7th Contemplative Curriculum Development Summer Session

Posted on Jul 15, 2011

August 7 – 12, 2011
Smith College, Northampton, MA

The seventh annual Summer Session prepares participants to return to their classrooms with a deeper understanding of the practice of contemplative teaching and a developed course.

Summer Session Participants will devote the week to rigorous investigation, reflection, writing, and discussion, guided by distinguished scholars and contemplative teachers who have already developed such courses.

Sorry, the application period has ended. We will announce the dates of the 2012 Summer Session as soon as we are able.

We invite participants from the full range of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives in the arts, humanities, sciences, humanities-related sciences, and social sciences.

There will be sessions on pedagogical issues, including the relation between course content and contemplative practice and the benefits of stabilized attention and other qualities of mind fostered by meditation, as well as on practical issues such as evaluation, grading, and instructional techniques. We will also consider issues such as communicating course intent with colleagues and college administrators. There will be a presentation of recent research on the effects of meditation and discussions on how contemplative practices in the curriculum are affecting teaching and learning nationwide. Each day will also include substantial contemplative practice time, which will introduce participants to a variety of practices that have been adapted successfully for secular classroom settings.

Further information on the content of the session can be found in the Academic Program’s lectures, reports, and publications. You may also find our selection of course syllabi to be a helpful reference.

Program Cost

Includes tuition, meals and accommodations at Smith College: $850 ($800 for ACMHE members)
Commuter rate (includes tuition and meals at Smith College): $550 ($500 for ACMHE members)


Dan BarbezatDaniel Barbezat, Professor of Economics, Amherst College. A member of the Amherst faculty since 1988, Barbezat received the B.A. degree 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 serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.


Linda-Susan BeardLinda-Susan Beard, Associate Professor of English, Bryn Mawr College (Ph.D., Cornell) negotiates between and among the worlds of African American, South African, and post-colonial literatures. She teaches courses on post-apartheid literature, literary and historical reimaginings of transatlantic slavery such as Toni Morrison and the Art of Narrative Conjure, as well as introductory courses in English and African literatures which examine the dynamics of canon formation. She is editing the first comprehensive volume of the letters of Bessie head, about whom she has written essays and given conference papers for 25 years. She is also involved in the new area of contemplative intelligence, having been in the first group of the Center’s Contemplative Practice Fellows. King’s College recently awarded her an honorary doctorate for her work in integrating contemplative and intellectual ways of knowing. She served for five years as Faculty Coordinator of the Mellon Scholars Program and chair of the Africana Studies Program.

Judith Simmer-BrownJudith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., has been Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado since 1978.  She has practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 1971 and is an Acharya (senior dharma teacher) of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, Naropa’s founder. She serves on the steering committee of the American Academy of Religion’s Buddhist Critical-Constructive Reflection group and is co-founder of the Contemplative Studies Group of the AAR. Dr. Simmer-Brown lectures and writes on Tibetan Buddhism, American Buddhism, women and Buddhism, interreligious dialogue, and contemplative education. Her books are Dakini’s Warm Breath:  The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism (Shambhala) and forthcoming, with Fran Grace, an edited collection of articles called Meditation in the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies(Religious Studies Series, State University of New York Press, 2010). She is married to Richard Brown, a Naropa University professor, and has two college aged children.

Patricia Wallace is Professor of English at Vassar College. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and is the recipient of NEH and ACLS Fellowships. She is co-editor (with Jerry Klinkowitz) of the “Literature 1945—” section of The Norton Anthology of American Literature and is a contributor to The Columbia History of American Poetry. Her research interests include contemporary literature, 20th and 21st Century poetry, American modernism, and poetry writing. She teaches and runs workshops on the creative process and on creativity and contemplation, and teaches frequently in the multidisciplinary program of American Culture and Women’s Studies at Vassar.

Joel UptonJoel Upton is Professor of Art and Art History at Amherst College. After graduation from Rutgers University his path led from the U.S. Air Force to the Goethe Institute in Berlin, and in 1972 to Amherst.  He teaches courses on the history of Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture, Japanese pre-modern architecture and the spiritual foundations of artistic aspiration. His teaching interests include the theory and practice of contemplative “beholding” and his current research concerns Ai-no-ma, a Japanese architectural and spatial concept that is a Japanese equivalent of the art of beholding.

Arthur ZajoncArthur Zajonc is Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and professor of physics at Amherst College, where he has taught since 1978. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. He has been 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 has been Fulbright professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics he researched electron-atoms collision physics and radiative transfer in dense vapors. His research has included studies in parity violation in atoms, the experimental foundations of quantum physics, and the relationship between sciences, the humanities and contemplation. He has written extensively on Goethe’s science. He is author of the books Meditation as Contemplative InquiryCatching the Light, co-author of The Quantum Challenge, and co-editor of Goethe’s Way of Science. He is co-author, with Parker Palmer, of The Heart of Higher Education. In 1997 he served as scientific coordinator for the Mind and Life dialogue with H.H. the Dalai Lama published as The New Physics and Cosmology: Dialogues with the Dalai Lama. He organized the 2002 dialogue with the Dalai Lama, “The Nature of Matter, the Nature of Life,” and acted as moderator at MIT for the “Investigating the Mind” dialogue in 2003 and “Scientific Explorations of Compassion and Altruism” at Stanford University in 2010. 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.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact Beth Wadham, Academic Program Associate, at beth@contemplativemind.org or 413-582-0071.



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