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					                                                        “Spirituality in Higher Education” research
Uncovering the Heart of                                 project), please refer to
Higher Education
Integrative Learning for Compassionate Action           “The widespread support of the conference affirms
                                                        the notion that integrative education, including
in an Interconnected World
                                                        models that connect religion and spirituality to the
February 22-25, 2007
                                                        curricular and co-curricular programs on campus, is
San Francisco, CA                                       very much in the consciousness of higher
                                                        education,” said CIIS President Joseph Subbiondo.

                   ore than 600 faculty members,
                                                        CONFERENCE PURPOSE
                   administrators, student-life
                   professionals, and chaplains from
                   the broad spectrum of American       In our densely interconnected world, integrative
                   colleges and universities attended   teaching and learning have never been more
the February 22-25 “Uncovering the Heart of             important. But between what components of their
Education” conference on integrative learning and       studies and what dimensions of their person are
spirituality in higher education. The conference        students asked to make connections? We
was co-sponsored by the Fetzer Institute and            understand integration within a major, between
California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).        fields, and even between knowledge and practice.
                                                        More recently the relationship between curricular
The Center for Contemplative Mind played a              and co-curricular activities has received attention.
prominent role in the conference: ten of the 49         While these and other trends help students and
workshops were organized by the Center and led          faculty integrate otherwise fragmentary elements of
by Contemplative Practice Fellows; our day-long         their educational venture, do we go far enough?
pre-conference was oversubscribed and filled            Do our efforts reach the often unspoken heart of
within a month of the announcement; and a               higher education?
number of Academic Program advisors and
summer session participants gave workshops and          The rising interest in integrative learning supports a
paper presentations.                                    more holistic approach to education that is
                                                        founded on a growing recognition of the need for
The conference drew together theoretical,               students to integrate their inner lives and their
pedagogical, and relational teaching perspectives       outer vocations. One aim of the conference was to
from across the nation that support a more holistic     draw together and articulate teaching perspectives
approach to education, one founded on a growing         from around the world that are theoretical,
recognition of the need for students to integrate       pedagogical, and relational.
their inner selves and outer vocations. Sessions
explored the possibilities to make colleges and         The central question becomes: Do current
universities places that awaken the deepest             education efforts address the whole human
potential in students, faculty, and staff. It was a     being—mind, heart, and spirit—in ways that
rich offering with a diversity of topics explored       contribute best to our future on this fragile planet?
during the weekend. This report offers a summary        What steps can we take to make our colleges and
of the conference purpose and the sessions led by       universities places that awaken the deepest
Contemplative Mind staff, fellows, advisors, and        potential in students, faculty, and staff?
summer session participants.

For more about the session, including transcripts
from two keynote speakers, Diana Chapman-Walsh
(Wellesley College President) and Alexander and
Helen Astin (principle investigator’s of the UCLA
Among the topics discussed in the more than                 introduced to writing and seeing practices
50 facilitated sessions and keynotes addresses:             integrated in curricular instruction by
                                                            Contemplative Practice Fellows Bradford Grant
• the relationship between the curriculum and               and Mary Rose O’Reilley. 52 participants
  values                                                    attended the day-long workshop.
• intellectual, aesthetic, and moral Intelligences
• technical competency and compassionate action
• critical reasoning and contemplative inquiry              CONFERENCE SESSIONS
• vocation and life purpose                                 Led by Center staff, advisors, fellows, and summer
• integration of emotional and academic                     session participants
• integrative learning communities
• contemplation, spirituality, and religion in higher       Contemplative Inquiry: The Contribution of
  education                                                 Contemplative Mind to Integrative Education
• cross-cultural competency                                 Arthur Zajonc, Professor, Amherst College
• major trends in research                                  Director of the Academic Program, the Center
                                                            for Contemplative Mind in Society

