2nd Annual Arthur Zajonc Lecture on Contemplative Education: “If the Beautiful See Themselves, They Will Love Themselves: Contemplative Practice and Cultural Healing”

If the Beautiful See Themselves, They Will Love Themselves: Contemplative Practice and Cultural Healing

A Lecture by Veta Goler
Associate Professor and Chair of Dance Performance & Choreography
Co-Director of the Teaching Resource and Research Center
Spelman College

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Smith College Campus Center, 2nd Floor (Carroll Room)
100 Elm Street, Northampton, MA

Free and open to all. Donations welcomed at the door.

New! Watch the recording:

Photo by Miriam PhieldsVeta Goler holds an MFA in dance and a PhD in African-American studies. She began her career as a modern dance artist and has performed, choreographed and taught dance nationally and internationally. Later, as a dance historian she focused her research on contemporary African-American modern dance artists, particularly women choreographers. In more recent years, her research interests have expanded to include the intersection of dance and spirituality in popular culture and to explorations of spirituality and contemplative practices in education and the workplace. She has published her research in dance and culture journals and anthologies and has presented at national and international conferences.

As a longtime meditator, she is committed to helping others discover the ways contemplative practices can enrich their lives. She has facilitated retreats and workshops for personal and professional renewal at colleges, universities, K-12 schools and retreat sites throughout the country. She also incorporates contemplative practices in her classes, in her work with faculty, and in the guided meditation sessions leads for Spelman students, faculty and staff. As a Courage of Care Coalition faculty member, Goler develops courses and workshops that employ contemplative practices in service of social justice. She is also a national Circle of Trust® facilitator, and many of the retreats and workshops she leads are based in the work of education innovator Parker J. Palmer, who has written extensively on the value of living an “undivided life,” in which one’s work is in harmony with one’s values.

About the Series

The Arthur Zajonc Lecture Series on Contemplative Education presents  an annual lecture on contemplative pedagogy, epistemology, and learning.  The Series honors Arthur Zajonc’s groundbreaking work in the field as distinguished thought leader and committed teacher by enabling eminent scholars and educators to share their insights and experience in integrating contemplative practices and perspectives into higher education across the disciplines.  The Series continues Arthur’s work in building the education needed for a society based on compassion, inclusion, care for each other and the earth, and respect for the interconnection of all life.

Arthur Zajonc is the former director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and former president of the Mind & Life Institute. He is also emeritus professor of physics at Amherst College, where he taught from 1978 to 2012.

He was a visiting professor and research scientist at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, and the Universities of Rochester and Hannover. He was a Fulbright professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. His research includes studies in electron-atom physics, parity violation in atoms, quantum optics, the experimental foundations of quantum physics, and the relationship between science, the humanities, and contemplative traditions.

As director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Zajonc fostered the use of contemplative practice in college and university classrooms, and developed the foundations for contemplative pedagogy. He coauthored The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal with Parker Palmer. Out of this work and his long-standing meditative practice, Zajonc authored Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love, and contributed to the Psychology Today blog on meditation. He served as general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America, was a co-founder of the Kira Institute, president of the Lindisfarne Association, and a senior program director at the Fetzer Institute.

Lecture Series Committee

Carrie Bergman, Associate Director at CMind, joined the organization in 2000 as a Program Assistant. She first met Arthur in 2004, when he served as CMind’s Academic Program Director, and worked with him on many projects including building the ACMHE, Summer Sessions on Contemplative Curriculum Development, and annual ACMHE conferences.

Mirabai Bush, the Senior Fellow and founding Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, worked closely with Arthur Zajonc for many years to develop pioneering programming about contemplative practices and higher education. They have also co-led many retreats and events for educators.

Oliver Hill is a Professor of Psychology at Virginia State University and a current member of the Board at CMind.  He first met Arthur in 1999 when he was a CMind Fellow, and has also worked with him on the Board and at the annual ACMHE conferences.

Carolyn Jacobs is former Dean of the Smith College School for social work, past Chair of the Board for CMind, and past board member for the Mind & Life Institute. She writes, “I met Arthur in the mid 80s at a Five College continuous faculty discussion on new epistemologies. The range of disciplines represented in our gathering nurtured the development of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education. My belief in the importance of the Association’s work and the wonderful space it provides for scholarship, research and creative pedagogy led me to accept the invitation by Arthur and others to chair The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. When Arthur became president of Mind and Life, he asked me to join the board. I said yes to joining this lecture committee to honor him and the many ways he stimulates contemplative inquiry.”

Paula Sager met Arthur in 2003 as he was co-founding and directing the Barfield School graduate program. He subsequently became one of her research advisors and her thesis mentor. Paula joined the The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society Board in 2011, when Arthur was executive director. She served as a board member until 2017 and continues to serve CMind as a committee member of the Arthur Zajonc Lecture Series.

Paul Wapner is Professor of Global Environmental Politics in the School of International Service at American University.  He has been associated with CMind since 2000, when he received a Contemplative Practice Fellowship Award. He has worked closely with Arthur through a 3-year, Fetzer Institute program on mentoring in higher education.


This lecture series is made possible through the generous support of the Fetzer Institute, an anonymous foundation, and individual donors.

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