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summer 2004 e-Newsletter




in this issue...

Youth Program news

Billye Smith Billye Smith, our Academic and Youth Programs Coordinator, reports on the beginnings of the MPower program, a new initiative to introduce youth workers to contemplative practice.

The MPower meetings are held in the cool inner recesses of the Old First Church in Springfield. It’s a huge, colonial style, white clapboard landmark. In the church’s library, there are cushions dotting the floor like brightly colored islands. Dan Edwards, the Center’s Youth Program director, tells the participants that silent practices may be helpful for the youth they work with, but in this first stage of the program, we will teach them mindfulness practices to “secure their own oxygen mask first.” The group raises a collective eyebrow. We proceed to introductions...

...Another participant works at one of the area’s only social justice organizations. She is trying to bail the organization out of its latest financial crisis. At the same time, she is looking for another position because she is weary of operating in “crisis mode” all the time...

Many of the participants have similar stories. I start to worry about whether we’ll be able to meet their needs. We lead a few basic mindfulness practices: sitting meditation, deep listening, and 45 minutes of yoga. We discuss the day a little bit, and then it’s over. I’m astonished to witness the difference in people. The participants report feeling more open, present, and relaxed...

(read the whole story...)

Academic Program news

Contemplative Practice Fellowship Applications
now available!

Visit for more information about the application process for this year's academic fellowships.

The Contemplative Practice Fellowship program is sponsored by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, administered by the American Council of Learned Societies, and made possible by funding from the Fetzer Institute. These fellowships seek to restore and renew the contribution that contemplative practices can bring to a life of teaching and research. At the heart of this program is the belief that pedagogical and intellectual benefits may be discovered by bringing contemplative practice to academia.

Two kinds of fellowships will be offered this year:  Contemplative Practice Fellowships are designed to advance scholarship in the field and to encourage innovative pedagogy and course design. Contemplative Program Development Fellowships are designed to support individuals in the academy who are creating either a concentration in contemplative studies at their university or a coordinated, though less formal, network of courses and faculty for the creation of an interdisciplinary community of contemplative practice and inquiry.

To learn more about the fellowships and application process, visit the ACLS at The application process is open until November 10th, 2004; decisions will be announced mid-April, 2005. Visit our Academic Program page to learn more about our work in higher education.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

- W.B. Yeats

Arthur Zajonc to serve as Academic Director

Prof. Zajonc speaking at the 2003 Amherst Symposium
We are very happy to announce that Arthur Zajonc has agreed to be the Director of the Academic Program for one year. Arthur has been with the Academic Program since its inception, has served on the Fellows Selection Committee since the first year of the Contemplative Practice Fellowship Program, has moderated the Mind & Life Institute conference with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at MIT, and hosted the Amherst symposium on Contemplative Ways of Knowing last year.

Arthur Zajonc is professor of physics at Amherst College, where he has taught since 1978. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. He has been visiting professor and research scientist at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, and was Fulbright professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. His research has included studies in parity violation in atoms, the experimental foundations of quantum physics, and the relationship between sciences, the humanities and spirituality. His latest book is Entanglements: A Dialogue on the Implications of the New Physics and Cosmology With the Dalai Lama.













Contemplative Mind audio CD

Contemplative Mind


As part of our spring fundraising drive, the Center has produced an exclusive audio CD in association with Sounds True. The CD features a variety of music and words from the Sounds True archive, featuring Father Thomas Keating, David Whyte, Rabbi David Cooper, Coleman Barks, Pema Chodron and many others.

We are offering the CD as a gift to those who donate $50 or more. Your donation to the Center helps to fund programs such as MPower, which teaches contemplative practice to youth workers as a tool for helping at-risk youth, or our Contemplative Toolbox, a helpful resource kit for organizations. Your gift will help us launch a national media campaign surrounding the release of A Powerful Silence - a major study describing the rapid growth of contemplative practices across the country, as more business, universities, and non-profit organizations foster compassion and peace.

We want to make it simple for you to donate to the Center. You can donate online with our secure online payment system.


Upcoming Conferences & Retreats

Learn how to bring contemplative awareness into your everyday life! In the coming months, there are excellent retreats and conferences across the country for lawyers, educators, therapists, physicians and activists.

July 10 - 11, 2004: Sitting for Peace, Standing for Justice: Buddhist Peace Fellowship New England Conference; Amherst College, Amherst, MA

July 22 - 25, 2004: Meditation for Psychotherapists, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Barre, MA

August 20 - 22, 2004: Religion-Based Activism: Religious Wisdom & Social Change; Miriam's Well, Saugerties, NY

September 14 - 19, 2004: Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World: Meditation in Action; Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA

October 9, 2004: Mindfulness for Physicians; Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA

November 7, 2004: Mindfulness for Physicians; Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA

November 17 - 21, 2004: Sprit Rock Lawyers' Retreat; Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA

February 11-13, 2004: Contemplative Practices and Education: Making Peace in Ourselves and the World; Co-hosted by The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and Columbia Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY


Sitting for Peace, Standing for Justice:
Buddhist Peace Fellowship New England Conference

Speakers include Hilda Ryumon Gutierrez Baldoquin, Diana Lion, Alan Senauke, and Arinna Weisman
Amherst, MA
July 10 - 11, 2004

For over 25 years, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship has integrated Buddhist teachings of wisdom and compassion with progressive social action. This conference will bring together people of varied backgrounds for a weekend of dharma teachings, skills training, and community building. We hope that this event will lay the foundations of a regional movement for social change, in cooperation with the larger engaged Buddhist community.

