Contemplative Practice Webinars

In 2009, CMind initiated the ongoing ACMHE Contemplative Education Webinar series: online presentations on the development and use of contemplative methods in higher education. Visit the ACMHE Webinar Archive. 

Now, after 10 years of the Contemplative Education webinars, we are excited to announce our new series of Contemplative Practice Webinars to explore the relationship between contemplative practices and personal/social transformation, insight, and inspiration.

The October 2020 Contemplative Practice Webinar:

Music for Healing and Balance

Presented by
Reginald Cyntje
Originally broadcast live on Wednesday, October 7th
Free and open to all, $10 suggested donation

Make a donation to the presenter via Cash App: $CyntjeMusic


In this webinar, Reginald Cyntje will discuss and demonstrate how he uses music in the classroom and on the stage as a tool for healing, balance, and activism.  He will explain how music has always been a contemplative practice. Attendees will have an opportunity to engage in musical meditation while witnessing the creative process of a jazz musician.

Reginald CyntjeReginald Cyntje (born in Roseau, Dominica and raised on St. Thomas, USVI) is a trombonist, educator, producer, and composer. He has created and performed an eclectic range of music. When you listen to Cyntje perform, you hear a passion for life and love in his sound.

Growing up in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), he was steeped in the rich cultural music known as Quelbe (the official music of the USVI). Quelbe was Reginald’s introduction to improvised music. With cultural heritage at the forefront and social justice as the message, he has “a deep-seated knowledge of Caribbean music and culture which has settled into his jazz trombone playing” (NPR Music). To date, Cyntje has recorded five albums as a leader. Rise of the Protester (2019), his most recent album, sonically captures humanity’s need to thrive when faced with adversity. This is his boldest statement on social justice.

Reginald Cyntje, the educator, is the Director of Jazz Studies at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a professor of music at Montgomery College, Prince George’s Community College, and a teaching artist with the Washington Performing Arts Society. Cyntje has also worked with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Syncopated Leadership.” He began teaching trombone studies at the age of 15 and has taught in classrooms and conducted workshops for over 20 years.


The July 2020 Contemplative Practice Webinar:


Contemplative Science and Practice Through a Healing-Centered Perspective

Presented by
Dr. Angel Acosta
Originally broadcast live on Friday, July 31st
3pm EDT (12pm PDT)
Free and open to all, $10 suggested donation

Over the last century, particular movements in the field of education have moved toward restorative, holistic, trauma-informed, and mindfulness-based approaches to instruction and educational research. This webinar explores the rise of a restorative and healing-centered paradigm in education, while also examining the connections between this larger movement to contemplative science, pedagogy and practice. With the eruption of protests in response to police brutality and the enduring legacy of racialized inequality in the U.S., collective trauma and grief have become incessant. In addition, the ways in which the COVID-19 has ravaged the world has revealed our fragility and interconnectedness. This webinar invites participants to reflect on how we can harness the power of contemplative science and practice to better understand community care and collective healing.

Angel AcostaFor the last decade, Dr. Angel Acosta has worked to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice, and mindfulness. He completed his doctorate in curriculum and teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Angel has supported educational leaders and their students by facilitating leadership trainings, creating pathways to higher education, and designing dynamic learning experiences. His dissertation explored healing-centered education as a promising framework for educational leadership development.

After participating in the Mind and Life Institute’s Academy for Contemplative Leadership, Angel began consulting and developing learning experiences that weave leadership development with conversations about inequality and healing, to support educational leaders through contemplative and restorative practices. As a former trustee for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, he participated as a speaker and discussant at the Asia Pacific Forum on Holistic Education in Kyoto, Japan. He continues to consult for organizations like the NYC Department of Education, UNICEF, Columbia University and others. Over the last couple of years, he has designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience–a contemplative journey to understand structural inequality. He’s a proud member of the 400 Years of Inequality Project, based at the New School. He is also the Creative Director at the NYC Healing Collective, a community initiative amplifying people and insights at the intersection of healing, wellness and societal transformation.



The May 2020 Contemplative Practice Webinar:

Indigenous Contemplative Science:
An Ethics of Belonging and Reconnection

Presented by
Yuria Celidwen
Originally broadcast live on Friday, May 29th, 2020
3 – 4 pm ET / 12 – 1 pm PT
Free and open to all, $10 suggested donation

Yuria writes,

“The current threat to social wellbeing, the restrictions on our basic human relatedness—touch and presence—and the evident systemic social inequality that leaves marginalized populations at impending higher risk, inevitably results in a profound, deep-seated sense of loss. The collective sense of identity, role, and responsibilities become brittle and grief arises as the predominant emotional experience. Our sense of belonging dissipates; life shows itself fragile.

Research has shown plenty of evidence on the impact of contemplative practice on physical and psychological well-being. However, the higher resolve of realization of spiritual goals that these practices can help achieve is still in very early stages. Indigenous traditional wisdom asserts that spiritual emergence is an identity ethic that enhances relationality and connectedness. It is a social ethos in practice in which a sense of conscious responsibility guides wise action for self, community, and environment. These practices validate the subjective experience and prioritize the realization of spirit awareness and ecological belonging and encourage psychological integration of the inner world (psychic experience) and outer world (ecosystem). They are centered in a liminal transcendent experience that reestablishes a sense of ecological connection and belonging through practices of collective creation and embodied ritual, story, and ceremony. They aim to engender an ecstatic arrest in the form of a self-transcendent experience of reverence in an ecopsychology of balance. They offer the possibility of reorienting our spaces of connectedness through meaningful rituals of presence and social solidarity in a dialogue of inclusivity and diverse ways of knowing.

This is a dynamic presentation that brings together Indigenous science and contemplative practice. We engage in dialogue with our current emotional experience and collectively reorient towards a sense of ecological belonging.”

About the Presenter

Yuria CelidwenYuria Celidwen is a scholar of Indigenous Nahua and Maya descent from the highlands of Chiapas (Mexico). She works on the intersection of Indigenous and religious studies, cultural psychology, and contemplative science. Her doctoral research focuses on the experience of self-transcendence, ethics, and compassion across spiritual traditions. Her current research is specifically within Indigenous contemplative traditions. Her approach is interdisciplinary, conjoining reason and emotion, scientific inquiry and contemplative practice. She integrates contemplative practice with community-oriented ethics and social and environmental justice, with an emphasis on the rights of Indigenous peoples, the revitalization and transmission of Indigenous wisdom, and the rights of the Earth. She is co-chair of the Indigenous Religions Unit of the American Academy of Religion—Western Region, and serves as the Women’s Caucus Liaison to the Board.

The April 2020 Contemplative Practice Webinar:

By Heart

presented by
Dr. Richard Chess
Originally broadcast live on Wednesday, April 15, 2020
3 – 4 pm ET / 12 – 1 pm PT
Free and open to all, $10 suggested donation

Rick writes,

In his poem “By Heart,” John Hollander writes that the poems we know by heart “remain/Lodged with us, useful, sometimes, for the work/Of getting a grip on certain fragile things.” We are, at this very moment, in the heart of our vulnerability, our fragility. Can we lodge something within our hearts to steady us, strengthen us, maybe even bring us a little happiness, maybe even a moment of joy? In this webinar, we’ll explore the practice of coming to know something “by heart.” Together, we’ll bring a poem into our hearts. In this time of necessary social distancing, we’ll see what happens when we experience the intimacy of getting close to a few words. A confession: I have a terrible memory. So, for much of my life I’ve avoided the unpleasant feelings that arise at the thought of memorizing poems by not even attempting to memorize any! A terrible thing for a poet and English professor to admit! (To be honest, I actually do have a few poems by heart.) But in a class I’m teaching this semester, I offered a memorization practice that my students and I both participated in and the results were deep and illuminating. So, I invite you to join me for “By Heart: A Way of Knowing for This Time.”

