Webinar: Challenges and Opportunities in Contemplative Higher Education
A conversation with Carolyn Jacobs and Mirabai Bush
Originally broadcast February 11, 2015, 2:00-3:00pm EST
In this webinar, Carolyn Jacobs and Mirabai Bush engage in a dialogue about their experiences teaching students in Smith College’s Contemplative Clinical Practice Advanced Certificate Program. Carolyn and Mirabai discuss common challenges that arise during the integration of contemplative practices into college courses, including: handling difficult emotions or thoughts that students experience during practices, choosing and designing practices which complement the course material, and creating a safe and welcoming space for students from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds. They also explore some of the cognitive, social, and emotional benefits of using contemplative methods in the classroom. Webinar participants will had the opportunity to submit questions to the presenters.
About the Presenters
Dr. Carolyn Jacobs is Dean Emerita of the Smith College School for Social Work and Elizabeth Marting Treuhaft Professor Emerita of Social Work; she is also the Director of the Contemplative Clinical Practice Advanced Certificate Program. She has taught primarily within the research and practice sequences of the School. Her areas of professional interest include religion and spirituality in social work practice and organizational behavior. She has written and presented extensively on the topic of spirituality in social work. In 2001 she was elected to the National Academies of Practice as a distinguished social work practitioner.
Dr. Jacobs received her B.A. from Sacramento State University, her M.S.W. from San Diego State University, her doctorate from the Heller School of Brandeis University and her training as a spiritual director from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. She maintains a spiritual direction practice.
Mirabai Bush was a co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and served as Executive Director until 2008. Under her direction, The Center developed its programs in education, law, business, and activism and its network of thousands of people integrating contemplative practice and perspective into their lives and work.
Mirabai holds a unique background of organizational management, teaching, and spiritual practice. A founding board member of the Seva Foundation, an international public health organization, she directed the Seva Guatemala Project, which supports sustainable agriculture and integrated community development. Also at Seva, she co-developed Sustaining Compassion, Sustaining the Earth, a series of retreats and events for grassroots environmental activists on the interconnection of spirit and action. She is co-author, with Ram Dass, ofCompassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service. She is editor ofContemplation Nation: How Ancient Practices Are Changing the Way We Live. Her latest book, co-written with Daniel Barbezat, is Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning.