The Blue Pearl: A Research Report on Teaching Mindfulness Practices to College Students

“The Blue Pearl: A Research Report on Teaching Mindfulness Practices to College Students”

A Webinar with Deborah J. Haynes
Professor, Art and Art History, University of Colorado-Boulder
originally broadcast Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Professor Haynes writes, “For several years, I conducted formal research with students in both small and large lecture-format courses. My research will be published in the journal Buddhist-Christian Studies later this year.

“The blue pearl” is how one of my students described the experience of developing mindfulness. She said that the ability “to draw inwards and be peaceful shows as a concentrated blue light in my brain.” In this webinar I describe the results of my research with undergraduate students on the efficacy of and their experiences with contemplative pedagogy. I teach first-year students both techniques of meditation and contemplative approaches to making art. My presentation will focus on conceptual issues raised by my formal human-subject research with students over three years, research that included qualitative feedback from them through narrative exercises and journals, a series of quantitative questionnaires about their experiences, and their own works of art.”

About the Presenter

Deborah J. HaynesBefore coming to the University of Colorado, Deborah was Director of Women’s Studies at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. With an M.F.A. degree from the University of Oregon and Ph.D. from Harvard University, she is both a scholar and visual artist. She has published six books: Bakhtin and the Visual Arts (Cambridge University Press, 1995), Vocation of the Artist (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Art Lessons: Meditations on the Creative Life (Westview, 2003), Book of This Place: Spirituality, Art, and the Land (Pickwick, 2009), Spirituality and Growth on the Leadership Path: An Abecedary (Pickwick, 2012), and Bakthin Reframed (I.B. Tauris, 2013). She has also edited books and journals, and has published numerous articles and reviews. Her art includes drawing and writing in marble. A new website is under construction at

Deborah has practiced yoga for more than 30 years, and has experience in Zen, Vipassana, and Tibetan Buddhist meditation traditions. After helping to care for several friends who died, during 2007-08 she completed training to serve as a hospice volunteer.


  1. Mary Jo Saavedra on March 20, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I teach at 2 local universities and look forward to learning more from this seminar.

  2. […] the webinars offered through The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. The latest offering, The Blue Pearl: A Research Report on Teaching Mindfulness Practices to College Students, is now available as a recording on their […]

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