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP                                     The academy has well-articulated the role of critical
                                                            reasoning, critical writing and quantitative analysis.
                                                            In all fields, however, much depends on the slow
The Contemplative Transformation of Higher                  development of mature judgment whether in the
Education                                                   sciences, humanities, or the arts. One gradually
Arthur Zajonc, Professor, Amherst College and               gains not only technical competencies in a field, but
Director of the Academic Program, the Center                aspires to make original contributions to it. The
for Contemplative Mind in Society                           ability to “see” research questions, to hold the
Mirabai Bush, Director, the Center for                      ambiguities and uncertainties associated with
Contemplative Mind in Society                               research, and develop the capacities required for
Bradford Grant (2000 Fellow), Chairperson and               insight: these are all qualities of a contemplative
Endowed University Professor of Architecture,               approach to knowledge. Using examples and
Hampton University                                          exercises, participants explored the important
Mary Rose O’Reilley (1999 Fellow), Professor                contributions that contemplative inquiry and
                                                            pedagogy can make to integrative knowing and
Emerita, University of St. Thomas
In an academic world dominated by “third-person”
modes of inquiry that strive to keep what is studied
at a “safe” distance, contemplative pedagogies and          Eros and Insight: Uncovering the Relationship
research methods affirm the importance of                   between Love and Knowledge
applying first-person techniques to what we are             Arthur Zajonc, Professor of Physics, Amherst
studying. Whether we are studying our own lives             College and Director of the Academic Program,
in the effort to broaden and deepen our awareness           the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
of ourselves or inquiring into the larger world in
which we live, contemplative methods deepen our             On the basis of evidence from surveys and
experience, insight, and understanding.                     conferences, a significant community of teachers
                                                            exists at all levels of higher education, from
In this pre-conference day-long workshop                    community colleges to research universities, who
participants examined the contribution of                   are using a wide range of contemplative practices as
contemplative practice to teaching, learning,               part of their classroom pedagogy. In addition to
research, and student life. Participants were               well-developed pedagogical and curricular methods

that school critical reasoning, critical reading and           Establishing a Contemplative Program in the
writing, and quantitative analysis, this presentation          University
argues that we also require a pedagogy that attends            Charles Halpern, Chairman, Center for
to the development of reflective, contemplative,               Contemplative Mind in Society
affective, and ethical capacities in our students.
                                                               Harold Roth (1999 and 2005 Fellow), Professor
The significance of these is at least as great as the
                                                               of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies and
development of critical capacities in students. The
rationale for the inclusion of contemplative                   Director of Contemplative Studies, Brown
modalities will be articulated within this context.            University
On the basis of considerable experience in teaching            Ed Sarath (1997 Fellow), Professor of Music and
at Amherst College, an ‘‘epistemology of love’’                Director of Creativity and Consciousness
emphasizes a form of inquiry that supports close               Studies, University of Michigan
engagement and leads to student transformation
and insight. This approach to knowing is                       In the last decade meditation and other
implemented in the Amherst College first-year                  contemplative practices have become more widely
course, Eros and Insight. It includes a specific               accepted. An increasing number of students and
sequence of contemplative exercises that are                   faculty are exploring contemplative practices and a
practiced by students and integrated with more                 contemplative approach to work, life, and study.
conventional course content drawn from the arts                Some colleges and professional schools are
and sciences. Our experience shows that students               beginning to bring contemplative practice into the
deeply appreciate the shift from conventional                  classroom. This session will review innovations to
coursework to a more experiential, transformative,             date and focus on the ways that a university could
and reflective pedagogy.                                       develop the components of a contemplative
                                                               program. Such an approach could attract a
                                                               significant group of applicants. It could also have
                                                               significant impact of atmosphere of the institution
The Contemplative Classroom and the
                                                               and the quality of life of all students, faculty, and
Suffering World                                                administrators. The session touched on issues of
Mirabai Bush, Director, Center for                             diversity, religious preference, and the practical
Contemplative Mind in Society                                  issues of managing the interface between the
                                                               contemplative part of an academic program and
In architecture classes, students meditate on earth,           the more traditional parts.
air, fire, and water. In poetry classes, students sit in
silence and then free write. In art history, students
learn intimacy with objects. Law students learn
                                                               Contemplative Disciplines in the Turbulent
deep listening. Media students bring contemplative
awareness to deconstructing images of violence.                Currents of Rapid Change Business
Since 1997, the Center for Contemplative Mind in               André Delbecq (1997 Fellow), McCarthy
Society in partnership with ACLS has sponsored                 University Professor, Santa Clara University
academic fellows to develop courses incorporating
a contemplative practice. In this session,                     Building from experience in teaching a seminar,
participants discussed successful courses and heard            "Spirituality for Organizational Leadership" to
ideas for new ones. We also explored the                       working professional MBAs and senior executives,
connection between the contemplative way of                    André discussed patterns of prayer, meditation, and
knowing and compassionate action in the world.                 contemplative practice that have been adopted by
                                                               organizational leaders in the technology complex of
                                                               Silicon Valley.

