Conference Schedule

The 8th Annual ACMHE Conference

October 7-9, 2016 | University of Massachusetts | Amherst, MA

View/Download the Conference Program (.pdf)

Friday, October 7

8:30am Pre-Conference Registration
Student Union Ballroom Foyer
9:00am-11:15am Part I
Student Union Ballroom
11:15am-11:35am Break
11:35am-1:00pm Part II
Student Union Ballroom
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch
Campus Center Dining Commons
2:00pm-4:00pm Part III
Student Union Ballroom

General Conference
Friday, October 7

3:00pm-7:00pm Conference Registration
Student Union Ballroom Foyer
7:00pm-9:00pm Conference Opening and Keynote
Student Union Ballroom

Saturday, October 8

8:30-9:00am Contemplative Practice
Campus Center Auditorium
9:00-9:20am Introduction to the Day and Framing Questions
Campus Center Auditorium
9:20-9:40am Break
Light snacks and beverages will be available in the Campus Center Auditorium from approximately 9am – 11am. Beverages will be available all day.
9:40-10:40am Parallel Session I
Breakout Spaces on 8th and 9th Floors of Campus Center

Design Mind: Contemplative Practice, Design Thinking and the 21st Century University

At the University of Oregon we are currently embarked on a curricular reform initiative called “trED”: transforming education by design. Our goals are immodest and our methods irregular; we aim to thoroughly transform UO’s core baccalaureate experience by means of “design thinking”:  an iterative creative process anchored in empathic and often improvisational research methods with stakeholder communities. Design thinking seeks to unlock imagination in order to uncover latent needs and behaviors. Recently organizations as diverse as Sealy Posturepedic and the City of Dublin have turned to design thinking as an approach – beyond surveys, focus groups and task forces – to innovate deep solutions for intractable problems and concerns. Our session explores what we’ve been calling “design mind”: the potential for a deep link between contemplative practice and design thinking. With us, participants will explore the ways in which contemplative practice can enter not only the classroom – but also the boardroom and the provost’s office.Presenters: Lisa Freinkel, Anita Chari, Ron Bramhill

Sitting with Peace: Cultivating Contemplative Practice at Sites of Conflict

With this session, a teacher and a student aim to inaugurate a dialogue about new ways to incorporate contemplative practice into study abroad and service learning–particularly in areas that have experienced significant trauma and conflict. 

At our public university, students are often from marginalized populations themselves and a primary question for us is: How do we learn together in parts of the world that have seen tremendous conflict–without becoming swamped by stress and negative emotions in the process?

Our method is to preface our immersive study abroad experiences with intensive 4-day silent retreats. Prior to immersion in-country, we take these small groups of students into silent retreat to build community, hold space together and prepare for our journey. At the close of the journey, students are invited to again immerse themselves in a multi-day contemplative session with their classmates.

Last summer we traveled with a group of students to Cape Town, South Africa for six weeks to study the Truth and Reconciliation process and post-apartheid social formations. This summer we journeyed to Ireland and Northern Ireland to learn more about the Troubles and the road to the Good Friday Accord.

By sharing stories, curricula, and best practices, we hope to offer some of the insights we have gained–and to open a dialogue about navigating these difficult, but highly rewarding educational spaces.

Presenters: Mike Lamb, Gargi Padki

Healing Grief Created by Racial Separation

Holding a rarely examined perspective that racial separation and institutionalized racism emotionally and spiritually damage white people, as well as people of color, this workshop will increase understanding and compassion. Using Combined Destinies: Whites Sharing Grief about Racism, one of the authors will facilitate discussion which includes self-reflection and action planning to reduce racism. 

Drawing on personal and heartfelt stories from 52 previously published and unpublished writers, Combined Destinies stretches across our country to explore the social and emotional consequences of racism for White Americans. The book is based on the premise that for positive and lasting change to occur, it is necessary to open hearts as well as minds. These intimate stories will offer participants a chance to explore their own experiences and to examine their own thoughts and feelings about the personal pain and psychological damage that racism creates. Personal next steps for reducing racism will be explored.

Presenter: Caroline Haskell

Queering the Spirit: Exploring Intersections of LGBTQ and Religion Through Contemplative Practices

In this interactive session, the presenters will discuss their experience organizing an ongoing discussion series that explores the joys and challenges of simultaneously identifying as LGBTQ+ and as People of Faith. The Queering the Spirit series was designed to help faculty, staff and students to reconcile their religion and spirituality with their sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as provide tools for allies to provide support to this community. Thus far the series has explored queer people in diverse religions including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Indigenous spirituality and featured multiple guest speakers from on and off campus. While our guest speakers presenting has been a component of the series, strategies gleaned from contemplative pedagogy have been utilized throughout to maximize connectedness, inspire mindfulness and promote compassionate social change.

The session will encourage discussion and provide resources for attendees to plan similar programs or series on their respective campuses, as well as how to incorporate multicultural discussions of queer spirituality in their courses using contemplative methods.

Presenters: Joelle Ruby Ryan, Cheryl Grady

Meeting our Ancestors: Exploring the Future through the Present Moment

In this sacred dyadic “deep time” practice, a part of Joanna Macy’s The Work that Reconnects, participants reflect on their engagement with present-day challenges by coming face-to-face with their lineage. In a time outside of time, each participant will either be an ancestor (a present day being) or a descendant (from seven generations in the future) meeting to share their respective wisdom. Through this practice, participants are able to “learn to act like ancestors of future generations” (Joanna Macy) and re-enter their lives with an inspired commitment to social action.

Presenter: Regina Smith

Deepening Awareness; Combining the Disciplines of Contemplation and Expressive Arts

Contemplation and the Expressive Arts combine to create a unique gateway for deepening understanding of self, others and our intersections. The combination of Contemplation and Art provides opportunities for moving from thought based experiences into sensate expressions, “seeing” feelings and exploring the intersections of possibilities of using art and art based experiences. In this workshop we will explore how to build and set a safe container, use language to invite participation, tips for managing the velocity and intensity of experience and ideas for how to create an educational environment to invite curiosity, sharing of experiences and building engaged community. The workshop will include a discussion on the application of these tools in schools, individual therapeutic connections, group sessions and community action. Informed by Expressive Arts principals, Neuroscience and Contemplative Arts, this workshop will provide the participants with a series of tools to bring back to their own practices, classrooms and communities.

Presenters: Doreen Maller, Leane Genstler

What Matters Most in Crossing the Boundaries of Identity

This workshop begins with a short account of the challenges in gathering trust and commitment across university, government, and First Nations of Canada. It documents the forces from the top down and bottom up that come into play. Meaningful change emerged in the way internal and external partners of the university played a role in innovative university program design and delivery. The story reveals principles that can be applied in many settings. Participants will then engage in a structured reflective interaction process to examine the necessary conditions for change in their own settings. In this process they explore assumptions, ways of listening, and styles of inquiry that highlight the sense of identity on multiple levels. The process includes the felt sense of what matters most to participants and then seeks shared meaning from their present experience in their interaction. The objective is to develop first steps toward meaningful change and innovation by working across perceived boundaries. This research-based process has produced a sense of unexpected connectedness amongst participants with significantly different backgrounds and views.

Presenters: David Sable, Trudy Sable

10:40-11:00am Break
11:00am-12:00pm Parallel Session II
Breakout Spaces on 8th and 9th Floors of Campus Center

Social Justice Vigils: A Forum for Contemplative Social Change

This presentation will describe our social justice vigils and the process by which we collaborate with students in creating contemplative forums which both shape and are informed by social action. To “vigil” means to “stay awake” and vigils are usually held in times of tragedy or to commemorate socio-political events. However, in a diverse community, the matters of concern that call us to vigil are quite vast. We will demonstrate how we convene multiple contemplative “vigils” in response to a wide array of social, political, and world events; and how they both provide opportunities for expressions of protest and hope, and make room for diverse narratives of experience. Our presentation will engage participants in thinking about how these forums function in the face of strong feelings about social or political realities to help foster empathy and an appreciation for moral complexity, in addition to leading to stronger, more strategic social action.Presenters: Matilda Cantwell, Jennifer Walters

Sex in the Classroom: Contemplating from the Outside In

This workshop explores the edgy terrain of sex and gender as they manifest in the national conversation and the field of human sexuality. Bodies manifest as a gap between outer and inner. How we occupy the gap through sustained awareness changes the invitation—opening to the innermost. An experiential understanding of gender and sensuality serves as a harbinger for relationship and relearning. Through a series of interactive awareness practices, participants will occupy the fertile between-space where mind is meant to be blown.

Presenter: Carole Clements

Confronting Ecological Harm: How to Cope and How to Act

Environmental degradation undermines quality of life for many and, in the extreme, threatens the infrastructure that supports all life on earth. How can contemplative practice help professors, students, and activists emotionally hold and intellectually engage environmental intensification, harm, and loss? How can such practice inform the broader pursuits of peace, sustainability, and ecological justice? This session will explore the role of contemplative methods in confronting systems of environmental harm and the injustice this inflicts on the human and more-than-human world. Drawing from diverse disciplines, presenters will consider how to mindfully face the injustices and often overwhelming character of climate change, loss of biological diversity, and the poisoning of the air, land, and waterways that we share on this planet. The session will include a guided practice on facing environmental harm, insights on integrating contemplative practices into the classroom and activism, and interactive discussion.

Presenters: Gabriel Dayley, Paul Wapner, Rachel DeMotts, Parakh Hoon

Weaving Mindfulness into online learning - benefits for students of all ages

I have developed and currently oversee a signature program for Adult women undergraduate college students called the Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders (WELL) program. Under my supervision, I have incorporated mindfulness into all three of these required courses, and students have loved it. I will show participants how I was able to do this, and then guide them through creating online resources for their populations. The fact is that people of all ages and backgrounds can benefit!

Presenter: Chelsea Kline

Transforming Pathological Anger to Compassion, Peace, and Action

Anger is implicated in nearly every social pathology from war to bullying to child abuse yet it is also the spark of reform for nearly every positive social movement from civil rights to labor rights to handicapped rights. Through an extensive literature review I reveal how anger has an odd dual role of being connected to both shameful and righteous feelings, and to being suppressed or expressed in different contexts. Anger is often poorly understood and readily confused and simplification, conflation, pathologizing, depersonalizing, and depoliticizing are common. I will teach how anger entails four distinctive sequential pedagogies: Mindfulness, Compassion, Insight, and Action. A similar feeling can occur when we are wrong and right, and when we should and shouldn’t take action. It is very important, therefore, that teachers learn not to skip the often difficult and uncomfortable experiences of guilt, compassion, and reflection nor allow judgment towards action without insight.

Presenter: Elizabeth Heilman

Cultural Humility: reflections on the body, power & relationships

Originally developed to address health disparities and institutional inequities in medicine, “Cultural Humility” is now used in education, palliative care, psychology, social work, nursing, and public health. To practice cultural humility is to maintain a willingness to suspend what we know, or what we think we know, about a person based on generalizations about their culture. It is a daily practice for people to deal with hierarchical relationships, change organizational policy & build relationships based on mutual trust. Contemplative/somatic practices can be used to learn about and practice cultural humility in order to address racism, bias, and other intersecting forms of oppression. Theater of the Oppressed in particular engages people in critical reflection and dialogue in the process of liberation. We can observe ourselves in action; thus we can amend, adjust and alter our actions to have different impact and to change our world.

Presenter: Vivian Chavez

Taste of Mindfulness and Embodied Learning in Pharmaceutical Sciences

In two PharmD courses I cover multidisciplinary content focused on the digestive system, from basic anatomy and physiology, to pathophysiology, medication mechanisms of action and medicinal chemistry with pharmaceutics. My approach is to use mindfulness practices in class as a tool of connecting students to the complex material in these lectures. The practices are designed to help them more deeply appreciate interconnectedness of the human body functioning and drug action on the whole body. I will present specific mindfulness exercises focused on the digestive system function and dysfunction. I will also share scripts that guide student reflection writings on these experiences. The hope is that mindfulness practices like these can enhance sense of empathy in students towards self and their future patients. Further, I hope the students can gain much deeper sense of the medications impact on human functioning and from their grow more deeply connected to their patients.

Presenter: Jelena Janjic

Embodied Literacy: Choreographing and Coaching the College Mind

Academic success has a long-standing axis of cognitive pursuits. Revolving around intellect, it’s spin forms a Cartesian split; separating the [proverbial] mind from its information source – the body. While sight and sound are predominant devices used in college classrooms, a vital source of sensory input is overlooked. The body receives and processes information before, and sometimes without, cognitive recognition (Porges, 2009). The development of embodied literacy, for both teacher and student, involves neural integration (Siegal, 2009) and awareness (Kabat-Zin, 1994) impacting numerous areas of development in the late adolescents and emerging adults attending higher education institutes. As Young (2016) suggests, “you can give a spotlight to a specific dancer without having to get the other performers off the stage” (p 35) we can choreograph our own attention and sensation. This presentation offers an exploratory experience, choreographing cognitive and embodied states, and practical guidance in coaching others to do so.

Presenter: Tegan Reeves

12:00-1:00pm Lunch
On your own at the Campus Center Blue Wall Dining Commons
1:00-2:00pm Poster Session
Student Union Ballroom
Presenters can display their materials until 8pm Saturday night

Contemplative Practice in Sustainable Food & Farming

In our Sustainable Food & Farming program at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst, we use contemplative practices to foster connection. Through these practices, students develop a deeper connection with nature, their communities, values, and bodies. Using Contemplative Practices in combination with Systems Thinking tools and Transformative Pedagogies facilitates a deeper awareness of values and inquiry about how to live in alignment with these values. Capturing students’ shift in values and actions proves these methods to be truly transformative. Undergraduates in a diverse range of courses have responded well to the combination of these practices and pedagogies. Finally, the poster will also show examples of how these practices are used in class and the field to unpack injustices present in our food system. Through their projects and coursework, our students are directly and mindfully participating in making their food system a better place.

Presenter: Sarah Berquist

Mindfulness and Contemplative Inquiry Center: Development through Faculty Learning Communities

This poster is an overview of the role of Mindfulness and Contemplative Inquiry Faculty Learning Communities in creating a university center. Discussion includes the strategic planning process, mission and vision development, changes to faculty learning participants and content over time, and results from two of the evaluated faculty learning communities. An update on the Center and current faculty learning community curriculum is provided.

Presenters: Suzanne Klatt, Katie Egart

Mindfulness, Contemplative Practices and The Arts Deepen Learning, Expand Self-Awareness and Perspective-taking, and Cultivate Wellbeing And Creativity In Teachers and Their Students

Mindfulness, contemplative practices and the arts provide spaces for personal/group transformation, inquiry in learning and wholeness. This required Education class for pre-service and existing K-12 teachers (undergraduate and graduate students) offers content on themes of educational theory, arts integration and social justice. Adding the practices, combined with diverse arts-making, results in the cultivation of self awareness, self knowledge and meaning-making which build curiosity, sensitivity, perspective-taking, connection, compassion and, at times, elements of spirituality. Improvisation and trust create a freedom to create in the moment that is so inherent the arts. It is important to help pre-service teachers cultivate tools for resilience in the midst of the stress of teaching, both for personal wellbeing and also how that translates into positive, connecting presence with students. Through this reflective and interconnected approach, self-judgment is reduced and self-kindness, wellbeing and creativity are nurtured.

Presenter: Cathy Cebulski Sacco

Pedagogies of Presence: Embodiment Practice in the College Classroom

This poster will present practices from my work with contemplative pedagogies and embodiment practices in higher education. My experience with these practices suggests that emphasizing embodiment in our pedagogical work can increase our students (as well as our own) capacities for empathy, relationality, and self-awareness, all of which are crucial for deepening our students’ understandings of social justice and social critique. Moreover, because embodied practices emphasize the self-regulation of the instructor as primary, these practices can help instructors to overcome their own issues with anxiety, dissociation, and overwhelm in the classroom, and to engage more deeply with their own sense of purpose as teachers.

Presenter: Anita Chari

Beyond the Academy: Facilitating Social Change through Arts-based Contemplative Inquiry

As higher education professionals engaged in social justice work, we can experience disconnect between scholarly practice and real-world application when promoting social change. As we become more alive, awake, mindful, and engaged with our inner struggles to address issues of inequity, we find ourselves longing for a like-minded community of social action, yet lack practical means outside the academy to facilitate change. By utilizing arts-based contemplative inquiry, the presenter will encourage attendees to engage in mindful reflection and compassion towards those living in unjust situations through the use of evocative imagery as a visual tool. Contemplative, arts-based inquiry takes social justice work outside traditional scholarly practice, allowing for communities of social action to emerge within and beyond academia. This contemplative method also forms a bridge through which we can transform higher education beyond the academy to create a greater level of accessibility that fosters contemplative inquiry, community, and social action.

Presenter: Meaghan Cochrane

Case Study of a Mindful Campus: Organizational Structure and Culture

My doctoral research is a case study exploring the organizational structure and culture of a mindful campus. The purpose of the study is to understand how a mindful campus is operated by educational leaders. I am researching a university campus known to incorporate contemplative practices inside and outside the classroom. The primary research question is: How is a mindful campus operated? There are two corollary research questions: What organizational structures are in place to support the use of contemplative practices on this college campus? and, What organizational culture is in place to support the use of contemplative practices on this college campus? My poster presentation will describe my research and its preliminary findings.

Presenter: Linda Coutant

Contemplative Peacebuilding in Systems of Ecological Harm

Human destruction of the earth’s ecosystems and their inhabitants is all-pervasive. If we understand ecological exploitation and degradation as a form of violence and injustice, then confronting systemic environmental harm calls for a peacebuilding approach. Contemplative practice and peace education each offer promising methods for confronting the cultural attitudes and psychological constructs that underlie systems of environmental violence. By expanding awareness and engendering authentic interaction with the more-than-human world, contemplative practice could be especially useful in the context of ecological peace education. This research investigates several specific mechanisms by which contemplative practice could support grassroots peacebuilding, including reducing the ‘othering’ of nature, narrowing the values-action gap, and increasing awareness of the displacement of ecological harm through time and space. Based on this research, I propose a new model of ‘contemplative peace education’ aimed at transforming our relationship with the earth.

Presenter: Gabriel Dayley

Moral Formation and Contemplative Course Design

This poster presentation distills some of my recent work to bridge the gap in university ethics education between ethical theory and the actual practice of moral self-cultivation. I argue that such moral formation can be directed responsibly and effectively by structuring opportunities for students’ own self-directed growth. This, in turn, can be achieved by using existing practice structures and models for moral growth in contemplative traditions. I use as an illustration of this approach to course design my upper-division Confucian Ethics course.

Presenter: Matthew Duperon

Contemplative Practices in the Multicultural Curriculum Transformation Process

Multicultural curriculum transformation refers to processes that may be employed across academic disciplines in order to foster affirming and equitable practices in higher education (Clark, 2002). These processes include transformation of course content, pedagogical approaches, evaluations of teaching and learning, as well as the development of positive relationships and effective learning environments. This poster session will focus on the outcomes associated with including contemplative practices within the context of a multicultural curriculum transformation process. A cohort of graduate students enrolled in a school psychology program who engaged in contemplative practices such as journaling and dialog over the course of their first year of training, demonstrated increased cultural competence and greater openness to diversity and challenge as measured by student self-assessments completed on the first and last days of the academic year. Examples of specific classroom activities and practices will be discussed from the perspectives of the students and the instructor.

Presenter: Elizabeth Gibbons

Five Easy Practices: Mindfulness in the Classroom

With course content to cover, yet with so much competition for our distracted students’ attention, how can professors find pedagogically appropriate contemplative practices that work in classrooms across the disciplines? And how can professors quickly and effectively integrate practices that encourage mindfulness and improve academic performance? In this poster presentation, Greene offers five practices—appropriate across the disciplines—that don’t require much class time. Included are: “sign in / sign out,” an activity that promotes mindfulness and offers a great way to begin and end class; next, Greene offers some yoga practices that encourage embodied learning, some deep-listening exercises, often coupled with a six-word memoir practice, and finally a “note-to-haiku” practice that offers students a creative way to integrate and recall information.

Presenter: Robin Greene

Assessing the Outcomes of Contemplative Pedagogy with Syracuse University’s TLC

The purpose of this poster is to share our process for creating an assessment plan to use broadly across multiple contemplative courses. We highlight the efforts of the Contemplative Collaborative, a group of faculty, staff, and students, whose goal was to consider deeply the evaluation of educational outcomes of contemplative pedagogy and to develop an assessment plan that suits the needs of our institution. We approached this goal via a two-part Assessment Institute. In Part 1, we identified learning and engagement outcomes and explored ways of measuring /documenting them. For Part 2, a mindfulness expert and organizational strategist guided us in thinking about what contemplative assessment is, why we were using practices in our courses, and the hoped-for outcomes of those practices. These rich conversations included the perspectives of faculty, staff, and students and resulted in framework that will influence how we assess our outcomes going forward.

Presenter: Diane Grimes

Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies Minor: Interdisciplinary Curriculum Infusion of Contemplative Practice

This poster highlights models of curriculum and classroom exercises from three diverse courses that are part of a new Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies minor for undergraduate students at Syracuse University. The purpose of this minor is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of mindfulness and contemplative science and practice, and opportunities to cultivate these skills in their courses and apply them in their communities. The curriculum reflects the interdisciplinary nature of our efforts. We will share practices from courses from three disciplines including Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Public Health, and Human Development and Family Science. We will also discuss challenges that we faced as we developed the minor as well as share updates about its continuing development.

