim, Terje
    Assistant Professor of Mathematics
    Florida Atlantic University
    “Transforming Learning Ethnomathematics through Contemplative Practices”

    This project involves developing a team-taught interdisciplinary course titled “Ethnomathematics: A Contemplative Approach,” which addresses how mathematical knowledge has been constructed within a variety of value systems, with culturally specific meanings and spiritual implications. The project includes researching bibliographical sources and planning course activities that allow students to develop methods of concentration, deepen their understanding of a cross-cultural intellectual heritage, and cultivate mindfulness about the nature of knowledge.

  7. Gould, Rebecca Kneale
    Associate Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies
    Middlebury College
    “Practicing for Life: Nature, Spiritual Practice and Social Change”

    This course focuses on the relationship between “inner work” and social change, particularly in the realms of environmental concerns and related health effects. It serves as an initial test case for examining the pedagogical benefits of attending to contemplative practice through both traditional study and experiential learning.

  8. Grewal, Gurleen
    Associate Professor of Women’s Studies
    University of South Florida
    “Beyond Victimhood, Toward Agency: Liberating the Past, Encountering the Present”

    This course develops an understanding of the force of the past alongside an awareness of the availability of choice in, and responsibility to, the present. It enables students to encounter, via literary texts, the traumatic lived experience of social injustice—economic, racial, sexual, ethnic. The texts explore varying stages of encountering social injustice: suffering and victimhood; resentment and retaliation; the refusal to remain victimized; and working through the shadow. Additional readings in depth psychology and varied contemplative practices train students to relate to the more profound philosophical questions being posed by the texts. Avoiding the pitfalls of chauvinistic and dualistic thinking, the course sustains a contemplative inquiry into identity, facilitating greater freedom from the limitations of past conditioning.

  9. Hernandez-Avila, Ines
    Professor of Native American Studies
    University of California, Davis
    “Ometeotl Moyocoyatzin and Ancient Nahuatl Contemplative Practice”

    This course on Ancient Nahuatl philosophical, spiritual, creative, and contemplative practices reveals the eminence of self-autonomy as a key to community, justice, and peace.

  10. Moskal, Jeanne
    Professor of English
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    “Mindful Passages in Travel and Travel Writing”

    This course on travel literature, which has previously stressed the traveler-writer’s persona, newly emphasizes “passage,” the physical movement from place to place. Paying undivided attention to passage can be a contemplative practice, an instance of focusing on present circumstances rather than wished-for destinations. Two passage-related features are added: travel texts by walkers, bicyclists, and drivers who foreground passage over destination; and an assignment to students to use their daily commute as a laboratory on passage. They are to stop multi-tasking, stop asking “Are we there yet?” in favor of noting the physical conditions of their travel; they will record their efforts in a passage-journal. By combining these two features, this course invites students’ integration of academic and real-life experiences.

  11. Patrik, Linda
    Professor of Philosophy
    Union College (NY)
    “Contemplative Social Ethics”

    This course shows how contemplative methods support efforts to heal the effects of racism. In New York State, three non-profit organizations that base their work on contemplative methods—the Greyston Foundation, the Oneness in Peace Spiritual Center, and the National Buddhist Prison Sangha Project—work respectively on poverty, education, and prison issues that affect minority communities. Students in this course study the contemplative methods used by these three nonprofit organizations and take field trips for the purpose of learning how contemplative methods are applied in social work. The course includes philosophical theories of altruism and social responsibility and connects these theories to contemplation and to engagement with life issues of poverty, education, and incarceration.

 

2006 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Marcia Brennan
    Associate Professor of Art History
    Rice University (Collaborative project with Jeffrey Kripal)
    “Modern Art and Mystical Experience”

    This project comprises research for a research seminar that draws on the combined methodological perspectives of art history and religious studies. Mystical texts and the visual arts have contributed immeasurably to shaping individual and collective conceptions of the spiritual in modern and postmodern culture. The integration of rigorous textual analysis with direct experiential practices brings a multifaceted approach to bear on the relationship between aesthetic and mystical creativity–between the often conflicting domains of spiritual experience, intellectual analysis, and beauty. Insight may be gainedinto the ways in which these distinctive yet overlapping modalities of knowledge have integrally shaped developments in high culture, sacred practice, and visual representation.

