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In this issue:
News From the Center:
Business School event
me say that the most powerful tool I've seen that offers any promise at
all of dealing with questions of fear, trust, and control in business
in a healthy, constructive way is simply awareness."
Visit our website to learn more about the Center's Youth Program.
The July issue of the Journal of Transformative Education (from Sage Publications) featured an article by the Center's research director Maia Duerr and co-authors Arthur Zajonc and Diane Dana titled "Survey of Transformative and Spiritual Dimensions of Higher Education." The article, based on a survey and interviews conducted by the Center with support from the Fetzer Institute, was hailed by JTE editor Laura Markos as "excellent work, very richly written, and a very valuable and timely contribution to the field...I think that its publication will move further in the direction of greater networking, dialogue, collaboration, and research expressed as desired by a majority of respondents."
And finally, Contemplative Fellow Ed Sarath published an article titled "Meditation in Higher Education: The Next Wave?" in the Summer 2003 Innovative Higher Education journal (vol. 27, no. 4). In the article, Ed, a professor of music, describes his efforts to create a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz and Contemplative Studies degree at the University of Michigan, as well as the benefits of bringing meditation into the pedagogy. The article considers issues such as the structure of the curriculum, the reconciliation of contemplative studies and conventional notions of academic rigor, the avoidance of possible conflicts between church and state, and other challenges encountered in gaining support for this plan.
You can learn more about the Contemplative Fellows at our Academic Program website.
Events and Announcements
Center welcomes Paul Nelson, our new Director of Development!
Paul also founded and served for seven years as Executive Director of Keepers of the Lore-the non-profit organization which sponsored the Joseph Campbell Festival of Myth, Folklore and Story and a continuing education series featuring such people as Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Matthew Fox, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, and Thomas Moore.
Paul completed his B.A. at the University of Massachusetts and earned an M.Ed. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also holds diplomas from Montserrat College of Art and the U.S. Navy School of Photography. Paul has a long-standing interest in consciousness studies and transpersonal psychology. He has been practicing vispassana mediation since the late 70's and has personally studied with Trungpa Rinpoche, Ram Dass, Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Robert Thurman, Dan Goleman and, most recently, Geshe Kelsang.
Take Back Your
we are too busy, if we are carried away every day by our projects, our
uncertainty, our craving, how can we have the time to stop and look deeply
into the situation-our own situation, the situation of our beloved one,
the situation of our family and of our community, and the situation of
our nation and of the other nations?"
We encourage you to examine the way you spend your time. To get you started, you can learn more about Take Back Your Time Day at the website http://www.simpleliving.net/timeday/
Contemplative Practices: A Source of Innovative Pedagogy
The Center has been supporting the formation of contemplative teaching methods since 1997, when the first of the 100 Contemplative Practice Fellowships were awarded. Over the years, professors have developed ways to integrate contemplative practices, from meditation to lectio divina (contemplative reading) into courses in disciplines from architecture to environmental sciences, from law school to business school. These scholars have studied the calming, quieting, awakening effects of practice not only on their students' lives but on their understanding of the subjects under study; for example, in art history, students learned to not just look at but "behold" an object, to experience its full presence.
Building on the success of the Regional Symposium on Contemplative Practice in Higher Education at Amherst College in May 2003, the Center will collaborate with the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation and the Peace Education Center at Columbia Teachers College to host a symposium on Contemplative Practice in Higher Education, with an emphasis on contemplative practice as a source of innovative pedagogy, in late spring or late summer, 2004.
This symposium is still in the planning stages, and further information will be posted on our Academic Program website as it becomes available.
Featured Center Program: The Law Program
The Law Program of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society explores ways of helping lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students reconnect with their deepest values and intentions through contemplative and spiritual practices. We offer retreats and events which provide a framework for considering ways in which contemplative awareness can enrich our professional and personal lives, and bring them more into balance.
Heidi Norton, a practicing Quaker and former disability and civil rights lawyer, serves as the Center's Law Program Director. Among the current projects is the new interactive map on the website (see next story), a cornerstone of the program's focus on providing information and helping people make connections across the diffuse but growing community of legal contemplatives nationwide.
To learn more about
current Law Program activities, access information about news and events,
or investigate online publications and other law and contemplation-related
resources, visit www.contemplativemind.org/programs/law.
Since its foundation in 1997, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society has focused on encouraging and supporting contemplative practices, especially in secular settings. Our experience is that these practices have the potential to awaken the heart to love and open the door to the direct experience of interconnection and forgiveness.
Thousands of years
of such experience by meditators are now being confirmed scientifically.
At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Dr. Richard Davidson, has used
brain imagery to show that meditation shifts activity in the prefrontal
cortex from the right hemisphere to the left, from fight-or-flight to
acceptance and contentment - elements of successful forgiving and loving
relationships. The introduction of meditative practices therefore has
the potential for and may be critical to the creation of a more loving,
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Mirabai's photo by Keith Jardine
autumn path image from a photo by Rene Theberge