Presenter: Rachel Razza

Enhancing Socio-Emotional Intelligence through Classroom-Based Contemplative Practices

Federally-mandated increases in the quality of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education has tasked educators with answering a challenging call. Students tend to find STEM content to be anxiety-inducing, thus necessitating educators to incorporate strategies into their curriculum to help students combat such negative affect. Research has shown that developing students’ socio-emotional intelligence improves their academic achievement and overall well-being. Furthermore, research also suggests that supportive environments promote optimal learning. Incorporating contemplative practices into STEM-based curriculum could help cultivate a positive, supportive, and optimistic learning environment in which students are motivated to strive for their best possible outcome. Our evidence suggests that students in STEM courses who engaged in weekly in-class contemplative practices experienced an increased desire to set/achieve goals and decreased rumination on previous failures. Additional research is needed to further elucidate the efficacy of contemplative practices in increasing emotional intelligence and how this process could lead to increased student success.

Presenter: Lenwood Hayman, Jessica Miller

Emerging Research in Contemplative Media Studies

This poster is a follow-up to one presented by Kevin Healey at ACMHE in 2013, which was titled simply Contemplative Media Studies. That poster provided an overview of three key dimensions of a contemplative approach to media research: Content, Technologies, and Institutions. The current poster, presented jointly with Edwin Ng (in absentia from Australia), expands this framework by including a fourth dimension, the Sensorium. It provides a road map of foundational principles for emerging research in these four dimensions, and includes several illustrative examples involving Augmented and/or Virtual Reality platforms. The poster is intended to catalyze a discussion about the central importance of media technologies, and the critical interrogation thereof, in the ACMHE’s goal of fostering mindfulness among individuals, communities, nations, and transnational networks.

Presenter: Kevin Healey, Edwin Ng

Personal Transformation in Nature and Poetry Writing

Discovering the healing benefits of walking/hiking in nature, being more attuned to the sounds, sights, and beauty that is found there can produce an experiential transformation. Capturing the brief escapes in the lived moment brings to mind the sights, sounds, and smells which inspire poetry as a way to further extend the benefits found walking in the woods, by a stream, listening to the birds, seeing and inhaling the aromas of the flora all around. Poetry writing can become a form of expressive contemplation which further engages the mind. Sometimes, photos capture the sights on a smart phone or dictating a couple of notes soon after helps to preserve the memory and re-live the moment. This transformative and reflective personal practice has helped renew and re-energize a mathematics faculty member’s growth and teaching. Often, one does not need to travel very far to engage with is mode of contemplative practice.

Presenter: John Hill

Mindfulness in Middle School: Connections to Mindset and Attribution

Modern conceptualizations of mindfulness include attention to immediate experience (Keng, Smoski, & Robbins, 2011) without reaction by cultivating an open and accepting attitude (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). A little explored, but important, component is the product of this balance between engrossment with and suppression of experience. The authors posit that mindfulness promotes growth beliefs and reduces unhelpful attributions. Attribution and mindset involve interpretation of success and failure (Dweck, Chiu, & Hong, 1995). The current study investigates mindfulness, mindset, and attribution style in middle school students (N=247, 55% male, < 40% Caucasian) using the Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure (Greco, Baer, & Smith, 2011), the Implicit Theories of Intelligence Scale for Children (Dweck, 1999), and the Children’s Attribution Style Questionnaire-Revised (Seligman et al., 1984). ANCOVA analyses revealed that level of mindfulness significantly predicted attribution and mindset. This work presents the results as well as proposing a theoretical mode. Presenters: Sean M. Holden, Tegan Reeves[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="The ¾ Platform: Course-Specific and Accessible Contemplative Practice for the College Classroom"] In the fast-paced academic setting, teaching undergraduate students is a portion of the role college professors, and teaching assistants take on. The nature of the proportional-investment (e.g. research, teaching, serving) and pre-determined curricula (e.g. syllabi restrictions, content requirements) offers little time to learn and incorporate new pedagogies. Offering brief videos during class-time may alleviate the pressure of leading a session and allow the teacher or professor to practice mindfulness with the students. Furthermore, offering material developed to be specific to the course curricula is a new way of approaching contemplative practice (Zajonic, 2016). This poster explores a 3/4 platform, a way to provide an accessible way to allow students to experience course material in meaningful, reflective, ways with minimal strain on the professor. This poster discusses an ongoing research project of providing brief, course-specific, videos in a 200-level university classroom and provides exploratory opportunities to endeavor to build course-specific contemplative practices. Presenter: Tegan Jemma Reeves[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="Swans, Silhouettes, & Sand: Arts-Advocacy as Community Engagement"] This education-in-action poster session explores how arts-advocacy creates opportunities for contemplative reflection and social action. By showcasing three unique projects, presenters introduce the concept of fostering social engagement and volunteerism by connecting public art platforms to social justice. The Swan Project engages diverse communities across generations with creative arts experiences. Using Silhouettes, students raised awareness about modern-day slavery through reflection and dialogue. Red Sand Project teaches about vulnerabilities that can lead to human trafficking through the contemplative practices of beholding and bearing witness. All three projects are moving, easy to replicate, create group cohesiveness, and open up dialogue on difficult topics. Participants will be given recommendations for producing arts-advocacy projects to use contemplative practices for social action in their communities. Presenters: Esmilda Abreu, Kirsten Richert[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="Using mindfulness based practices in the social work trauma-informed classroom: Pairing practices with learning outcomes"] This poster presentation will provide examples of mindfulness-based practices taught within the framework of Quinnipiac University Masters in Social Work program’s class, SW640: Working with Adult Survivors of Psychological Trauma. Following the introductory class period of this 15-week course, each class begins with a different 10-15 minute long mindfulness-based practice. Practices are taught as being understood within the framework of the neurophysiological, psychological, and relational aspects of psychological trauma. Examples of practices include mindfulness of the breath, the body scan, awareness of thoughts or emotional states, etc. Following a discussion of their experience of the practice, students are then led through a discussion on how the practice of the day relates to that class’s curricular materials (readings/lectures/activities). Specific examples of practices and related curricular concepts will be presented, as well as lessons learned by the professor throughout the praxis and continual development of integration of practices with curriculum. Presenters: Amber Kelly[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="The tool for creating a constructive dialogue in a college classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy?"] In our increasingly diverse campus environments, teachers need to be able to create a classroom climate in which students feel safe to engage in dialogue. While current empirical studies describe contemplative pedagogy (CP) mainly as a practice that supports students at the individual level, literature suggests that there is potential for CP to improve interactions on a classroom level. On this poster, I will give an overview of how CP potentially can be of value for creating a classroom community. I will present my research design for the upcoming study in which I will investigate empirically in what ways students perceive CP as useful for creating a sense of community within the classroom. My aim is to create more insight in how teachers can use CP as a tool to create a classroom in which different opinions and perspectives can be shared. Presenters: Suzan Kommers, Gabriel Hall[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="Advancing Reflective Learning Through a Community of Practice"] As part of a major college-wide grant entitled, “Linking Immersive Experiences to the Liberal Arts” we designed an initiative to identify and enrich the myriad of reflective practices across our campus. To this end, we convened small, year-long “Reflective Practice Cohorts” of faculty and staff to intentionally explore reflective practices on the personal, professional and institutional levels. Through these communities of practice, we witnessed faculty and staff members’ increased clarity and heightened confidence to engage in reflective pedagogy. Our own campus ecosystem of existing opportunities for reflection has been enriched with new collaborations and a more interdependent community of reflective practitioners in and out of the classroom. We would love to discuss our initiative with you at our poster session. Presenters: Tina Kruse, Karin Trail-Johnson[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="Integrating Hatha Yoga and Indian Philosophy in a College Course"] We introduce a course offered at Stonehill College, “Yoga, Mindfulness and Indian Philosophy,’ which integrates theory and practice. In this course, we study classical Indian philosophy; we investigate our Western fascination with ‘the mystical East’ and our adaptation of the hatha yoga traditions; we practice hatha yoga and discuss the experience of doing yoga on and off our yoga mats; and we explore mindfulness and yoga as tools to slow down and to center. We present some of the benefits of this model of teaching and encourage others to think about how they can adapt this model to fit their own teaching styles and expertise. Presenters: Anna Lannstrom, Kristy Kuhn, Rachel Santos[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="Purposeful Reflection: Experiences in Introducing Mindfulness in an Online Environment"] We stumbled on infusing mindfulness into our graduate, online courses for teachers working with students with disabilities. As colleagues, we discussed our own mindfulness practices, but had not considered it for our students, or how it could influence their students. On a whim, we threw some mindfulness activities into our courses to see what would happen. We know from research that mindfulness improves cognitive functioning, develops self-regulatory behaviors, and reduces stress (Meiklejohn et al., 2012), all of which benefit everyone in education. This poster shares our journey in learning how to be more purposeful in planning mindfulness. Some things worked, some did not. To overcome initial negativity in some students, we introduced a differentiated approach to mindfulness activities. We developed a menu of activities to integrate across our courses. Our students learn mindfulness practices that they can choose to adopt for themselves and their students if desired. Presenters: Brooke Moore, Betsy Crawford-Leeds[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="The GRACE Model in Higher Education: Compassion in Action"] In the contemplative practice of self-awareness and intention, the educator can build a learning environment that fosters compassion as an act of the educational process. Key practices of mindfulness can increase self-awareness and the improve ability to respond to students in their contexts while caring for the educator and one another. This poster presentation will share how compassion can be manifested in teaching through the areas of being with student learning, reducing suffering, and caring for self and others. The GRACE model (Halifax, 2013) as a framework for this process will be explored in application to teaching and learning practices that include: 1. Gathering attention 2. Recalling intention 3. Attuning to self/other 4. Considering and 5. Engaging. A case study will be explored and examples of the practice and the cognitive, affective, somatic and attention domains illustrated as one educators experience with applying the GRACE model to teaching and learning. Presenter: Raeann LeBlanc[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="Teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in the Disabilities Services Office"] The effects of MBSR were explored within the disabilities services offices at a public university. A modified MBSR curriculum was introduced to individuals receiving services as a voluntary 5-week intervention. The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), was used as a quantitative measure, while a semi-structured interview after session five provided qualitative data. The DERS is a 36- item questionnaire consisting of 6 subscales; Nonacceptance of Emotional Responses, Difficulties Engaging in Goal-Directed, Impulse Control Difficulties, Lack of Emotional Awareness, Limited Access to Emotion Regulation Strategies, and Lack of Emotional Clarity. Pre and post intervention means were compared for the entire instrument and subscales. Qualitative data supports and illuminates the positive findings, capturing such participant insights as “I usually become stressed out and shut down but having these tools…helped me so much. I made it through the semester…mostly stress free.” Implications for further adaptation of the intervention and potential expansion of the program are discussed. Presenters: Yelena Luzhanskaya, Donald McCown[/learn_more] [learn_more caption="Contemplative Pedagogies in Asynchronous Online and Hybrid Undergraduate Management of Aging Services Courses"] Since contemplative pedagogies provide ways for integrating first-, second-, and third-person ways of knowing, they have the potential to help students challenge their habitual, stereotyped ways of seeing to view older adults in fresh, non-ageist ways. Also, contemplative pedagogies may be able to enrich gerontology/aging services by encouraging students to fully engage in their learning and encourage the development of skills needed for a rich, nuanced understanding of older adults and those who work with them (Majeski and Stover, 2016). This session will describe the integration and evaluation of various contemplative pedagogies in one asynchronous online and one hybrid undergraduate management of aging services courses, Aging People, Management, and Policy and The Art of Aging. The session will describe how each course incorporates and organizes various contemplative pedagogies in written assignments, online discussion board forums, and other learning activities. Also, the session will present a plan for evaluating the use of contemplative pedagogies in these online courses. Reference: Majeski, R. and Stover, M. (2016). Contemplative Pedagogy in Hybrid and Asynchronous Online Undergraduate Aging Services/Gerontology Courses. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 42, 109-119.

Presenter: Robin Majeski

Searching in the Branches: Contemplative Practices and the Research Process

Librarians engage with students at all levels of their academic careers. This poster session will share four of the practices I have incorporated into specific classes, including “Introduction to College Research” and “Human Services Practicum,” to offer students mindful ways of engaging with information, themselves, and each other. As a teaching librarian, in today’s fast-paced world I see such practices building on and reinforcing the life-long research skills we seek to foster in students. Four different practices – keeping a tree observation journal; taking a silent, tech-free campus walk; reflecting on individual information practices; and breathing exercises combined with active listening and writing, will be highlighted. Student feedback and commentary will also be shared.

Presenter: Lisa Melendez

Kids First: A systemic,mindfulness program for pre-school children

The well- being and mental health of children is dependent on parents, teachers and caregivers who are critical to their psychological and emotional health and development. The use of evidenced informed systemic interventions to promote resilience and emotion regulation is implemented at an Intermediate Unit pre-school. Four early learning modules from the “Second Step” program focus on social emotional skills and emotion regulation. This curriculum was augmented with mindfulness based practices. Teachers were given a mindfulness course in preparation for this curriculum. Integration of mindfulness practice into the “Second Step” curriculum is taking place over an 8 week span. Pre-test questionnaires on stress and resilience were administered to parents, teachers, and children. During these 8 weeks, parents are taught mindful parenting. Concurrently, children are taught mindfulness based skills including; focused attention, emotion regulation, friendship and communication and problem solving. This program is currently underway. Post- tests are to be administered.

Presenters: Christine Moriconi, Don McCown

Developmental Students’ Affect and Mindfulness while Engaged in Mindfulness-Based Intervention

Many students placed in developmental literacy classes have demonstrated negative affect regarding their placement in said classes. In this mixed methods study, relationships between student affect, mindfulness, and self-compassion were explored through the use of scales and interviews. Students navigated a mindfulness-based intervention to determine if student affect, effort regulation, mindfulness, and self-compassion changed over the course of the intervention. Preliminary results and of the study and recommendations for future studies and practical application will be presented.

Presenter: Erika K. Nielson

Cultivating Mindful Hope to Enhance Higher Education Teaching and Learning

Hope is a commonly used word with differing definitions. Snyder views hope as the source of purpose-driven behavior. To Scioli and Biller, hope involves human biological needs, psychological traits, social aspects, and spiritual dimensions. Lopez defines hope in action as having three parts (meaningful goals, agency thoughts, and pathway thoughts) that synergistically work together and act as a powerful feedback loop affecting performance. Hope also provides a motivational energy that allows for greater utilization of cognitive ability. In hope’s absence, Rego posits, intelligence remains dormant, an under-utilized resource. Educators have an opportunity to consider their definitions of hope and the role mindful hope might play in their teaching practices. Educators who understand hope and methods for hope’s cultivation will be better able to foster it in themselves and others, thereby helping to create optimal learning environments.

Presenter: Betsy Nordell

Professional and Institutional Forgiveness: Contemplative Practices in Restoring Community Relationships

What is your experience in asking for, offering or receiving forgiveness? Do you find forgiveness a source of energy for creative change? How can we use contemplative practices to explore forgiveness as a means to cultivate just and compassionate human relationships in our professional and institutional lives? Each of us has beliefs, attitudes and behaviors regarding forgiveness. The institutions and communities where we live, work, recreate and study may have explicit, implicit or no particular philosophies, policies and practices regarding forgiveness. This session will explore several theoretical and practical frameworks which include forgiveness. Participants will have the opportunity to contemplate and apply these frameworks to case studies from institutions of higher education. Participants will be invited to offer teaching and learning situations from their own practice with students, alumni, staff, faculty and community members.

Presenters: David O’Malley, Shan Mohammed, Beth O’Malley

Meditating in the Stacks? Bringing Contemplation to the Academic Library

Beginning in the fall of 2015, an early-career librarian at West Virginia University hoped to leverage her personal interest in, and practice of, contemplative practices to develop transformative information literacy instruction for first-year students. This interest began a year long pursuit to identify and articulate a research agenda, gaps in pre-existing library instruction curricula, and opportunities to reframe what it means to be an “academic librarian” in an ever-changing information ecosystem. Goals for the next two years include the development of mindfulness based information literacy curriculum, the incorporation of contemplative practices into overall library services, the creation of physical and immaterial spaces for the WVU community to have a deeper and more meaningful relationship with information resources, and a shift in the role(s) of academic librarians in research and instruction. This poster will detail the ongoing journey, highlighting accomplishments, obstacles, lessons learned thus far, and future plans.

Presenter: Chanelle Pickens

How Students Experience Academic Writing: Mindfulness in the Composition Classroom

This study is interested in the problem the academy faces in required, lower-division writing courses, where many students have negative feelings about academic writing. Despite the recent movement to bring mindfulness into the writing classroom, students’ attitudes about academic writing have yet to be acknowledged. It has been indicated that mindfulness can improve student writing, but what can it do for the way students think about academic writing? This unconsidered facet leads to an important question: How do students experience academic writing when contemplative practices are implemented into lower-division writing courses? To approach this question, mindfulness exercises will be integrated into a Fall 2016 introductory-level Rhetoric and Writing Studies course, with the intent to conduct a phenomenological qualitative inquiry to understand students’ experiences in such a course. This poster will exhibit the implemented contemplative practices, research design, present discoveries, and possible significance of the study.

Presenter: Pietera Pincock

Meditation, Critical Thinking and Critical Inquiry in Higher Education: a Case Study

The current research will involve a case study of 1 online group bounded in time, limited to 8 weeks. The participants will be self-selected university students who are willing to meditate for 10 minutes a day, 4 days a week, and then go online and complete a critical thinking activity for a maximum of 20 minutes. All participants will be between the ages of 18 and 50. The meditation that will be used is Guided Mindfulness Meditation. Participants will be solicited on online through emails inviting them to go to a researcher made website specifically for the study. The informed consent should be completed online. The recruitment announcement will include a link to the survey URL hosted via SurveyMonkey Pro. The informed consent process will be integrated into the online survey, with the informed consent document appearing as the first page of the survey. Participants must read the study description and indicate their agreement to participate by clicking the radio button indicating “yes” to the informed consent verbiage in order to access the questionnaire. The objective of the current qualitative case study is to examine participants’ perceptions on meditation related to critical thinking and critical inquiry. The location of the study will be virtual. At the beginning and end of the study 10 to 20 university students will participate in open-ended phone interviews related to critical thinking and critical inquiry. The interviews will be recorded and transcribed. Themes related to meditation and critical thinking will be extracted from the data: interview transcripts, weekly journals, and online surveys. The intent of the study is to understand perceptions of university students on the relationship between meditation and critical thinking. Results of the study may provide direction for further quantitative studies on mindfulness and critical thinking, as well as possible guidelines and recommendations for educators.

Presenter: Jean Plough, Melissa McCartney

Don’t Just Do Something. Stand There! Standing Qigong and the Art of Finding Flow

Flow or “being in the zone” is important not only to athletes or visual and performing artists but also to all those members of society who desire their actions to be an unimpeded expression of their inner world, and in harmony with the environment.

One way to arrive at the experience of flow is to practice the Daoist training method of Zhang Zhuang (standing like a tree or post). By standing with the arms in a variety of postures the practitioner has enough internal input to consider issues such as holding oneself up vs. being held up; finding physical support and stability vs. continuously micromanaging; making something happen vs. letting it happen; and, finally, cultivating balance as a way to find and enable flow experiences.

This poster will show a couple of postural variations and describe in more detail the methodology and benefits of this practice. Demonstration will be available upon request.

Presenter: Ana Sorina Popa

Infusing Mindfulness Into Graduate Level Secondary Teacher Education

This interactive session will highlight our journey into mindfulness as instructors of a foundations course in teacher education. Our interpretive research explores phenomenological questions of the nature of our experiences and applies hermeneutic principles to making sense of the perceptions of wellness-mediating practices among students enrolled in a graduate level teacher education program. We focus on awareness of self and others; as well as compassion, and cultivation of a positive emotional climate in classrooms and beyond. We employ event-oriented inquiry to shine the light on different perspectives represented by research participants. Mindfulness is framed as part of a toolkit which educators may access in their profession and personal lives. We will share our experience with reflexivity-mediating practices such as engagement with heuristics, video analysis, free-writing, and cogenerative dialogue.

Presenter: Malgorzata Powietrzynska, Linda Noble

Male student masculinity perception influences on high education academic success

Women are graduating with more bachelor’s, and master’s, and doctoral degrees than men in the United States (U.S.) according to multiple studies from 1988-2012 (Jacobs, 1996, Garibaldi, 2014, Snyder & Dillow, 2015; Schwartz & Han, 2014; Buchmann & DiPrete, 2006; Charles & Luoh, 2003; Charles & Bradley, 2002; Adebayo, 2008). Women’s enrollment equals or surpasses men’s enrollment in the industrialized world (Jacobs, 1996, Garibaldi, 2014, Snyder & Dillow, 2015; Schwartz & Han, 2014; Buchmann & DiPrete, 2006; Charles & Luoh, 2003; Charles & Bradley, 2002; Adebayo, 2008). The U.S. Department of Education statistics indicate men’s and women’s enrollment and graduation from post-secondary educational institutions is producing a continuing divergence. The problem addressed by the proposed study is the number of degrees granted to men in higher education has fallen from 50% in 1981 to 42% in 2015 and is expected to continue to decrease to 40% by 2022 (Snyder & Dillow, 2015). The purpose of the proposed research is to determine if there is a correlation between male students’ perception of masculinity and their enrollment retention and graduation from a higher education institution.

