Cultivating Compassionate Teaching During the Coronavirus


Cultivating Compassionate Teaching During the Coronavirus

Originally broadcast on Friday, April 3rd
3-4:30 pm ET/12 noon-1:30 pm PT
Featured panelists: Mirabai Bush, Lenwood Hayman, and Paul Wapner
Free and open to all, with a $10 suggested donation

As educators, COVID-19 presents a particular challenge: having converted our classrooms to online platforms, we now face the task of teaching in a way that is worthy of this historical moment. What challenges and opportunities does the coronavirus pose? How can we best be of service to our students in this time of profound uncertainty and yet demanding need? And, how can CMind best serve you? We are listening for your needs and creative ideas.

Many of us, including our students, are deeply unnerved by COVID-19. Students may be feeling particularly vulnerable: worried about their health and that of their families and friends; anxious about finances, whether they will be able to afford tuition next semester or even groceries next week, as many have lost jobs and seen their parents laid off; all while caring for and homeschooling their children. And we may be feeling increasingly isolated as we practice social distancing.

How can we engage meaningfully with our students in the shadow of the coronavirus? What can contemplative practices offer personally and pedagogically in this time? What consequences will the virus have on academia and the future of teaching and research? What does “productivity” mean as immediate, day-to-day concerns like childcare, social distancing, and one’s own mental and physical health become more demanding? Might this pandemic offer opportunities for shifting priorities within academic life? Is there a spiritual dimension to understanding the coronavirus challenge? How can we, as a contemplative community, come together to support each other, our students, and the wider public?

Join panelists Mirabai Bush, Lenwood Hayman, and Paul Wapner in conversation, addressing the questions above and drawing on our community’s collective wisdom for navigating today’s uncharted waters. We intend to leave ample time for a question and answer portion to engage with attendees.


Mirabai Bush is co-founder and a Senior Fellow at the Center. She is co-author, with Daniel Barbezat, of Contemplative Practices in Higher Education, and co-author, with Ram Dass, of Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying. She leads a mindfulness orientation for first-year Amherst students and last taught in the Smith School of Social Work.

Lenwood Hayman is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Health Sciences in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. His work focuses on using contemplative practices to cultivate community cohesion as a means of health promotion.

Paul WapnerPaul Wapner is Professor of Global Environmental Politics in the School of International Service at American University in Washington DC. His work focuses on environmental ethics, climate suffering, contemplative environmentalism, and activism. His newest book is Is Wildness Over? (Polity 2020).


About ACMHE Webinars

The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE) is an initiative of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (CMind). The ACMHE’s free webinars allow you to view a live presentation online; you can listen to the presenter over your computer speakers, headphones, or VOIP headset, or by dialing into the audio with your phone. Questions and comments may be submitted to the presenters during the webinar.

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