2020 Summer Session: Frequently Asked Questions

2020 Summer Session

16th Annual Summer Session on
Contemplative Practices in Education

August 3 – 6, 2020
All programming will be broadcast live via Zoom

Regular fee: $350 / ACMHE members: $300 / with access grant: $175


Frequently Asked Questions


What are contemplative methods and practices?
Contemplative methods are all about learning from what we experience. Generally speaking, a contemplative method (or activity, or exercise) cultivates a critical first-person focus on our experience. When we undertake the same activity regularly and repeatedly, we can intentionally dedicate our effort towards learning and growing from the repetition: from reflecting on how our experience changes over time. We use the word “practice” to indicate that it’s not something we’re only doing once.

Contemplative practices and methods can sometimes feel difficult to list or define, as there are simply so many different forms and modalities. There are some popular examples, such as meditation, prayer, or yoga, but many more things can be “contemplative”: drumming, singing, exploring outside, making art, writing, dancing, listening to music, reading, exercising, attending religious services, volunteering…the list goes on and on (see the Tree for more examples). Incorporated into our daily life, a practice can be a reminder to connect to what we find most meaningful.

Do I have to have a regular practice in order to attend the Summer Session?
No, but to help provide context for your experience at the Summer Session it is helpful to at least be familiar, at a superficial level, with a diversity of contemplative practices. Take a look at the Tree of Contemplative Practices on our website as a starting place.

Is it OK if I don’t have prior experience with contemplative teaching? Does this event serve as an introduction to contemplative pedagogy?
Yes, it’s OK: no prior experience with contemplative pedagogy is required. The Summer Session is intended to serve as an introduction to contemplative pedagogy. We will discuss many aspects of contemplative pedagogy throughout our time together in order to provide participants–with any amount of experience–with as much of a foundation as possible for the continued development of your teaching and practice.

Will resources be provided?
Yes. We will offer all participants a packet including PDF versions of The Activists Ally, a special issue of The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, and CMind’s Contemplative Community Building Toolkit, plus a print of the Tree of Contemplative Practices and a handout of key points for developing contemplative approaches.

Recommended Reading
Barbezat, D and Bush, M. (2013). Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning. San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

Additional readings will be suggested by the facilitators.

Are applications required?
No, there is no application process to attend the Summer Session this year. In prior years, attendance was by application as we restricted the audience to those working in higher education. For 2020, we have lifted this restriction in response to increased interest from those in adjacent fields, such as K-12 education and organizational leadership. However, our primary audience is still post-secondary/academic, and the event program and facilitators reflect this focus. We hope that the description provided allows you to determine if attendance will be of personal or professional benefit to you.

Is financial aid available? How do I apply for it?  A limited number of access grants of 50% off of registration are available: apply here, prior to registration.
Access grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until grant funds are depleted. ACMHE members also receive $50 off of registration as a member benefit.

Can I donate to the access grant fund? Yes, you sure can! Thank you! You can help us build our access grant fund, here.