Presenter: Jeff H. Hallman

Spiritual Mapping as a Contemplative Practice: Crafting Direction towards Service

Maps are representations that situate us – how selected human and physical features are located, arranged, distributed, and related to one another – and can assist us in finding our way. This poster will describe a contemplative session used in a graduate class to facilitate a transition for students entering year 2, where the focus is on co-creating projects that serve individuals in human systems. Using a combination of loving-kindness meditation, arts-based mapping (both individual and collective), and deep listening and dialogue, a space was created for this cohort to let go of past conflicts, explore and identify common goals of service to others, inquire into points of disjuncture, and find ways to move forward as a collective.

Presenter: Rosemary Reilly

Contemplative Practices Foster Cultural Inclusiveness

Often discrimination happens in classrooms, on campuses, and in organizations because of engrained stereotypical thoughts and ideas we have been taught to believe as true. These ideas are so imbedded in our brains we actually believe they are “natural” or the “norm.” Recent research has demonstrated that meditation and mindfulness practices serve to decrease bias against others (Lueke & Gibson, 2014). Through self-reflection of our own biases, a broader understanding of contemplative practices, and a focus on mindfulness techniques, we can provide strategies for minimizing bias and stereotypes that any educator teaching any subject can use to create a more inclusive educational environment.

Presenter: Dena R. Samuels

Acknowledging Transitions: Enhancing Learning

Educational research has long shown that learning is enhanced by skillfully designed transitions. This poster session suggests that when the contemplative professor employs transitional pedagogies within a classroom session, students can simply and directly establish more profound relationships to the course material, enhancing and personalizing their learning. Transitional pedagogies from the Asian traditions of Tibet and Japan acknowledge transitions in a particularly artful way. Tibetan bardo teachings contextualize the rhythmic shifts that signal the ground of creativity in all situations. Japanese aesthetic principles of jo, ha, and kyu mark transitional “beginning, middle, and end” rhythms of a class session. For example, beginning and ending a class session with a moment’s pause can change everything in between. These principles of transition adapted to everyday classroom practices can infuse contemplative depth into classroom teaching and learning.

This interactive session adapts contemplative pedagogies to the Asian traditions of Tibet and Japan that acknowledge transitions in a particularly artful way. Tibetan bardo teachings contextualize the rhythmic shifts that signal the ground of creativity in all situations. Japanese aesthetic principles of jo, ha, and kyu mark transitional “beginning, middle, and end” rhythms of course content. Participants will learn and engage in methods that mark transitions, with particular focus on ending (kyu) practices, so important in the higher education classroom.

Presenter: Judith Simmer-Brown

Teaching Compassion Fatigue, Self-Care, and Mindfulness in a Practicum Course

Students, especially in helping professions, are familiar with compassion towards others, but seem less competent in self-compassion. Additionally, evidence suggests mindfulness activities alleviate stress and produce self-compassion when integrated intentionally. The intersection between stress, compassion fatigue, self-compassion, and mindfulness is especially relevant within a practicum course. This presentation stresses the importance of integrating contemplative practices early in students’ professional careers. This presenter integrated contemplative practices in a social work practicum course. Data was collected pre and post exercises on four scales (Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, Professional Quality of Life Scale, Self-Compassion Scale, and Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory), along with students’ qualitative responses. An analysis of the results will be presented. The study provides understanding in students’ vulnerability to compassion fatigue while in their practicum, measuring students’ ability to practice self-compassion and mindfulness in relation to stress in their personal and professional life, and determining a method of teaching students effective self-care practices.

Presenter: Rachel Slaymaker

Not knowing in Aotearoa New Zealand

This poster discusses ways that contemplative pedagogies and practices are being used by university teachers throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. It reports on one aspect of the results of a mixed methods doctoral study in Education which has involved in-depth interviews and a nation-wide online survey. The particular focus of this poster is “not knowing”, which has emerged as a theme in interviews with educators in subjects ranging from psychology to graphic design, and social work to science. “Not knowing” allows a space out of which creativity, understanding, and insight can emerge. Educators foster the possibility of this space through their own personal practice, through design of face-to-face and on-line materials and architecture, and through their choice of reflective classroom teaching methods. The vulnerability and open-heartedness of “not knowing” also fosters collaborative and compassionate interpersonal relations and co-creation of teaching and learning. Some intersections with pressures to “know” are also explored.

Presenter: Heather Thomas

Contemplative methods in teacher education programs

Research on mindfulness in schools suggests that mindfulness has the potential to improve classroom management, teacher-student relationships and instructional strategies (Albrecht, Albrecht, & Cohen, 2012). As we seek to answer the question “How are contemplative methods affecting how we teach, learn, and understand in teacher education?”, we will outline the literature on how pre-service teachers are being introduced to mindfulness practices. In addition, we will share our own experiences with integrating mindfulness in our work in higher education.

Presenter: Roberta Gentry

Mindfulness Practice in Oboe Reedmaking: Awakening Artistry

Oboists make reeds on a daily basis throughout their careers. These small double reeds dictate the quality of the sound the instrument produces and our control of musical expression. The practice of reedmaking presents several challenges. Reeds are extremely important to musical success, yet become so familiar to us in our daily sessions that they become mentally boring or commonplace. Additionally, the physical crafting of the reeds is more similar to woodworking than it is to the rest of our musical schooling, such that it presents a challenge in how to approach the work itself; the physical changeability of the object means it cannot be studied into immediate mastery. Intentionally applying a practice of mindfulness to the act of reedmaking increases productivity, encourages full engagement with the craft itself, and dispels reed-related anxieties about stressful performances. Mindfulness can positively revolutionize how oboists teach and practice their unique reedmaking craft.

Presenter: Jessica Warren

Learning How to Learn through Learning How to Move

Are you aware of your own learning process? Do you know yourself well enough to understand how you learn? How does one come into this level of awareness—and how can such awareness best be conveyed? One innovative humanities-based approach to such questions revolves around I Liq Chuan—also known as The Martial Art of Awareness—a process of inquiry being introduced in higher education settings as a full-credit academic course. The approach both foregrounds metacognition (learning about learning) and makes it explicit by guiding students in how to be more aware of their own bodies. Using the basic exercises and collaborative partner practices created and disseminated by Master Sam F.S. Chin, founder of the Zhong Xin Dao curriculum that is the centerpiece of I Liq Chuan, scholar-practitioners can begin to integrate into their academic classes concrete strategies that combine movement, focus, and observational to help develop students’ awareness—of themselves and of others. We model our practice in and teaching of this mindful martial art at different educational institutions: small Liberal Arts College, Ivy League research institution, community-based settings.

Presenters: Nancy L. Watterson, Lan Tran

Leaning In Without Masks: Orthodox Masculinity, Basic Attendance, Violence Prevention

This presentation seeks to theorize ways that contemplative practice can be used to deepen and integrate existing constructivist frameworks from the field of Men’s Studies, which map the harmful scripts and expectations of violence and ‘manly’ stoicism placed on young adult men. Using Eric Andersen’s (2009) theory of “Orthodox Masculinity,” Jackson Katz’s (2000) “tough guise,” and Tony Porter’s (2010) “man-box” as conceptual and figurative guides, the author proposes Ed Podvoll’s (2003) Basic Attendance principles, in conjunction with feminist pedagogy, as the basis for a critically oriented compassion based toolkit for violence prevention within schools. The author offers these vectors to open a space of inquiry that bridges the critical, the developmental, the relational and the contemplative, with the hope of engendering communitarian possibilities for paradigmatic change.

Presenter: Indigo Weller

A Path Toward Mindfulness: The Mini-Pilgrimage

This poster presentation will explain how a one-day pilgrimage is used in a graduate counseling program as a means by which students gain deepened personal and professional insights through planning, walking, and reflecting on the pilgrimage. While pilgrimage is generally thought of as a multiple-day or several week journey, even a briefer, one-day pilgrimage can be an opportunity for students to experience the benefits of mindful awareness, deepen their ability to perceive patterns and construct meaning from everyday experiences, and to sense and connect with sacred presence. Reflecting on the experience comes through reflection papers that focus on “pilgrimage truths”– a list of individually generated learnings that arise from the experience of the pilgrimage. (Class handouts will be available.)

Presenter: Jane Williams

Building Contemplative Communities in Higher Education by Regulating Students’ Emotion

This interactive session integrates neuroscience research with accessible contemplative methodology in order to train students’ attention, emotion, and cognitive regulation abilities. Neuroscience illustrates that emotions play a role in regulating decision-making and in prioritizing decisions. In training students’ awareness of where their attention resides, they will likely become more able to regulate stress and be empowered to make decisions that lead to their success and the success of others. This session will also illustrate how these strategies inform the foundation for compassion and peaceful discourse.

Presenter: Marilee Bresciani Ludvik

Assessment of Intentional Learning in an Introduction to Mindfulness Course

This poster will present procedures and rubrics used to assess intentional learning in “Introduction to Mindfulness”, a general education psychology course at State University of New York (SUNY) Old Westbury. This course provided study skills and access to contemplative studies for the college’s diverse population. Intentional learners are purposeful and aware of a vision which sustains commitment, mindful of the moment to moment process, and use a growth mindset to approach challenges with effort. Students engaged in meditations and reflective writings. Assignments included: Intentional Essay 1, where students explored their backgrounds and aspirations using an empowered perspective; a critical thinking essay assignment; completion of behavioral observation logs while working on their critical thinking essay; and Intentional Essay 2, a final reflective and evaluative essay. Findings from criterion-referenced assessment will be presented, including inter-rater reliability data. Overall, findings indicate that approximately 90%, 85% and 75% of students met or exceeded standards for discussing intentions and mindsets, using the log correctly, and the critical thinking essay, respectively. About 45% articulated advanced metacognitive strategies.

Presenters: Laurette Morris, Hedva Lewittes

Integrative Education Mentoring in Higher Education

Integrative education fosters opportunities for students to grow intellectually and emotionally, through the inclusion of cognitive, affective, physical, and intuitive interdisciplinary activities. The cognitive and affective domains are of particular interest here, due to the well documented evidence linking these to the development of interdependence and emotional intelligence. We propose that an integral aspect of emotional intelligence is self-awareness followed by self-advocacy, qualities that lend to conflict competent leadership. Here, we outline our approach to mentoring students on the role of developing emotional intelligence and meta-affective practives, within the specific aim of promoting conflict competent leaders. Specifically, we employ the practice of the awareness continuum, pre contemplative journaling, pondered communication, execution and post contemplative journaling. Journaling activities are divided into two parts: free style and rubric driven. The latter constitutes incorporating the concept of homeostasis (the roles of negative and positive feedback) into the narrative. We present pilot examples of students participating in this training.

Presenters: Mays Imad, Sheena Brown, Shekeycha Ward

2:00-2:20pm Break
2:20-3:20pm Parallel Session III
Breakout Spaces on 8th and 9th Floors of Campus Center

Risk, Roles, Reflection in Contemplative Learning: Exploring via Liberating Structures

We use a set of tools called Liberating Structures to explore disciplinary boundaries of contemplative practice and strategies toward justice in our work worlds. At the heart of our workshop is intention to address these questions: What is your relationship with your object of study? And how might contemplative practice change that relationship?We problematize how our disciplines historically address the relationship between scholar and object, and argue that contemplative practice is one way to rearrange or revise that relationship, as it makes way for embodied and inclusive learning. Our three case studies from university teaching in an interdisciplinary school help us explore these issues. Moving forward, we consider how an intervention of reflection connect us with questions of justice.

Participants will leave the session with ideas for facilitating classroom discussions and workplace meetings in a present, embodied, and inclusive manner.

Presenters: Alice Pedersen, Kristin Gustafson, Amy Lambert

Holistic Faculty Development: Writing Renewal Retreats and Contemplative Practices

Holistic education, according to Miller (2008), is rooted in balance, inclusion, connection, and dynamism; it has a spiritual quality that enhances integrated learning of the head, hand, and heart. Holistic faculty development, with the integration of contemplative practices, community building, and intentional connections to the natural world, provides transformative learning opportunities for all involved. In this interactive session, facilitators draw upon experiences from five writing renewal retreats over three years to examine how a contemplative retreat can foster a connection to self, to scholarship, and to a community of writers—key elements of a successful writing life. They will consider core themes of self-renewal, self-care, community and connection, and metacognition. Participants will explore contemplative practices, faculty learning outcomes, and evaluation data from past retreats with the goal of creating or enhancing contemplative communities at their home institutions.

Presenters: Edward Brantmeier, Jennifer Byrne (will not be in attendance), Jared Featherstone

Cultivating A Trauma-Informed Contemplative Pedagogy

This presentation will present trauma-informed contemplative pedagogy as a model for teaching beginning clinical practice skills in an undergraduate social work course. Contemplative practices are particularly relevant in disciplines where students grapple with complex issues related to human trauma. Trauma-informed care (TIC) has garnered considerable attention over the last two decades as neuroscientists and scholars have examined the implications of early childhood trauma across the lifespan. Our students are not immune to these experiences and therefore educators can integrate contemplative practices to create trauma-informed teaching environments that attend to the ways in which students’ personal histories intersect with course content.

Social work education embraces contemplative practices to improve self-awareness, mediate practice and content related stress in social work, and positively impact metacognitive and critical thinking skills. This presentation introduces trauma-informed contemplative pedagogy as a model for multiple disciplines in higher education.

Presenter: Britt Rhodes

From Mindless *ism to Mindful Encounters: Contemplative Cultural Studies

Many faculty wonder how to incorporate contemplative studies into content courses that don’t offer an obvious thematic tie-in. Drawing from a range of cultural studies courses, we’ll discuss the transformative effect of reframing stereotypical discourses like Orientalism as a form of “mindlessness” using psychologist Ellen Langer’s tripartite definition: categorical entrapment, automated behavior, and unilateral perspective. Once prejudice and discrimination are understood as forms of mindLESSness, the syllabus practically begs the question: what is mindFULness? From there, Sue Smalley’s and Diana Winston’s Fully Present: The Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness (or a similar text) can become the core textbook of almost any course–revealing how contemplative practice opens us up to genuine cross-cultural awareness and respect. Compared with courses that don’t use this strategy, a focus on mindlessness/mindfulness in conjunction with meaningful case studies increases students’ capacity for absorption of and engagement with diverse cultural content and communities.

Presenters: Karen Cardozo, Morgan Valois

Maintaining the Spiritual Practice of Queer Contemplative Activism in/Beyond the Academy

This interactive session explores the possibilities and challenges found in the integration of contemplative spirituality, art, activism, and scholarship within the academy. Drawing on theoretical, contemplative, and performative approaches, the presentation consists of a performance piece drawn from my performative autoethnographic research, as well as experiential engagement and discussion with session attendees.

I seek to illustrate, in an embodied way, the joys and challenges of balancing my commitment to “contemplative activism” (Mesner 2014), with the systemic constraints of my work as an assistant professor in a school of education. Along with the performer, the audience will be invited to experientially engage with the ebb and flow of the competing calls of contemplative spirituality and external professional demands. In so doing, I seek to evoke connections for my audience to aspects of their own lives. I believe that doing so instigates rich opportunities for discussion and reflection.

Presenter: Kerri Mesner

Practicing Reflection and Contemplation with Adult Students in Mathematics Class

Reflective practice has been utilized as a means to grow and improve within various fields of professional practice including medicine. This guided reflective practice is based upon Kolb’s Cycle of Learning with a move into contemplative practice as well. In this presentation, a mathematics professor will share reflective practice and contemplation as utilized with adult students enrolled in an accelerated hybrid mathematics course who also happen to be working full time. These full time students have many stresses including a full time job as well as balancing a home life along with the pursuit of a degree in higher education. Although many would say that this is not an appropriate way to engage within a discipline such as mathematics, the speaker will cite reasons why this practice is so beneficial to the students who are in charge of the majority of their learning in a student centered environment.

Presenter: John Hill

Encountering Systemic Privilege and Oppression through Community-Engaged Mindfulness Practice

Multiple forms of systematic privilege and oppression impact everyone involved in the enterprise of higher education. At a personal level, each student, staff, and faculty member embodies their own experience of being privileged and oppressed under different circumstances and along a number of intersecting dimensions. However, much of this personally held information can be difficult to access. To facilitate making this implicit information more explicit, Community-Engaged Mindfulness Practice involves noticing one’s own experience of privilege and oppression as it happens, expressing this experience to others, and in turn, nonjudgmentally receiving other people’s expression. Under careful guidance of facilitators, these expressions can take nonverbal as well as verbal form. This practice fosters a personally meaningful and communally shared sense of ubiquitous social forces that impact all our lives on a daily basis. After guiding attendees in this practice, we will discuss its applicability to fostering community and facilitating social action.

Presenters: Rhonda V. Magee, Peter G. Grossenbacher

Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis

Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis is a campus-based learning community that encourages participants to explore how they might think, feel, and act more consciously within the realities of the planetary environmental crisis. Created as an alternative space that complements climate change education and research at UMass Amherst, students, faculty and staff explore the climate crisis together in the context of imagining and fostering a world that is sustainable and just. Aiming to connect our inner lives with this global challenge, we focus on community building through shared common concerns, recognizing that our particular lives may intersect differently with societal structures of privilege and power. A variety of modalities guided this transformative, year-long experiment, including: reflective writing, guided meditation, storytelling, movement and projected imagery. Tangible outcomes include the preservation of writing samples in the University Archives and the forming of a new student climate action group.

Presenters: Kris Nelson, Madeleine Charney, Lena Fletcher

3:20-3:40pm Break
Light snacks and beverages will be available in the Campus Center Auditorium from approximately 3-5pm.
3:40-4:40pm Parallel Session IV
Breakout Spaces on 8th and 9th Floors of Campus Center

Contemplative Feminist & Womanist Praxis: Spiritual Activism and Social Change

Many mindfulness practitioners in the West emphasize the importance of individual transformation while ignoring larger systemic forces of oppression. Similarly, many social justice activists advocate social transformation without attending to the importance of individual self-reflection and analysis. This interactive session will explore the reciprocal relationship of inner and outer transformation as imagined and theorized in feminist and womanist forms of spiritual activism. Feminist intersectionality reveals that we all have deep work (albeit different work) to do in unlearning oppression. It therefore offers a relational practice of internal and collective praxis. What do practices of social justice look like when rooted in love and compassion? How can we challenge oppression without recreating the divisive framing of “us vs. them”? What might a contemplative post-oppositional politics of change look like? Workshop facilitators will introduce theories of spiritual activism, lead participants in a related contemplative practice, and facilitate dialogue on these topics.In order to most effectively use our short time during our session, we ask participants to complete a short reflective writing exercise beforehand and bring it to the session. (Of course, people are very welcome to attend even if they have not completed the writing exercise).A great deal of work in contemplative pedagogy and mindfulness emphasizes the secularity of these practices, which can lead to an emphasis on objectivism and a decontextualization of practices that emerge from specific spiritual traditions. Many people who engage in both contemplative practices and social justice work are deeply rooted in a variety of spiritual traditions. Please journal about how your own spiritual commitments and practices inform your social justice work.

Presenters: LeeRay Costa, Beth Berila

Laban’s Eight Effort Qualities in a Teacher’s Mindfulness Practice

The purpose of this interactive workshop is to integrate Laban Movement Analysis’s (LMA) eight Effort Qualities to a teacher’s curriculum, instruction and mindfulness practice. Laban Movement Analysis analyzes movement according to eight Effort Qualities of: fast/slow, open/bound, direct/indirect, and hard/soft (Dell, 1977). Sandlos (2001) explains that Laban Movement Analysis provides a framework for the analysis of movement. LMA allows one to focus attention on four major areas of study: action, energy, shape, and space. Each of these lenses is understood to be linked to the other three. These categories are used to describe and analyze movement in order to identify building blocks and the way these elements work together. This workshop will provide valuable information and skills on how LMA is used in the arts to promote mindfulness- and compassion-based approaches in a teacher’s curriculum and instruction. Helping them to become more creative and embodied in the classroom, while promoting a mindful learning environment.

Presenter: Leonard Cruz

Mindfulness Practices and Teaching Ethics in STEM

In this session we will explore the impact of mindfulness on teaching ethics in STEM. In practice, all areas in the STEM field all have a Code of Ethics which practitioners are expected to follow. Using an example code, we will discuss its theoretical bases and limitations. Then we will discuss some of the obstacles to teaching ethics in university curriculums. Finally, we will discuss how mindfulness may be used in conjunction with traditional approaches to overcome some of the shortcomings of traditional approaches. A few brief examples will be given from classroom experience of using mindfulness in a STEM class. The last half of this session will be given over to a discussion of the usefulness of integrating mindfulness with western philosophical approaches to ethics. In particular, many western approaches lack detailed attention to the role in feelings in ethical decisions, while mindfulness’ purpose is to clarify the role of feelings.

Presenters: Agnes Curry, Douglas K. Lindner, Richard S. Bowles

Contemplative Writing to Facilitate Student Engagement and Deepen Learning

Writing is a critical form of contemplative pedagogy; individuals working in this area have addressed both ways to integrate contemplative practices into writing practices as well as ways to use contemplative practices as preparation for writing. This workshop will offer the following: first, an overview of the state of the science and state of the art of scholarship on contemplative writing, second, experiential contemplative writing practices, and insights gained from incorporating these practices, and finally, workshop time in which participants can reflect on past practices and consider ways to integrate new insights into a current or upcoming course. This session will be interactive in at least two ways. Participants are encouraged to engage in contemplative writing exercises as part of their participation in the workshop. Participants are invited to share examples of past experiences using contemplative writing practices as well as new ideas for how to incorporate contemplative writing practices.