  2. Santiago Colas 
    Associate Professor of Spanish, Latin American and Comparative Literature
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    “Stopping and Reading: Zen Contemplative Practices and Literary Study”

    This project explores the integration of Zen Buddhist contemplative practices with practices entailed in academic, especially literary, reading. The mindfulness cultivated through Zen practices, and the ethical awareness that can spring from that mindfulness can inspire an academic reading practice that is both faithful to the particulars of a text’s form and sensitive to its ethical and political implications.

  3. Jeffrey Kripal
    Professor of Religious Studies
    Rice University (Collaborative project with Marcia Brennan)
    “Modern Art and Mystical Experience”
  4. Vaishali Mamgain
    Associate Professor of Economics
    University of Southern Maine

    “Will I Be Happy? Will I Be Rich? Contemplating the Connections between Happiness and Economics”
    In neoclassical economic theory (the prevailing orthodoxy) self-interested rational agents are said to maximize utility that is defined mainly in relation to income and wealth. There is increasing evidence, within economics and other disciplines, that beyond a certain level, greater income or greater consumption may not lead to greater happiness. This course presents this research to students and invites them to contemplate philosophical questions regarding the meaning of happiness, its causes and its conditions.

  5. Graham Parkes
    Professor of Philosophy
    University of Hawaii, Manoa
    “Hellenistic Contemplative Practices and Zen Mindfulness”

    This project comprises research for a course that compares the philosophies and contemplative practices of the Stoic and Epicurean schools (that flourished in Athens and Rome from the fourth century BCE to the second century CE) with those of the Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen Buddhism (in Japan during the Medieval period).

  6. Allen Stairs
    Associate Professor of Philosophy
    University of Maryland, College Park
    “Multiple Perspectives on Vipassana Meditation: Experience, Psychology and Philosophy”

    This project provides for creation of a course that looks at Vipassana meditation from three broad perspectives: experiential, psychological/scientific, and philosophical. Students learn to meditate and compare that experience with other contemplative exercises. They bring that experience to bear on questions about research on well-being and on perennial philosophical questions about the nature of the self.

2006 Contemplative Program Development Fellowships

  1. William Arney
    Unranked Faculty Member, Sociology
    Evergreen State College (Collaborative project with Sarah Williams)
    “Sensing Sophia in Illich’s Vineyard: Developing Evergreen’s Curriculum through Collegiality”

    As an alternative, public, liberal arts college, Evergreen has a history of presenting academic programs according to values and principles that today, would, come under the rubric of contemplative education. By inviting colleagues to convivial, enlivening seminars and retreats, this project reinvigorates this aspect of the college’s curriculim. Ivan Illich’s work on “ascetical education”–his desire to “reclaim for ascetical theory, method, and discipline a status equal to that the University now assigns to critical and technical disciplines” complements an interest in the cultivation of spirit or the love of knowing as being (Sophia)that lies dormant in the shadow of secularism.

  2. Heather Hathaway
    Associate Dean of English
    Marquette University
    &
    Anthony Peressini
    Associate Professor of Philosophy
    Marquette University
    &
    Michael Vater
    Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    Marquette University
    “Branching Out: Expanding Contemplative Horizons through Faculty and Course Development at Marquette University”

    Marquette University is expanding upon its current offerings in contemplative courses. This project comprises for a summer retreat for colleagues in summer 2006 who are new to contemplative practice and five who currently teach such courses, monthly faculty conversations during the academic year, a University-wide Lecture Series that focuses on the role and incorporation of contemplation in the traditional academic classroom. Through these activities, the faculty is developing and implementing ten new contemplative courses and promoting the growth of a critical mass of faculty committed to fostering an interdisciplinary community of teachers, students, and administrators interested in contemplative practice and inquiry.

