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A groundbreaking book on using meditation in education and how it can enhance teaching and learning.
Meditation and the Classroom inventively articulates how educators can use meditation to educate the whole student. Notably, a number of universities have initiated contemplative studies options and others have opened contemplative spaces. This represents an attempt to address the inner life. It is also a sign of a new era, one in which the United States is more spiritually diverse than ever before. Examples from university classrooms and statements by students indicate benefits include increased self-awareness, creativity, and compassion.
The religious studies scholars who have contributed to this book often teach about meditation, but here they include reflections on how meditation has affected them and their teaching. Until recently, though, even many religious studies professors would find sharing meditation experiences, let alone teaching meditation techniques, a breach of disciplinary and academic protocols. The value of teaching meditation and teaching about meditation is discussed. Ethical issues such as pluralism, respect, qualifications, power and coercion, and avoiding actual or perceived proselytization are also examined. While methods for religious studies are emphasized, the book provides valuable guidance for all those interested in this endeavor.
“…this book is a good beginning point as it brings to the fore the pedagogical issues raised by contemplation in teaching and amply illustrates the variety of meditational practices that can be used in undergraduate instruction.” — Teaching Theology and Religion
“This is a landmark collection that incorporates insights, reflections, and recommendations from leading scholars and teachers who have had significant experience in contemplative pedagogy.” — Ruben L. F. Habito, author of Healing Breath: Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World
“I was inspired by this book. It encouraged me to take risks in the classroom and to take risks as a human being as well. It hits the right balance of setting a larger context and providing helpful information about how practitioners actually accomplish this in the classroom. I have absolutely no doubt that this is the most important book published to date on contemplative pedagogy.” — Joseph A. Favazza, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Religious Studies, Stonehill College
Judith Simmer-Brown is Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University and the author of Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism. Fran Grace is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Redlands and the author of Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life.
Table of Contents
WHY CONTEMPLATIVE PEDAGOGY?
THE RELIGIOUS STUDIES DIALOGUE
1. The Convergence of Liberal Education and Contemplative Education—Inevitable? Thomas B. Coburn
2. Meditation and Education: India, Tibet, and Modern America Robert A. F. Thurman
3. Contemplative Studies: Can It Flourish in the Religious Studies Classrom? Harold D. Roth
4. Contemplative Studies and the Art of Persuasion: The Institutional Challenge Laurie L. Patton
II. THE CONTEMPLATIVE PROFESSOR
5. From Content, to Context, to Contemplation: One Professor’s Journey Fran Grace
6. The Collective Dynamics of Contemplative Practice Christopher M. Bache
7. The Mindful Teacher as the Foundation of Contemplative Pedagogy Richard C. Brown
8. Compassion Beyond Fatigue: Contemplative Training for Educators and Other Helping Professionals John Makransky
9. Field Notes from a Daoist Professor Louis Komjathy
III. CRITICAL ISSUES IN CONTEMPLATIVE TEACHING
10. Training the Heart Responsibly: Ethical Considerations in Contemplative Teaching Judith Simmer-Brown
11. Invitation and Coercion in Contemplative Pedagogy Sid Brown
12. Interiority and Higher Education: The Neurophenomenology of Contemplation Tobin Hart
IV. CONTEMPLATIVE-BASED COURSES
13. Embodied Contemplative Learning: Aikido as a Case Study Michelle Lelwica
14. Reflections on Theory and Practice: The Case of Modern Yoga Stuart Ray Sarbacker
15. Sustaining Life: Contemplative Pedagogies in a Religion and Ecology Course Barbara Patterson
16. Adab: Courteous Behavior in the Classroom Bridget Blomfield
17. Experiencing Medieval Christian Spirituality Kristine T. Utterback
V. CONTEMPLATIVE EXERCISES FOR THE CLASSROOM
18. Awareness Practices in an Undergraduate Buddhism Course Andrew O. Fort
19. Contemplative Inquiry: Beyond the Disembodied Subject Anne Carolyn Klein and Ann Gleig
20. Love of Wisdom Puts You on the Spot: The Warrior Exam Dale Asrael
21. A Meeting of the Minds in Cyberspace: Eco-contemplative Methods for Online Teaching Jane Compson
22. Mindfulness in the History Classroom: Teaching as Interbeing Shu-chin Wu
23. Two Contemplative Practices That Animate the Study of Religion John D. Copenhaver
24. Mindfulness and Contemplative Practice in Art and Religion Deborah J. Haynes
VI. CONCLUSION: DOES IT WORK? EVALUATIONS FROM OUR STUDENTS
25. Emotional Learning: Re-cognizing Emotion and Thought in a Buddhism Course Judith Simmer-Brown
26. Meditation in the Classroom: What Do the Students Say They Learn? Fran Grace