Presenter: Alexis Franzese

An Investigation into the Challenges of Introducing Contemplative Practice into Higher Education

Challenges to be addressed in a dialogue formatted presentation guided by contemplative practices. • Religious affiliation, beliefs and practices of students influence their openness to different forms of contemplative practice. • Acceptance to meet each other where we are in our cognitive and spiritual development: “Calling In, instead of Calling Out.” • Students with individual disabilities such as; living with chronic illness, depression, learning issues and addictions to name a few. • How teachers and facilitators can be present and adapt to these challenges.

Presenters: Katja Hahn d’Errico, Bryn Hennigar

Real Talk, Real Action: The Many Faces of the Baltimore Uprising

The interactive workshop focus on the social-political impact of the 2015 Freddy Gray Baltimore Uprising through the lens of a historical black urban-university student’s perspective. The workshop will discuss the creative process, full of heart-wrenching testimonies blended with contemporary movement, and soulful music. The student-driven “Black Lives Matter” collaborative arts project clearly identifies social issues and delves deeper into a critical analysis of the violence and rage happening in the mist of their lives. Real Talk, Real Action: The Many Faces of Urban America workshop is designed to engage audiences in intellectual discourse about real issues and real actions, and open conversations about inequalities and injustices with the intention of seeking solutions by integrating contemplative practices into the classroom and community through an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, inclusive and transformative pedagogy.

Presenter: Vanessa Jackson

Contemplative practices for students with disabilities: more than stress management

The West Chester University Center for Contemplative Studies has been bringing mindfulness meditation and other practices to students with physical, developmental, and learning disabilities for the past five years through a variety of venues, such as the Center itself, academic courses (and a minor), the office for support of students with disabilities, and a high school to university transition program. This session is an opportunity to learn about the most effective formats, including short-session 8-week courses with minimal daily home practice, individual coaching, large group workshops, and special accommodations in academic courses, and to experience several of the students’ favorite practices, including the “soles of the feet” meditation, a simplified 10-posture taijiquan form, and an adapted practice of unconditional friendliness. Significant time is allotted for dialogue with and among participants to share insights and practices from their own programs and experiences.

Presenters: Donald McCown, Christine Moriconi, Yelena Luzanskaya

Art as Contemplative Inquiry into Difference and Separateness

We will explore, through a few specific examples, how the creative arts can be understood as an investigative practice affiliated with contemplative inquiry. Specifically, we will look at examples from the poets Robert Frost and Claudia Rankine, and from the painters Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper, for ways in which art discloses and interrupts the habit of seeing difference as separation. Art loves to notice difference where difference is exchange and reciprocity, where, like breathing in and out, there arises an awareness of shifting and permeable borders. A habitual (and social and political) fantasy of erecting literal and metaphorical walls turns difference into separation. Frost famously says, “Something there is that does not love a wall.” Can art foster the “something” of a contemplative inquiry that exposes and interrupts the fantasy of walled in (or out) separation without erasing the acknowledgement of difference? Does this challenging negotiation have social and communal implications even when the art itself does not have a specific political focus? 

Presenter: Patricia Wallace

4:45-7:00pm Reception with Light Snacks and Cash Bar
Campus Center Auditorium
Poster Session and Program Fair materials may remain in the Student Union Ballroom until 8pm. Any materials remaining in the ballroom past 8pm will be taken down by CMind staff, as we must have the room cleared for 9pm.

Sunday, October 9

8:30-9:00am Contemplative Practice & Remarks
Campus Center Auditorium
9:00-9:20am Break
Light snacks and beverages will be available in the Campus Center Auditorium from approximately 9am – 11am. Beverages will be available all day.
9:20-10:35am Parallel Session V (75 minute presentations)
Breakout Spaces on 8th and 9th Floors of Campus Center

Partnering with your library to foster contemplative inquiry on campus

This panel of two librarians representing different types of institutions around the US will explore what contemplative practices look like in academic libraries, and how your librarian can be a partner in fostering contemplative inquiry on campus. Library spaces, collections, programs, and instruction all lend themselves to such an approach, and panelists will discuss their individual efforts on their campuses which include a community college and a liberal arts university. Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of what libraries do in this area and ideas on how to work with their own libraries to further the goals of contemplative pedagogy on their campuses.Presenters: Jenny Colvin, Jennifer Sippel

Can we decolonize colonized minds?: Contemplative practices and pedagogies

Four scholars of color who practice contemplative pedagogies in their classroom will address a core question: Can classrooms, the content, the learning, the teaching and the teacher-learner paradigm be decolonized? By embracing contemplative pedagogies and introducing the use of contemplative practices, this panel will discuss how each educator examines and addresses social justice issues such as power, privilege and equity from non-western perspectives in their classroom. Specifically, viewed through a matrix of oppression and privilege, we will discuss how different “isms” are pervasive and uphold white supremacy and patriarchy. Included in this conversation, we will also explore how people of color can be both agents and targets of oppression from horizontal, internal and hierarchical axes of discrimination. The panelists will provide examples of pedagogical possibilities and challenges from their own teaching experiences with a specific focus on how contemplative practices foster social action and interrogate internalized and externalized dominant discourses.

Presenters: Vijay Kanagala, Kakali Bhattacharya, Ram Mahalingam, Balmurli Natrajan

Building Contemplative Communities from 30,000 Feet

When considering contemplative community building on college and university campuses, students and teachers often become a natural and prime focal point. Some speak of how to engage students in the classroom through contemplative pedagogy. Others converse of forming and sustaining co-curricular groups specific to practices such as meditation or topics such as wellness. To be sure, these conversations remain essential. Equally important, but not often discussed, is how to engage and garner support from institutional leadership – senior administrators, presidents, boards and institutional systems. This presentation seeks to address the gap in the conversation and explore the question of how to engage with institutional leaders. We will offer lessons learned from our respective work and provide tools and strategies to foster community building at your home institutions.

Presenters: Lisa Napora, Bradford Grant, Jason Jones

Enlighten Us: Student Voices From the Contemplative Life

For the last four academic years, an upper level course in contemplative practice and inquiry called The Contemplative Life has been offered at Florida Gulf Coast University. This course has grown in popularity each year and is now fully enrolled within minutes of registration opening up each semester. The student response has been so strong that the course spawned the creation of a registered student organization called Enlighten Us that has rapidly become one of the largest and most active clubs on campus. This panel includes faculty and student voices from the course and from Enlighten Us who will discuss the impacts of the course on students, and the successes as well as the challenges of creating a contemplative community on a state university campus.

Presenters: Maria Roca, Amanda Freeman, Brittany Jacobs, Isabel Sullivan, Megan Pullen, Xylo Z. Pajeres

Engagement, Identity, Love, and Transformation: Contemplative Inquiry & Critical Teaching

Community-engaged, critical and contemplative pedagogies complement and deepen one another theoretically and in practice. They share the goal of helping students explore socially constructed obstacles and assets they face in their quest for a caring and just society, and how to exercise power through words and actions as they develop into agents of positive social change. Students focus on intellectual knowledge as well as experiential, deeply embodied learning with local communities and within the classroom. These pedagogies require mutual respect between the academy and others, empathy, deep listening, seeing and acting from multiple perspectives, and reflecting upon oneself and one’s learning, while applying a critical gaze on how these theories and practices position oneself and one’s partnering communities.

Through examples, discussion and interactive exercises, we offer multiple lenses into the collective, mutually enhancing effects of community-engaged, critical and contemplative pedagogies, focusing on:

· Community-engaged projects from community and classroom contexts · How to support and inspire faculty who use contemplative practices to enhance criticality and perspective-taking in their teaching.

Presenters: Ellen Pader, Brian Baldi, Maria José Botelho, Joseph Krupczynski

Cultivating Compassion and Assessing Its Development: A Diverse Student Panel

Contemplative educators often aspire that their students will become more compassionate through participation in their courses. Yet developing compassion is a messy process fraught with struggle, and both our means for cultivating compassion and for assessing its development must honor the integrity of these struggles. What practices can best support a diverse classroom of students in developing self and other compassion? What kinds of struggles do students of color encounter in developing compassion for themselves and their white peers, and vice versa? Is it realistic to expect that students will become more compassionate through participation in a 14-week college course, and if so, how could educators, and students, assess such development? These questions will be addressed through a discussion with a diverse panel of four undergraduate students who were enrolled in a “mindfulness theme semester” sociology course (“Grief, Culture, and Well-Being”) taught at Goucher College in Spring 2016.

Presenters: John Baugher, Michaela Finley, Daisy Mitchell, Skyler O’Neil, Sarojini Schutt

Embracing diverse cosmologies and practices in contemplative education

Most contemplative educators share ACMHE’s commitment to an ecumenical approach to contemplative practice and study. Contemplative education, however, operates within a broader cultural context that some would say privileges mindfulness and a Westernized conception of Buddhism as key routes into contemplative inquiry. This panel explores the ecumenical character of contemplative education through the lens of this contemporary trend, raising questions about the degree of cosmological and epistemological diversity in the still-young contemplative studies project. Is there validity to concerns about a quasi-Buddhist privileging? If so, how can contemplative education open its doors to a broader range of traditions and practices? What is the relationship between ecumenicalism and extreme relativism? Panelists will share their experiences of contemplative life and pedagogy with special attention to underlying cosmologies. By articulating and bringing these cosmologies into high relief, they will engage in a discussion about difference within the contemplative education community.

Presenters: Paul Wapner, Dan Barbezat, Rhonda V. Magee, Melanie Harris

Student Round Table Reflection on Contemplation, Education, and Transformation

Open to all to attend, this round table discussion is a space for students to reflect on our experiences of contemplative practices, education, and inner and social transformation. It is also an opportunity to process and share what we have learned throughout this ACMHE conference. What has changed for us? How might we embody and live the topics discussed in order to create inner and social change? How do we relate, as students, to the questions raised at this conference? Non-students (faculty, staff, etc.) are also welcome to ask students questions and contribute to the conversation.

Presenters: Vivian Mac, James Frank

10:35-10:55am Break
10:55am-11:55pm Parallel Session VI
Breakout Spaces on 8th and 9th Floors of Campus Center

How Can Students Co-Create a Contemplative, Socially Just Education?