  3. Patricia Wallace
    Professor of English
    Vassar College
    “Creativity through Contemplative Practices: An Interdisciplinary Faculty Development Seminar”

    This project provides faculty with experiential as well as theoretical knowledge about the contributions of contemplative practices to creativity in teaching and scholarship. Participating faculty explore, through a set of disciplinary projects, how to prepare for “moments of true knowledge,” the breakthroughs in insight that can come when we are awake. In addition, the faculty read studies of the effects of creative and contemplative practice on thinking and awareness and engage in first-hand experiences of those practices.

  4. Sarah Williams
    Unranked Faculty Member, Feminist Theory
    Evergreen State College (Collaborative project with William Arney)
    “Sensing Sophia in Illich’s Vineyard: Developing Evergreen’s Curriculum through Collegiality”

 

2005 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Amy Cheng
    Associate Professor of Studio Art
    State University of New York, College at New Paltz
    “Excavating the creative process”
  2. Mitchell S. Green 
    Professor of Philosophy
    University of Virginia
    “Subtle self-knowledge”
  3. David G. Haskell
    Associate Professor of Biology
    University of the South
    “Food and hunger: contemplation and action”
  4. David M. Levy
    Professor of Information Science
    University of Washington
    “Information and Contemplation”
  5. Shauna Lin Shapiro
    Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology
    Santa Clara University
    Development of academic course on the use of meditation in psychotherapy, focusing on theory, research, and practice

2005 Contemplative Program Development Fellowships

  1. Geraldine DeLuca
    Professor of English
    City University of New York, Brooklyn College
    &
    David J. Forbes
    Assistant Professor of Education,
    City University of New York, Brooklyn College
    “A lotus grows in Brooklyn: nurturing a contemplative educators’ network on an urban campus of public higher education”
  2. Harold D. Roth 
    Professor of Religious Studies & East Asian Studies
    Brown University
    Towards a concentration in contemplative studies at Brown University
  3. Joseph W. Weiss
    Professor of Management
    Bentley College
    Introducing contemplative practices into the Bentley College curriculum

 

2002 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Deborah J. Haynes
    Professor of Fine Arts
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    “Contemplation and the practice of art”
  2. Robyn P. Hunt
    Associate Professor of Drama
    University of Washington
    &
    Steven Pearson
    Professor of Drama
    University of Washington
    “The quest for physical expression: slow tempo and silence”
  3. John D. Lyons
    Professor of French
    University of Virginia
    “The practice of imagination: embodied thought in early modern France”
  4. Charles T. Mathewes
    Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
    University of Virginia
    “Doubt as contemplative practice”
  5. Sol Miguel-Prendes
    Associate Professor of Spanish Literature
    Wake Forest University
    “Contemplative Practices and Literary Creation”
  6. Steven R. Nuss
    Assistant Professor of Music
    Colby College
    “Contemplating Music through Contemplative Practice”

 

2001 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Donald L. Hanlon
    Associate Professor of Architecture
    University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
    “Toward a contemplative architecture”
  2. Daniel C. Holland
    Assistant Professor of Psychology
    University of Arkansas, Little Rock
    “Contemplative practice, health promotion, and disability on campus: an experiential seminar in partnership with disability support services”
  3. Dalia Judovitz
    Professor of French Literature
    Emory University
    “Subjects of meditation: spiritual vs. rationalist passions”
  4. Alan M. Klima
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology
    Bard College
    “Meditation and media violence: contemplative practice in Thailand and the varieties of visual experience”
  5. Leigh E. Schmidt
    Professor of Religion
    Princeton University
    “Roads for traveling souls: the making of modern American spirituality”
  6. Susan E. Wegner
    Associate Professor of Art History
    Bowdoin College
    “Art and contemplation in Christian Europe from Hildegard of Bingen to Teresa of Avila”

 