About the Presenter

Rick ChessDr. Richard Chess is the Roy Carroll Professor of Honors Arts & Sciences at UNC Asheville. He has published four books of poetry, Tekiah, Chair in the Desert, Third Temple, and Love Nailed to the Doorpost. His essays are included in Stars Shall Bend Their Voices: Poets’ Favorite Hymns & Spiritual Songs and 27 Views of Asheville, among others. For many years, he contributed to “Good Letters,” a blog hosted by IMAGE: a Journal of Art, Faith, Mystery. He is now a contributor to the soon-to-launch blog, “Close Reading,” hosted by SLANT books. He has served as the director of UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies for 30 years. He is one of the founders of UNC Asheville’s Contemplative Inquiry Initiative. You can find out more about him at





The March 2020 Contemplative Practice Webinar:

Exploring Interdependence through the Lens of Blackness

A webinar with Ruth King and Kamilah Majied
Originally broadcast on Tuesday, March 24th
3:00 – 4:30pm EST / 12:00 noon – 1:30pm PST

This engaging webinar, open to all people of all ethnicities, invites us to deepen our understanding of interdependence and contemplative dialogue by exploring the wondrous ways in which our lives have been enriched by the resilience, creativity, and leadership of Black people. Through meditative reflections, we bring to awareness the Black threads in our lives that have inspired a tapestry of reverence, connection, and healing. Ruth and Kamilah, through their joyful example, illustrate how contemplative and extemporaneous dialogue about the contributions of Black people can stimulate insight, inclusivity and unity. Through this we can begin to both notice and celebrate our undeniable interdependence. There will be ample time for questions and reflections, as well as guidance and inspiration for future contemplative dialogue.

Resources from the presenters:

  • June 7th, 3-5 pm ET/ 12-2 pm PT – Save the date for the next online workshop with Kamilah and Ruth. Details and registration link forthcoming!
  • June 20th, 3-5 pm ET/12-2 pm PT – Save the date for Cultivating Resilient Joy, a webinar with Kamilah Majied and Vaishali Mamgain. More information can be found at
  • August 8-9 – Understanding “Us & Them” Power Dynamics in Groups, a training with Ruth King and Dr. Barbara Riley. For more information visit
  • Racial Affinity Group Development Programs and Mindful of Race Training Programs are offered by Ruth King. More information can be found at
  • Recommended readings from our presenters include Mindful of Race: Transforming racism from the inside out by Ruth King, and
    all works by Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, W. E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and James Baldwin.
  • This heart graphic was made from the names contributed during the webinar. Click here to download a large version.

Meet the Presenters

Kamilah MajiedDr. Kamilah Majied is a mental health therapist, clinical academician, and internationally engaged consultant on inclusivity and contemplative pedagogy and practice. She teaches clinical practice and research, employing psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness-based, and artistic approaches to well-being. Kamilah has also practiced and taught Buddhism and mindfulness practice from several perspectives including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness and racial justice, Buddhism and mental health, and mindfulness practices to preserve the environment. She gave opening remarks at the first White House Conference of Buddhist Leaders on Climate Change and Racial Justice, where she also facilitated a dialogue on ending racism amongst the internationally represented Buddhist leadership. After 15 years of teaching at Howard University, Dr. Majied has recently joined the faculty at California State University in Monterey Bay as a Professor of Social Work. Drawing from her decades of contemplative practice, clinical training, and social justice leadership, Dr. Majied engages people in experiencing wonder, humor and insight through transforming oppressive patterns, improving mental health and deepening relationships.


Ruth KingRuth King is an international teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition, serving on the Teacher’s Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA. King formally managed training and organizational development at Levi Strauss and Intel corporations consulting to leaders on cultural change initiatives. Currently, King teaches the Mindful of Race Training Program nationwide to teams and organizations combining mindfulness principles with an exploration of our racial conditioning, its impact, and our potential. King has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is the author of several publications including her most recent Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out.