Open to all, this session explores how students, along with faculty and staff, can co-create an education that is more contemplative and socially just. I will share what I learned as an Independent Scholar at Amherst from writing a thesis on “Where Inner Change Meets Social Change: Connecting Contemplative Practices and Social Justice in Higher Education.” Then, I will open the space for us to connect with each other by sharing and brainstorming ways we have taken or can take action to create change (both big and small) in our lives, colleges/universities, and communities. The session will close with a guided reflection to process what we discussed, and to develop greater clarity into how we can engage in this quest for a contemplative, socially just education in a meaningful way.Presenter: Vivian Mac

Contemplative Pedagogy and STEM: A Mathematics Example and Open Discussion

A unique set of challenges and opportunities presents itself when we attempt to introduce contemplative pedagogy into STEM classes such as mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, and engineering. The goal of this session is an open discussion of these issues, seeded by specific examples from mathematics. I will demo several practices that I’ve used in my math classes, and describe examples from other math faculty that have been contributed to our slowly growing discipline-specific wiki site:

Presenter: Luke Wolcott

Engaging Whiteness Through Critical Contemplative Action

What is the white self and how is it constructed? In this session we will explore the origins and development of white identity construction and how it exists in our racist society today. Through the use of contemplative practices, participants will be encouraged to critically examine the ways in which whiteness as a social identity perpetuates individual and greater systems of oppression. We will work to create an understanding of how contemplative practices can help guide the process of anti-racist activism.

Presenter: James Frank

Personal as Political: Towards Compassionate Selves, Just Campuses and Anti-Oppressive Communities

In the spirit of last year’s theme, Building Just Communities, this interactive session continues the dialogue about building just campuses and communities. Contemplative practices may impact three levels of our being: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intersystemic. As social justice activists we often speak of using contemplative practices to impact the intersystemic, yet how do these practices cultivate the healing needed within us and and between us? Though not often voiced in social change movements, healing is an integral component of liberatory praxis. Employing holistic narratives, panelists will discuss how personal healing is interwoven with the creation of interpersonal and interstructural change in service to justice and equity. This session recognizes how inner contemplative journeys impact our ability to transform our families, campuses, and communities into contemplative spaces that build toward social justice and are, simultaneously, willing to bear witness to the whole person.

Presenters: Michelle Chatman, Vijay Kanagala, Jennifer Cannon, Stephanie Briggs

How the Joy Comes In: A Contemplative Pedagogy Spanning Poetry and Email

What does teaching students to read poetry have in common with teaching them to use their digital devices and apps more effectively? Through discussions at prior ACMHE gatherings, we (an English professor and a technologist) have discovered strong similarities in the contemplative pedagogies we have developed to teach our respective subjects. In our approaches we guide students not only to bring focused attention to the object in question (a poem, their use of a device or app) but to their inner states (thoughts, emotions, body, etc.) while so engaged. And we emphasize the choices they are continually making about what to attend to next, and thus how, on an ongoing basis, to navigate the complex relationship between self and other. In this presentation, we will provide examples of this pedagogical approach, drawing upon our two subject matters, and will encourage participants in the session to explore how this approach may be applicable in their own teaching.

Presenters: David Levy, Richard Chess

Mindfulness without Ethics: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The ubiquitous nature of mindfulness practice across organizational genres has led to a disconnection between the ethical practices that have historically been encouraged in the context of historical traditions like Buddhism and the goal-oriented perspective of mindfulness as a panacea for leaders and managers.

This interactive presentation will encourage participants to think deeply about what it means to be a mindful leader and also how contemplative practices are connected to existential considerations and lifestyle ethics. How does mindfulness meditation work as an isolated practice to increase awareness, bolster productivity, or improve managerial skills and does it work differently when considered in a more traditional context?

Case studies of “mindful leadership” and ideas from selected authors will be highlighted in the context of modern practice and compared to other secularized aspects of religious traditions.

Presenter: Jon Brammer

Leading Contemplative Lives of Commitment: A Narrative Inquiry

This session explores the role of storytelling and arts-based research in a collaborative research project designed to illuminate student and faculty “lived experience” of contemplative education. Two teacher/scholars reflect upon their deeply committed and integrative work with undergraduate students in a process that is at once self-inquiry, a co-construction with colleagues and students, and a sustained relationship through the spirit and mind, as in Buber’s “I-Thou” transcendent engagement. We will share emerging findings from our research in the form of digital stories and engage participants as co-researchers through experiential storytelling work.

Presenters: Candace Walworth, Lynn DiLorenzo

Arriving, Witnessing, and Releasing: A Studio Art Pedagogy based on Perception, Creativity, and Relationality

An art making practice rooted in awareness of perception—the synthesis of internal and external experience—can support and cultivate clarity, insight, and creativity within a studio practice. The goal of this work is to identify and share a process of witnessing the present moment, including the innate creative process and the spaciousness that surrounds it, as a way to experience transition and change in equilibrium. Identifying the lineage of studio art practitioners and traditions within the contemplative realm serves to both contextualize and distill the primary qualities and characteristics present in the process of making, viewing, and guiding art that is based in awareness and perception. Drawing from the research done within the clinical realms of art therapy and healthcare, the discourse of contemporary art, and the lineage of contemplative and Buddhist pedagogy, this work is a critical inquiry into a studio practice and pedagogical model of contemplative art.

Presenter: Mara Joy

11:55am-12:40pm Lunch
On your own at the Campus Center Blue Wall Dining Commons
12:40-1:40pm Parallel Session VII
Breakout Spaces on 8th and 9th Floors of Campus Center

Culturally Responsive Social-Emotional Competence in Higher Education: the vital role of contemplative pedagogy

In this interactive session we will explore the ways in which it is important for university faculty to reflect on their own internalized prejudices and assumptions in their work with students from a diverse range of backgrounds and identities. To fully address the complex challenges and teaching dilemmas that come with engaging dissonance in culturally responsive ways, those who teach are summoned to develop awareness of and critically reflect on their own held biases and assumptions. Fostering an environment marked by racial/cultural literacy, inclusion, and equity unavoidably involves inner work that is emotionally-laden and demands complex conceptual capacities. Addressing intra-personal dissonance in contemplative ways can lead, with support, to transformational learning. Such transformational self-awareness is foundational to culturally responsive social-emotional competence. We will explore these claims through both the question formulation technique (QFT) and the Circle approach.Presenter: Deborah Donahue-Keegan

Contemplative Career Counseling: Using mindfulness to explore students' career direction

Our presentation explores the question of “How do we develop the tools for inner and outer transformation?” in the context of mentoring and counseling students regarding their career and life direction. We are career counselors who have developed a model called Contemplative Career Counseling that draws upon the intersection of neuroscience and mindfulness. A contemplative approach to career counseling and mentoring is achieved by integrating the use of mindfulness, heart-centered, somatic, and strengths-based approaches with the intention of bringing the heart and the mind together to generate a deeper sense of knowing about one’s career and life direction. We will provide examples of how this can be accomplished in a one-on-one session with students, utilizing short experiential interventions for participants to practice and integrate. In addition, participants will receive a list of resources to further their study and development in Contemplative Career Counseling.

Presenters: Jennifer Earls, M.Ed., Linda Faucheux, MA, LPC, and Deepesh Faucheux, MA, CHT

Contemplative Learning in the Bible-Belt: Case Studies from Texas Tech University

You’ve experienced the benefits of contemplative practices and know that they would benefit your students. The only perceived deterrent – your institution is situated in a radically conservative region of the country. How can you implement meditation and movement practices into your courses without either stirring up the fear of false prophets, or raising concerns among those who have fought to maintain an emphatically secular academic culture? It may be easier than you think. This session will explore ways in which two professors working within the Texas Tech School of Music have introduced contemplative practices into both previously established courses (including core curriculum) and newly-created special topics courses. We will share our challenges and successes and provide you with materials to create something similar in your own institutions, including course proposal and syllabi templates and disclaimers, as well as a sample IRB proposal for documenting research on contemplative pedagogy.

Presenters: Lisa Garner Santa, Angela Mariani Smith

Visionary Fiction: People of African Descent and Contemplative Practice

This 60-minute practice session will provide a cursory overview of contemporary fictional literature that depicts characters engaged in some form and degree of mindfulness or meditation practice; however few of these narratives, if any, relates “quiet sitting” to addressing the socio-economic issues of people of African descent. This workshop shall illustrate the use of contemporary visionary fiction, rooted in the cultural experience of people of African descent, reflecting a compelling vision to inspire and engage those with cultural affinity to consider quiet sitting as a tool to address inner struggles, community empowerment and transformation. This workshop will incorporate readings from the fictional narrative – “Narada’s Children: A Visionary Tale of Two Cities,” by Woody Carter, Ph.D. – with contemplative practice to demonstrate the use of the novel to strengthen individuals, family, and community through meditation or quiet sitting practices to nurture a more peaceful and compassionate community and world.

Presenter: Woody Carter

Challenges and Possibilities: The Complicated Intersection of Social Justice and Contemplative Practices

We will present four perspectives of working with students within the classroom and wider campus contexts that highlight the challenges and possibilities of intersecting social justice agendas with contemplative practices. Inherent in this intersection are complex issues related to negotiating sociocultural differences, positionalities, our own resistances and capacities, privilege, power, and willingness to cultivate safe, authentic, open-hearted spaces of being and becoming. Specifically, we will discuss the ways in which we have navigated the terrain of contemplative inquiry to explore the relationship between self and other, community building, social action, maintaining compassion in order to cultivate a sense of interconnectedness so that we can dialogue about how our personal and collective struggles, liberation, suffering, and joy are entangled. Our discussion would open up spaces to explore how the integration of social justice agendas with contemplative practices create an awareness of local, national, and even global structures of oppression, as appropriate.

Presenters: Kakali Bhattacharya, Jason Jones, Holly Rogers, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

Transforming Reading: A Performative Contemplative Approach to Deep Reading and Inquiry in the Humanities

Are you observing that your students struggle to be present, read deeply, and think critically? Are you noticing that they can easily navigate the web, but not a text? Current research is discovering that students’ time on-line is actually hindering their ability to read deeply, think critically and discern meaning because the neuro-circuitry needed for scrolling, surfing and searching the net is different than the neuro-circuitry needed for deep reading and critical thinking. Therefore, educators, particularly those in the Humanities, may benefit from incorporating a method of reading in their classrooms that encourages students to slow down and re-engage the deep reading brain. In this interactive session, participants will be guided through a performative reading exercise to support the deep reading brain.

Presenter: Mary Keator

Academic Eldering: The Gifts of Inviting Our “Undivided Selves” to Our Students in an Academic Support Setting

The Director and Program Coordinator at the Academic Center for Excellence at Goucher College will share the integrative holistic philosophy, practices, and journey of the center’s work. This will be an interactive session, where we will share with participants the reflective practices and contemplative mind/body modalities we offer our students in the realm of academic support. Participants will be invited to explore, in community with others, queries centered around our “roles and souls” as educators and what it means to be present with our students as advisors, faculty members and coaches. This workshop will be based on Parker Palmer’s book, The Hidden Wholeness and will focus on experientially sharing the concept of “academic eldering” as developed by the Director of the center. Participants will leave the workshop with ideas of how to use reflective and contemplative tools to work with students in an academic environment as advisors, academic coaches, faculty and staff.

Presenter: Peejo Sehr

1:40-2:00pm Break
2:00-3:00pm Plenary and Closing
Campus Center Auditorium
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