2000 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Valerie Malhotra Bentz
    Professor of Human and Organizational Development
    The Fielding Institute
    &
    Jeremy J. Shapiro
    Professor of Human and Organization Development
    The Fielding Institute
    “Mindful inquiry: a meditative introduction to the theory and practice of social science research”
  2. Gudrun Buhnemann
    Professor of Languages and Cultures of Asia
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    “Contemplative practices in Buddhism and Hinduism: an exploration of meditation in its classical and modern manifestations”
  3. Jane M. Danielewicz
    Assistant Professor of English
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    &
    Laurie Langbauer
    Professor of English
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    “Reading, re-envisioning, and writing women’s lives”
  4. Lawrence B. Fine
    Professor of Jewish Studies
    Mount Holyoke College
    “Contemplative practice and human relationships”
  5. Bradford C. Grant
    Professor of Architecture
    Hampton University
    “Urban and community design and contemplative environmental design practice”
  6. Anne Hunsaker Hawkins
    Associate Professor of Medical Humanities
    Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
    “Contemplative practice and the future physician”
  7. William J.Jackson
    Associate Professor of Religious Studies
    Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
    “Contemplation and music”
  8. Jared D. Kass
    Professor of Counseling and Psychology
    Lesley College
    “The use of contemplative practices with young adults on college campuses”
  9. Candace Kaye
    Associate Professor of Education
    California State University, Long Beach
    “Reading my own story: a contemplation of visual literacy for educators”
  10. Theresa K. Kim
    Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
    State University of New York, Stony Brook
    “Meditation in motion: the Asian style of acting”
  11. Mary Rose O’Reilley
    Professor of English
    University of Saint Thomas (MN)
    “A contemplative spirituality of environmental writing”
  12. Thomas E. Peterson
    Professor of Italian
    University of Georgia
    “Contemplative practice and learning in Petrarch”
  13. Stephen R. Prothero
    Assistant Professor of American Religion
    Boston University
    “Contemplating American Hinduism and Buddhism”
  14. David B. Rothenberg
    Associate Professor of Philosophy
    New Jersey Institute of Technology
    “The reflective technologist: from innovation to meditation”
  15. Laurie J. Sears
    Associate Professor of Southeast Asian History
    University of Washington
    “Contemplative practices in Java: Islam, meditation, and the performing arts”
  16. Barbara Sellers-Young
    Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance
    University of California, Davis
    “Contemplation, reflection, action: uniting psychological realism with contemplative practice”
  17. Judith Shapiro
    Assistant Professor of International Relations
    American University
    &
    Paul K. Wapner
    Associate Professor of International Politics
    American University
    “Yoga, meditation, and environmental activism”
  18. Alan Sponberg
    Professor of Asian Philosophy and Religion
    University of Montana
    “Virtual contemplation: Using the internet to support teaching traditional Buddhist meditation techniques”
  19. Nancy P. Stork
    Associate Professor of Medieval English Literature
    San Jose State University
    “Lectio divina: reintroduction of the Western monastic practice of Contemplative reading into the modern university”
  20. Mark I. Wallace
    Associate Professor of Religion
    Swarthmore College
    “Religion, the environment, and contemplative practice”
  21. Craig S. Wansink
    Associate Professor of Religious Studies
    Virginia Wesleyan College
    “Contemplation in confinement: the autobiographical and the prescriptive in Prison”

 

