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Winter Greetings
from our Director
,
Mirabai Bush


Giving With A Kind Mind

In order to give, one has to know one's gifts. That is the connection between generosity (the spirit of this season) and the contemplative mind. Contemplative awareness helps us know ourselves and our gifts. And it also helps us know the people and the world around us better, revealing opportunities for creative responses and relationships. And perhaps most liberating, it reveals the nature of reality, of the truth, so we can live more in harmony with the world, listening more fully to its call.

The work of contemplative practice is cultivating awareness, which means opening the doors of perception wider so that we take in more than usual. We look, we listen, and we avoid judgment. We see more. Contemplative practice doesn't ensure that we will have personal awakenings, but its systematic nature (every day, sit down, close your eyes, watch your breath) makes it more likely that we will see more clearly who we are. And who we are is our set of gifts, if you will.

(read on...)

CMind Quick Links

Mirabai's letter

The Contemplative Mind "Digital Story"

The Academic Program

Other Links in this Issue

Sounds True

Windhorse Associates

Pendle Hill Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation

Mind and Life Institute

The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society

issue 3 - winter 2003

In each issue of our quarterly e-newsletter, we bring you information about the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society's work to bring a contemplative awareness to our daily lives.

Contents:

News

Researching the "Contemplative Organization"
While a growing number of companies offer meditation or other contemplative practices as benefits for their employees, a few are going further and integrating these practices into many aspects of their management, planning, and organizational structure.


Gina and Maia (back row, second and third from right) with staff members from Sounds True

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society is conducting a new research project to learn how these "Contemplative Organizations" actually work. Using ethnographic techniques from cultural anthropology, we hope to find out how contemplative practices can change the workplace and learn the best practices of these companies and organizations. We have completed two research visits so far -- to Sounds True (a for-profit audio tape company) in Boulder, CO, and Windhorse Associates (a mental health treatment center) in Northampton, MA. Two more research visits will be completed and a report on the findings will be available in Spring 2004.

Streaming Media now available
We're pleased to announce that we now have the ability to provide streaming media on our website. We look forward to sharing with you video and audio of teachers, events, and special features. Right now, you can view a short "digital story" about the Center created by Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey, our Outreach Coordinator.

movie image

The San Francisco Bay Area Working Group on Law and Contemplative Practice, a small group of lawyers, law students, meditation teachers, and a judge, has been meeting regularly to explore the connections between contemplation and law in their lives. Last month, they looked at useful concepts that may be helpful to others, including these:

  • Carry flashcards or customize your screensaver to remind yourself to slow down.

  • When you leave work, say: "I am on vacation now, until I work again."

  • Ideally, if you had a week to live, you would do exactly what you usually do. You would be that contented with your life. Considering this, what changes can you make in your life, or in your attitude towards your life?

  • Constantly check your state of mind, and try to bring yourself back to a centered place when you notice yourself reacting out of fear, anger, and other destructive emotions.

  • How can we learn to bring ourselves back to this centered place? We can do nurturing things, like contemplative practices, where time and speed are not critical, to help develop calm when we are in tense situations.

Heidi

 

Thank You, Heidi!
Heidi Norton, our Law Program Director, will be ending her work at the Center for Contemplative Mind at the end of 2003. We want to thank Heidi for her amazing wisdom, friendship, and accomplishments during her time at the Center. We send her lots of love for her future.

Investigating the Mind: the 2003 Mind & Life Conference
Investigating the Mind, a September 2003 conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, brought together scientists and meditators (including His Holiness the Dalai Lama) for a groundbreaking exchange about the nature of mind. Contemplative Mind Advisory Council members Arthur Zajonc (Dept. of Physics, Amherst College) and Richard Davidson (Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin) were panelists at the conference. For more information on the Mind & Life Institute, visit www.mindandlife.org.



CMind Event Listings

Conference on Contemplative Practices and Education
Fall 2004 at Columbia University Teachers' College

This conference, co-sponsored by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and the Program in Peace Education at Teachers' College, Columbia University, will bring together those working to advance the use of contemplative practice in colleges and universities. We will be drawing on the experience of some of the 100 Contemplative Practice Fellows sponsored by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, as well as others in the field. A number of the Fellows will make presentations about how contemplative practices help students cultivate a reflective approach to reading and writing, increase their awareness of diverse spiritual traditions, and sustain mindfulness as they interact with others in the classroom and the larger world. We will explore current research on methods for employing contemplative practices for conflict resolution, and how these resources can be used in humanely addressing issues of war and peace in a highly charged political climate.

Further plans will be announced in the Spring '04 issue of this newsletter and on our Academic Program website.


Events Sponsored by Other Organizations

Peace in Oneself, Peace in the World: A Meditation Weekend for Educators
led by Richard Brady and Irene McHenry
January 16-18, 2004
at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation, Wallingford, PA

How can we approach our work as educators from a deeper place of inner peace? Drawing on several spiritual traditions, we will offer a variety of meditative practices and techniques, including zen, vipassana and guided meditation, chanting and optional yoga. Some of these techniques enhance our well being, others enable us to handle negative mind states in healthy ways. We will take time to explore how we might use these tools and practices in our schools and will share and learn from the experiences of participants who are already integrating meditation practices into their classrooms and lives. The fee for the event is $240/double room; $290/single room. For more information, visit www.pendlehill.org.

Integrating Mindfulness-Based Interventions into Medicine, Health Care, and Society: the 2nd Annual Conference for Clinicians, Researchers and Educators
March 25 - 28, 2004
An international gathering of mindfulness meditation oriented clinicians, researchers, and educators presenting clinical topics, scientific findings, and training institutes critical to the development of mindfulness-based interventions and research. Sponsored by The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the conference will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel - Worcester, Massachusetts, March 25 - 28, 2004. Call (508) 856-5493, or go to Integrating Mindfulness-Based Interventions into Medicine, Health Care, and Society - UMass Medical School for schedule and enrollment information

Associated with this is...

a call for Abstracts for Poster Presentations
Authors may apply to have their research graphically presented as a poster presentation at the “Integrating Mindfulness-Based Interventions into Medicine, Health Care, and Society” 2nd Annual Conference for Clinicians, Researchers, and Educators, March 25 - 28, 2004.

To be considered for a presentation, your submission must be completed no later than January 15, 2004. For complete information please visit out web site: www.umassmed.edu/cfm


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illustration by Carrie Bergman
Photo of Mirabai © Keith Jardine
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