                                                               He shared how these leaders see spiritual
                                                               disciplines as central to their calling. These leaders

believe that without such practices leadership               them!) equidistant from each other and the walls of
becomes distorted by hubris and greed and the                the room and facing the ‘space
courage to undertake the long journey into                   between’. Participants had three postures they
organizational transformation is abandoned due to            could use in the chairs: classical two feet on the
burnout or cynicism. He discussed how they                   floor plus two other self created postures....some of
maintain and vary spiritual practices in face of             the more adventurous ones turned their chairs over
travel and hectic schedules. The fruits these                and nestled into the underside. Witnessing this
leaders report associated with their practices with          section was wonderful...a living system in action!
special emphasis include greater inner peace when            Third variation: create five circles of chairs (staying
facing the daunting challenges of rapid-change               in them!) for sharing the experiential process. This
organizational life, enhanced ability to listen to and       was lively and animated...lots of grins and leaning
involve others in strategic decision making, and the         in to hear one another. And finally, making a large
ability to achieve better life balance.                      circle of chairs for closing comments. Ah, a post-
                                                             modern performance art piece created by the
About thirty participants engaged in a vibrant               community in a hotel conference setting!
discussion that included sharing of individual
practices that paralleled or differed from the
patterns reported on, the challenges of introducing          Bringing Contemplative Practice into the
students to such practices across the institutional          Visual Arts Curriculum
and program diversity represented in the room,
                                                             Deborah Haynes (2002 Fellow)
practical first steps for doing so, and the
affirmation of the centrality of such practices for          Professor of Art, Director of Libby Arts
holistic learning.                                           Residential Academic Program, University of
                                                             Colorado – Boulder

                                                             The visual arts are often taught as a highly
Embodied Exercises to Deepen the Classroom                   individualistic, fashion-driven enterprise. But what
Experience: Silence, Breath, and Cheerful Ears               happens when students learn practices of
Barbara Dilley (1997 Fellow), Professor, Naropa              observation and mindfulness in order to nurture
University                                                   their capacity for silence and solitude, as well as
                                                             collaboration? Participants experimented with a
By bringing simple disciplines that integrate our            few simple exercises (beholding, critical response,
body-mind to our classrooms, we support the                  collage, eye-gazing, ink-shedding, and silent
possibility for the many layers of our being human           walking) and discussed strategies for deepening the
to connect. Learning to enter silence though the             relationship of contemplative practice and the
four postures of mindfulness, giving time to feel            visual arts.
our breath, and opening our ears without bias to
the world can be used in any combination during
some or all of our classes.
                                                             Teaching as Quest: Are We Plowers of the Field
How to present experiential learning, embodied               or Conductors of the Orchestra?
and non-threatening? One way is by using the                 Renee A. Hill (1999 Fellow and 2006 Summer
theme of chairs as they are used in a conference             Session Participant), Professor of Philosophy
and in our classrooms and let variations be the gift         and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of
of possibility. Participants could take the metaphor         Race Relations, Virginia State University
of ‘theme and variation’ and apply it to their
specific discipline...that was the hope. To begin,           In the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred text to Hinduism and
the chairs were arranged side by side and tight to           some of the eastern philosophical systems,
the four walls. Then (second variation), the main            Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, tells his
task was to arrange all the chairs (while staying in         disciple, Arjuna, that he should be as a “plower of