1999 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Ann Cooper Albright
    Associate Professor of Dance
    Oberlin College
    “Physical Mindfulness: Embodying Contemplative Practice”
  2. Francis J. Ambrosio
    Associate Professor of Philosophy
    Georgetown University
    “Dante and the Christian Imagination: Dante’s “Divina Commedia” as contemplative journey”
  3. Cheryl A. Banks-Smith
    Assistant Professor of Dance
    Virginia State University
    &
    Oliver W. Hill
    Professor of Psychology
    Virginia State University
    &
    Renee A. Hill
    Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    Virginia State University
    “The Path of Inner Experience”
  4. Bradley S. Clough
    Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Religion
    Bard College
    &
    Richard H. Davis
    Associate Professor of Religion
    Bard College
    “Contemplative Traditions of Asia”
  5. Yin Mei Critchell
    Associate Professor of Dance
    City University of New York, Queens College
    “Tai Chi as the basis for a new approach to post-modern dance and movement”
  6. Diana Hume George
    Professor of English and Women’s Studies
    Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College
    “Compassionate Creativity: Meditation and mindfulness practice in writing poetry and nonfiction”
  7. John J. Gibbs
    Professor of Criminology
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    “Crime, Criminal Justice and Consciousness”
  8. Anne C. Klein
    Professor of Religious Studies
    Rice University
    “Chants, images, and mythic narratives: Tibetan contemplative praxis of the ‘Heart Essence of the Great Expanse’”
  9. Jean L. Kristeller
    Professor of Psychology
    Indiana State University
    “Contemplation in a world of action: experiencing the Western mystical tradition”
  10. Patrick D. Laude
    Associate Professor of French Literature
    Georgetown University
    “Poetry and contemplation: an inquiry into the theory and practice of poetry as a contemplative form of expression”
  11. Joseph V. Long
    Assistant Professor of University Studies
    Portland State University
    “Contemplation in a world of action: experiencing the Western mystical tradition”
  12. Marilyn R. Nelson
    Professor of English Literature
    University of Connecticut
    “Contemplative practice and the muse”
  13. Richard E. Olson
    Professor of Philosophy
    Adelphi University
    “Meditation and philosophy in the Asian and Western traditions”
  14. Joel R. Primack
    Professor of Physics
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    &
    Nancy Ellen Abrams
    Department of Physics
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    “Contemplating the cosmos”
  15. Leonard L. Riskin
    Professor of Law and Dispute Resolution
    University of Missouri, Columbia
    Integrating insight meditation into a new law course called “Understanding Conflict”
  16. Harold D. Roth
    Professor of Religious Studies
    Brown University
    “The theory and practice of Buddhist meditation in critical perspective”
  17. Jacqueline St. Joan
    Assistant Professor of Law
    University of Denver
    “Learning from Practice: contemplative practice and the practice of law”
  18. Kristine T. Utterback
    Associate Professor of Medieval History
    University of Wyoming
    “Medieval Christian contemplation in history and practice”
  19. Ekaterini Vlahos
    Instructor in Architecture
    University of Colorado, Denver
    “Non-violent architecture: design with compassion”
  20. Bret Wallach
    Professor of Geography
    University of Oklahoma, Norman
    “The power of landscape: place-induced contemplation”
  21. Michael E. Zimmerman
    Professor of Philosophy
    Tulane University
    “Contemplative Practice in traditional cultures”

 

