The 8th Summer Session on Contemplative Pedagogy

July 29-August 3, 2012
Smith College, Northampton, MA

We plan to announce the 2013 Summer Session information in December 2012 or January 2013.

The Summer Session prepares participants to return to their institutions with a deeper understanding of the practice of contemplative pedagogy and methods adapted for classroom and co-curricular use.

Summer Session Participants will devote the week to rigorous investigation, reflection, writing, and discussion, guided by distinguished scholars and experienced contemplative educators.

There will be sessions on the design principles of contemplative pedagogy; the relation between course content and contemplative practice; and the benefits of stabilized attention and other qualities of mind fostered by meditative exercises. We will explore the rationale for contemplative approaches and how to communicate with students and colleagues about their inclusion. Practical issues such as evaluation and grading will also be considered. There will be a presentation of recent research on the effects of meditation and discussions on how contemplative practices affect teaching, learning and campus culture. Each day will also include contemplative practice time, and will introduce participants to a variety of practices that have been adapted successfully for secular educational settings.


$800 for ACMHE members/$850 non-members for the residential program (includes meals and accommodations at Smith College) and $500  for ACMHE members/$550 for non-members for  commuters (includes lunch and dinner Sunday – Thursday).

Further information on the content of the past years’ sessions can be found in the Academic Program’slectures, reports, and publications.


Daniel Barbezat, Professor of Economics, Amherst College. A member of the Amherst faculty since 1988, Barbezat received the B.A. in economics and philosophy from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Champaign. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. Daniel Barbezat is a 2009 Contemplative Practice Fellow.

Loriliai Biernacki, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) teaches and researches the religious traditions of India, especially including Hinduism, Tantra and the 11th century Indian philosopher Abhinavagupta. Her research interests particularly address issues of gender and critical theory. Her research also deals with contemporary representations of Hinduism, including Hindu diaspora movements and Hindu syncretist movements in the U.S. She is the author of Renowned Goddess of Desire: Women, Sex and Speech in Tantra, (Oxford, 2007). Loriliai Biernacki is a 2009 Contemplative Practice Fellow.

Veta Goler is division coordinator for Arts and Humanities and associate professor of dance at Spelman College. Holding a master of fine arts in dance and a doctorate in African-American studies, she had a successful career as a modern dance artist—performing and choreographing nationally and internationally—then focused on researching contemporary African-American modern dance artists, particularly women choreographers. Veta has presented her research at national and international conferences and is published in a number of journals and anthologies. Her research interests have shifted to the intersection of dance and spirituality in popular culture and to explorations of spirituality and contemplative practices in education and the workplace.

Paul Wapner is Professor of Global Environmental Politics at the School of International Service at American University, and author of Living Through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism, and Environmental Activism andWorld Civic Politics. His research focuses on Environmental Thought, Transnational Environmental Activism, Environmental Ethics, and Global Environmental Politics. Paul Wapner is a 2008 Contemplative Practice Fellow.

Arthur Zajonc is the president of the Mind & Life Institute. He was until 2012 the director of The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and professor of physics at Amherst College, whee he taught since 1978. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. He has also been General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America (1994-2002), president of the Lindisfarne Association, and a senior program director at the Fetzer Institute.

Accommodations & Meals:

Participants will stay at Chapin House, a one-hundred-year-old (but recently renovated, and air-conditioned) house centrally located on campus. Chapin is across from the student center and overlooks the gardens of Lyman Plant House and Paradise Pond.

All rooms are singles, but in dormitory style bathrooms are shared. Each floor has one large bathroom; women and men will stay on different floors. Sheets and pillowcases are of the most basic variety, so if you prefer greater creature comforts, you may wish to bring something more familiar. You may also wish to bring a small desk lamp. There are coin-operated laundry facilities on the first floor. Wireless access is available in the dorm and at nearby Neilson Library and the Student Center.

Meals from dinner on Sunday, July 29 through breakfast on Friday, August 3 will be at Lamont House on Prospect Street across from John M. Greene Hall.

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