the field,” who prepares his ground, sows his seed,           Teaching and Research in Contemplative
and does all that he can do to bring forth a                  Studies: Priorities for the Development of a
bountiful harvest, but then “surrenders the fruits”           New Field
by serenely accepting whatever outcome ensues.                Harold Roth (1999 and 2005 Fellow), Professor
Orchestra conductors, on the other hand, have a
                                                              of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies, and
clear vision of what they want produced, and make
                                                              Director of Contemplative Studies, Brown
the musicians practice and practice until the desired
outcome envisioned by the conductor is reached.               University
This paper will take up questions about teaching as
“plowing the field.” Can you teach without having             Contemplative Studies is an emerging academic
some investment in the outcome? Should you                    field dedicated to studying consciousness and its
teach without having some investment in the                   potential through a comprehensive methodology
outcome? Even if one is trying to see teaching                that combines the objective and subject to give
simply as “offering” rather than as “molding,”                perspectives in a multidisciplinary approach
surely there are goals guiding the presentation of            embracing science (especially cognitive
materials and structuring of discussion? Would                neuroscience), the humanities (especially
certain kinds of contemplative practices support              philosophy, literature, and religious studies), and
the “plowing of the field” model more than others?            the creative arts. This session discussed the
Part of my struggle to situate myself in the teaching         teaching of contemplative studies in higher
landscape and understand how to follow the most               education and the prospects for developing new
dharmic path to teaching, is wrestling with the               and synergistic research in this field.
framework in which I should embed my teaching;
Teaching as Quest represents the outcome of those
                                                              Improvisation, Creativity, and Consciousness:
                                                              Jazz as Gateway to Interior Domains of
Guerilla Contemplation: Introducing                           Learning and Teaching
Contemplative Pedagogies into Unwelcoming                     Ed Sarath (1997 Fellow), Professor of Music and
Situations                                                    Director of Creativity and Consciousness
Mary Rose O’Reilley (2000 Fellow), Professor                  Studies, University of Michigan.
Emerita, University of St. Thomas
                                                              The jazz tradition boasts a long legacy of artists
Who could possibly have reservations about                    who have been involved in meditation and related
introducing contemplative practice into education?            practices to complement their creative excursions.
The political left may see it as a religious incursion;       Jazz’s improvisatory core—requiring the capacity
the political right may consider it suspiciously un-          to be fully present, integrate extraordinary technical
American; Protestants might suspect it's a Catholic           expertise with freedom and flow, and listen deeply
thing; and Catholics might believe that                       to fellow artists—is at the heart of this connection.
contemplation is safely practiced only under                  The BFA in Jazz and Contemplative Studies
monastic discipline. Each of these constituencies             curriculum at the University of Michigan and the
has a valid point, a perspective that may enrich our          UM Program in Creativity and Consciousness
understanding of how subversive contemplative                 Studies have been inspired by these ideas. This
pedagogy is of the educational status quo.                    session considered the underlying principles,
“Guerilla Contemplation” processed the real                   obstacles, and opportunities associated with these
concerns educators may have about this enterprise             initiatives.
and explore a multi-vocal, nuanced response.

Exploring Stability and Transformation at                   Education in an Integrative Age
Smith College’s School for Social Work                      David Scott, Former Chancellor, University of
Carolyn Jacobs, Dean, School for Social Work,               Massachusetts Amherst
Smith College                                               Susan Awbrey, Vice-Provost for Undergraduate
                                                            Education, Oakland University
Leadership that attends to the heart of the academy         Phyllis Fierro Robinson, Continuing Education
must clearly discern where vision unfolds in the            Instructor, Maui Community College
intersections between the longings in the leader’s
heart and institutional needs. This session                 Discoveries in natural sciences and psychology,
provided space for exploring the unfolding of               combined with knowledge of the world's spiritual
vision as it attends to the need for institutional          traditions, are revealing an underlying unity in
stability and transformation. Stability is not              contrast to the fragmentation that has characterized
stagnation; it is holding carefully to the past as we       epistemology since the time of the Western
live in the present and respond to the unfolding            Enlightenment. These discoveries imply deep
needs of the future. Transformation is concerned            relations between our inner and outer experiences,
with multiple ways of knowing, thinking, and being          between consciousness and the universe and
in the process of responding. Engagement and                between ethics and action. It suggests that we may
steadfastness in dialogue are essential.                    be able to overcome the fragmentation that has
                                                            characterized epistemology for hundreds of years,
                                                            leading to an integrative world view that may be as
A View from Religious Studies regarding                     transformative as the revolution ushered in with
Spirituality in Higher Education                            the birth of modern science. The session explored
Harold Roth (1999 and 2005 Fellow), Professor               these developments and their implications for
of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies, and            learning and action. Experiences with
Director of Contemplative Studies, Brown                    contemplative practice in the classroom as a means
                                                            of enhancing this emerging integral cosmology will
                                                            also be explored.
Elizabeth Ursic, Professor of Religious Studies,
Mesa Community College
                                                            Creating a Lighthouse Community: Uniting
Religious Studies Departments are flourishing in all
sectors of higher education: research universities,         Faculty through Dialogue
comprehensive universities, liberal arts colleges,          Beverly Daniel Tatum
and community colleges. As the reports from                 President, Spelman College
UCLA Higher Education Research Center have                  Veta Goler (2005 Summer Session Participant)
pointed out, students are increasingly interested in        Professor of Dance and Chair of Drama and
the study of their own religious and spiritual              Dance, Spelman College
traditions as well as those of others. Perhaps no
discipline wrestles more with how to academically           How can college faculty and administrators change
approach spirituality in the classroom and in               the culture of an institution so that people who are
scholarship than Religious Studies. Participants            accustomed to using their intellect also engage their
dialogued with professors of Religious Studies              heart? How can an institution help people feel safe
from all sectors of higher education as they share          enough to be open about who they are? During
their experiences and viewpoints on engaging                the 2005-2006 academic year, Spelman College
spirituality in the classroom and in scholarship, as        President Beverly Daniel Tatum hosted a series of
well as their commentary on the broader spirituality        dinners in which faculty of diverse backgrounds
movement in higher education.                               came together for conversations about themselves.
                                                            These dinners—and spin-off faculty-hosted
                                                            dinners—were remarkable for the deep and