For more information, please e-mail ne-bpf(at), phone (413) 563-5197, and visit

Meditation for Psychotherapists

with Bill Morgan, Susan Morgan & Ron Siegel

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Barre, MA
July 22-25, 2004 (3 Days)

The value of meditation practice for counseling and mental health professionals is becoming ever more apparent. Meditation practice supports the cultivation of qualities of mind which are essential to all forms of therapy. This program is intended to provide an opportunity for learning—or deepening—meditation practice. An evening’s introduction is followed by a full day and night (36 hours) of silent practice—sitting and walking, along with an opportunity for personal interviews. Sunday is devoted to a series of small and large group discussions of various issues arising for mental health professionals at the frontier of the interface between meditation and psychotherapy. This program is intended for mental health professionals. Cost: $270. 3 CE credits are available.
BCBS website:

Religion-Based Activism: Religious Wisdom & Social Change
with Huston Smith
Miriam's Well, Saugerties, NY
August 20 - 22, 2004

This weekend will explore in depth how religion has--and can--get into the act of social change. Does religion help or hinder social justice work? What social goals does it propose and how can individuals work to achieve them? Can religion help to offset the the burnout that unremitting efforts to deal with the enormous problems that confront us tends to engender? For more information, visit

Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World: Meditation in Action  
with Diana Winston & Donald Rothberg 
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Council House
Tuesday, September 14 - Sunday, September 19, 2004 (5 nights)

What does sitting on a cushion have to do with responding to the suffering in the world? We live in difficult times. For many of us, meditation practice helps us to ground ourselves and find a place of refuge. Others feel drawn to make a difference in the world. How do we take steps towards compassionate action? What tools from our meditation practices will help us to act out of wisdom and non-attachment to address suffering and conflict on the planet? And for those of us who are already involved in service or social change, how can we be more equipped to serve from the heart? 

This five-day retreat will interweave periods of silent meditation practice with talks, interactive exercises, discussion, group inquiry, and time in nature to deepen our understanding of the path and practices of engaged Buddhism. Suitable for spiritual practitioners seeking to get more engaged, activists seeking renewal, and anyone interested in the interplay between transforming self and transforming the world.

Cost $410-$310, sliding scale. For more information about how to register, call 415-488-0164 x 393 or visit

Mindfulness for Physicians

with Eugene Cash and Sakti Rose
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Community Hall
Saturday, October 9, 9:30 am - 5 pm
Sunday, November 7, 9:30 am - 5 pm

This daylong offers the opportunity to reconnect with yourselves, body heart and mind, as well as with a community of like minded physicians. We will practice mindfulness meditation, embodied movement and meaningful dialogue. Through awareness of direct experience we will explore the original motivation for entering the healing profession in an environment of support and renewal. Cost is $45. Bring your own lunch. For more information or to register, visit

Spirit Rock Lawyers' Retreat
with James Baraz, Norman Fischer, Dennis Warren, & others
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Wednesday, Nov 17 - Sunday, Nov 21, 2004 (5 nights)

Full Description TBA. Cost TBA, sliding scale.

For more information, call 415-488-0164 x 406, email retreats(at) after July 20th, or visit

Contemplative Practices and Education:
Making Peace in Ourselves and the World
Co-hosted by The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
and Columbia Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City
February 11 -13, 2005

This Conference is sponsored by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society in partnership with the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation at Teachers College, Columbia University. This event is designed to bring together those working to advance the use of contemplative practice in colleges and universities for a weekend of exchanging ideas and experiences.

This conference will feature teaching fellows who have explored how contemplative practices can deepen student learning. During the past six years across the nation, a hundred fellows have been funded by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, in conjunction with the American Council for Learned Societies, in professional fields such as law, medicine, architecture, and social work as well as in the humanities and the sciences. A number of the fellows will make presentations about how contemplative practices can help students to cultivate a reflective approach to reading and writing, to increase their awareness of diverse spiritual traditions, and to sustain mindfulness as they interact with others in the classroom and in the larger world.

As a special feature of the conference, Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Coming to Our Senses, will present research on ways contemplative practices can be used to develop resources for conflict resolution. Representing the Peace Education Center at Teachers College, Janet Gerson and Clifford Hill will examine how these resources can be used in humanely addressing issues of war, peace, and social justice.

We are still planning this event, and more information will be available soon. We hope you'll be able to attend.


we're hiring!

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society is searching for a Communications Director and a Program Coordinator. Perhaps you or someone you know would be a good match for one of these positions? We'd love it if you could help spread the word!

Visit our Jobs page to learn more about these two full-time, benefitted employment opportunities.

How to contact us

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

199 Main Street, Suite 3
Northampton, MA 01060 USA
phone: (413) 582-0071
fax: (413) 582-1330
general email:


Photo by Jennifer Akey

Questions, concerns? This e-newsletter was made & sent by Carrie Bergman