1998 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. David Ambuel
    Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    Mary Washington College
    “Intuition in Philosophical Thought: Theories and Applications”
  2. Barbara Anderson-Siebert
    Director, Penn State Center for Sustainability
    &
    Charles Cave
    Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, and Associate Professor of Art,
    Pennsylvania State University
    “Cultivating Beginner’s Mind: Contemplation as Art: Art as Contemplation”
  3. Linda Bell
    Professor of Psychology and Director of Training in Family Therapy
    University of Houston – Clear Lake
    “Contemplative Practice in Psychotherapy”
  4. Janet Berlo
    Susan B. Anthony Professor of Gender Studies and Professor of Art History
    University of Rochester
    “Art and Contemplative Practice: Through the Lens of Gender and Culture”
  5. Peter Connor
    Assistant Professor of French
    Barnard College
    “South Asian Civilization from the Inside: Contemplative Practice in Indian Culture”
  6. Susan Egenolf
    Lecturer in English
    &
    Larry Reynolds
    Professor of English
    Texas A&M University
    “Forms of Contemplation in American Cultural History”
  7. Daniel Gold
    Professor of South Asian Religions
    Cornell University
    “South Asian Civilization from the Inside: Contemplative Practice in Indian Culture”
  8. Heather Hathaway
    Assistant Professor of English
    &
    Anthony Peressini
    Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    Marquette University
    “Meaning and Identity: A Contemplative Philosophical and Literary Inquiry”
  9. Joseph Lawrence
    Associate Professor of Philosophy
    &
    Joanna Ziegler
    Professor of Art History
    College of the Holy Cross
    “Contemplative Practice and the Practice of the Arts: East and West”
  10. Andrew McLaughlin
    Professor of Philosophy
    Lehman College – City University of New York
    “Environment and Consciousness”
  11. Alexandra New Holy
    Assistant Professor of Native American Studies
    Montana State University
    “Native American Indian Religions: Contemplation and the Sacred”
  12. Andrea Olsen
    Professor of Dance
    Middlebury College
    “Body and Earth: Contemplative Practice in Education”
  13. Andrew Schelling
    Assistant Professor of Poetry and Poetics
    The Naropa Institute
    “Bio-regional Poetics and Contemplative Traditions”
  14. Nancy Sharts-Hopko
    Professor, Nursing of Women and Infants
    Villanova University
    “Contemplative Practices: The Lived Experience in Illness and Health”
  15. Anthony Steinbock
    Associate Professor of Philosophy
    Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
    “Mystical Literature and Meditation”
  16. Thomas Stewart
    Associate Professor of Political Science
    University of the District of Columbia
    “Contemplative Citizenship Practicum”
  17. Mary Wack
    Professor of English
    Washington State University
    “Contemplation, Creative Action, and Pedagogies for the 21st Century”

 

1997 Contemplative Practice Fellowships

  1. Sr. Linda-Susan Beard
    Associate Professor of English
    Bryn Mawr College
    “Crossing the threshold of pain’s legacy: intersection and interstices in three literary experiences of suffering”
  2. Frederick H. Buell
    Professor of English
    City University of New York, Queens College
    “Contemplative Practice and American nature writing”
  3. Cheryl Conner
    Assistant Director Clinical Internship Program
    Suffolk University
    “Being a reflective lawyer – a clinical course with mind-training lessons from the Buddhist tradition”
  4. Judith Fryer Davidov
    Professor of American Studies
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    “Contemplating nature: an exploration of representation of landscape and the environment”
  5. Andre Delbecq
    Professor of Organizational Analysis and Management
    Santa Clara University
    “Spirituality for business leadership”
  6. Barbara Dilley
    Professor of Interarts Studies
    Naropa Institute
    “History and contexts of contemplative practices in the arts”
  7. Georgia A. Frank
    Assistant Professor of Religion
    Colgate University
    “Images for the soul: vision and contemplation in Christian history”
  8. Ashok K. Gangadean
    Professor of Philosophy
    Haverford College
    “Meditative thinking in global spiritual traditions”
  9. SunHee Kim Gertz
    Associate Professor of English Literature
    Clark University
    “Still spaces: contemplative practice in the classroom”
  10. Clifford A. Hill
    Professor of Language and Education
    Columbia University
    “A transcultural approach to contemplative practices: traditional resources and contemporary educational benefits”
  11. Marilyn Krysl
    Professor of English
    and Marcia Westkott
    Professor of Women’s Studies and Sociology
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    “Contemplation, poetry and ideas of self”
  12. Daniel C. Matt
    Professor of Jewish Spirituality
    Graduate Theological Union
    “Jewish contemplation and contemporary cosmology”
  13. Marilyn Chandler McEntyre
    Associate Professor of English
    Westmont College
    “Consenting to see: the practice of contemplation in literature and the visual arts”
  14. Edward Sarath
    Assistant Professor of Music
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    “Improvisation, temporality and consciousness”
  15. Peter Alwyn Schnieder
    Professor of Architecture
    University of Colorado, Denver
    “Found Spaces: mindful practice in architectural design”
  16. Roger N. Walsh
    Professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology
    University of California, Irvine
    “Meditation: theory, therapy, research and practice”