heartfelt engagement they provoked. Beverly                  approaching works of art, finally, as subject rather
Daniel Tatum and faculty member Veta Goler, co-              than setting upon them exclusively as object of
facilitators of this “Dinner and Dialogue” initiative,       possession, analysis or historical documentation,
gave an interactive overview of these dinners that           occurs in unexpected and yet remarkably vivid
have begun changing Spelman’s culture.                       form, in which the experience itself confirms the
                                                             theory. When and if such “art” appears, the
                                                             objective work of art will have given way to a
Mentoring Critically Aware Spirituality and                  poetic perception of animated well-being and felt
Commitment to the Common Good                                wholeness, comparable to devoted prayer.
Sharon Daloz Parks, Director, Leadership for
the New Commons, Whidbey Institute
                                                             Pedagogies of Compassion, Pedagogies of
Why do college graduates so often fail to practice           Lack
critical thought in today’s complex world? What              David Kahane (2005 and 2006 Summer Session
happens when “the hidden curriculum of adult                 Participant), Professor of Philosophy, University
life” meets religious conviction? In a time of               of Alberta
dramatic change, how do we mentor the next
generations for the re-imagination of the common             Many undergraduates combine an acute ethical and
good? Building on three decades of research,                 political sense – the feeling that much is wrong
teaching, and consulting in higher and professional          with the world and needs to be healed – with
education, this session explored perspectives                stressed responses to their pressured lives, and
integrating cognitive, affective, moral, and spiritual       anxiety that they lack what their studies demand.
development and compelling implications for the              This presentation explores pedagogies that link a
vocation and practice of higher education.                   desire to lessen suffering in the world with a more
                                                             compassionate relationship to oneself. Drawing on
                                                             experiences in Philosophy 368: Global Justice,
                                                             Obligation, and Compassion, Kahane discusses how to
On Re-Entering the Threshold of Our Being: Six               weave together analytical and contemplative
Steps toward Contemplative Beholding                         approaches in the classroom, in ways that not only
Joel Upton, Professor of Fine Arts, Amherst                  enrich understandings of a subject matter (in this
College                                                      case, accounts of obligation toward the global
                                                             poor), but allow students to notice their own
As one response to the habitual distance, if not             embodied experiences of empathy and dissociation,
estrangement, many may feel before works of art,             and to discover new ways of connecting kindness
each other, and the world, I have constructed a              toward the world with kindness toward themselves.
method of contemplative beholding. One                       Kahane contrasts pedagogies that cultivate a sense
academic application of this method, offered as an           of lack with those that help students feel a sense of
integrative seminar at Amherst College entitled,             their own value, looking in particular at students’
“The art of beholding,” seeks to define and engage           performance with analytical and free writing. And
both the “art,” or skill, of contemplative beholding         he shows how the familiar apparatus of
and the “art” or wisdom such a beholding might               undergraduate courses – papers, deadlines, grades –
provide. In this seminar, three distinct stages of           can provide occasions for students to bring their
“preparation,” “meditation” and “contemplation”              attention to their own entrenched patterns, so as to
lead toward a palpable, although elusive, encounter          open spaces of curiosity and even freedom.
with an intimation of deepest reconciliation
embodied by a given work of art as it is manifested
in the pictorial gesture (“art”) left behind by that
work’s artist. Success using this way of


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