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11th Annual ACMHE Conference

November 7-10, 2019 | UMass Amherst Campus Center | Amherst, MA

Last updated: November 6, 2019
SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Once the conference begins, depending on last-minute changes, the Sched app may be more up-to-date than both this page and the printed program (.pdf available below).

2019 conference program

NEW! Use Sched to manage your conference agenda

Thursday, November 7

9:00 am – 12:00 pm Pre-Conference Retreat, Part 1
UMass Campus Center Room 174-76
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
UMass Campus Center Room 163C
1:00 – 4:00 pm Pre-Conference Retreat, Part 2
UMass Campus Center Room 174-76 followed by small group break-outs 

Friday, November 8

9:00 – 9:30 am Arrival, Check-in & On-Site Registration
Coffee and tea
CCA (Campus Center Auditorium)
9:30 am – 10:00 am Conference Opening
with remarks from UMass and CMind representatives
CCA
10:00 – 10:30 am Transition Break
10:30 – 11:45 am Parallel Session I
Breakout Rooms on 1st, 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session I

Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

 

Not Just Students: Teaching and Research Faculty Living with Short and Long-Term Mental Health Issues

Universities are paying more and more attention to student mental health, but there is not yet a parallel conversation about mental health issues among university and college faculty and instructors. Depression, anxiety, and other issues remain highly stigmatized, and universities either lack a commitment or the capacity to change how we think about and respond. Drawing on my own struggles with depression and anxiety, I offer this workshop as an opportunity to create a safe and welcoming space for us to speak about this often hidden part of our lives, and to consider together ways we can makes these conversations possible at our own institutions.

Elise Chenier


Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Roundtable

Contemplative Reading as Radical Wellbeing

“Reading,” for many people, is merely a way to “get information.” This panel explores contemplative reading as a counter-practice to such instrumentalist tendencies. Panelists will describe three contexts to probe the fashioning of the self that contemplative reading crafts. What does it look like to read contemplatively for Ph.D coursework, exams, and dissertation projects? As teachers, how might lectio divina improve our capacity to be present with students’ transformative experiences as we read course assessments? As a personal practice, how can such reading engage the metaphors of decolonization and reinhabitation of the self? Each presenter identifies contemplative reading as an act of radical wellbeing that supports the student, teacher, and individual-in/as-community. Through facilitated conversation, all present in the room will have an opportunity to share experiences so we may expand our understanding of this powerful personal practice.

Karolyn Kinane, Beck Tench, Laurel Tien, David Greenwood


Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Holding Space for Students’ Pain While Addressing our own Healing in an Oppressive System

Existing in an oppressive structure results in pain and trauma that can affect our students’ and our own mental and physical health. Yet, in an educational setting, we tend to stay in our “heads” and focused on the “academic” aspect of oppression, rather than exploring the ways the system hurts us personally. This workshop will attempt to bring us out of our academic space and into our bodies to dialogue about the challenges we face working towards the liberation of ourselves and our students. Can we build consciousness, address the healing of ourselves and our students, and balance the multiple responsibilities in the institutional role of professor/counselor/administrator/etc.? We will spend time sharing, dialoguing, and unpacking this difficult conflict in community.

Gabrielle Cuesta


Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Fostering Belonging and Intercultural Engagement Through Contemplative Practices

In this session we will explore the contemplative practices we integrated in a joint workshop series on “Fostering Belonging” as well as in a collaboratively conceived inquiry group on “Intercultural Pedagogy,” both of which sought to support inclusive learning communities on our campus. Open to faculty, staff, and graduate students, these programs aimed to help participants examine factors that can affect an environment of mutual respect, interrogate biases and their impact on learning, and develop skills and interculturally informed strategies for creating an inclusive learning environment. During this session, we will share the ways in which we sought to meaningfully engage diverse participants in reflection and critical dialogue around issues of social identity, positionality, and culture through the incorporation of mindfulness, contemplative, and dialogical practices as means for developing and modeling educators’ self-awareness and capacity for valuing differences among learners and ways of learning.

Alexia Ferracuti, Karin Firoza (not in attendance)


Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Roundtable

A Well-being Exploration into Identity, Context & Self-Care

When Audre Lorde stated, “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,” her verity and audacity sent a shockwave through all of us who read, learned, or listened to this quote. Lorde spoke particularly from her experience as a black woman, feminist, lesbian, poet, and mother… but how might we all hold these words up to the light, to study their truth and power for us at this present moment of history? This session will be a highly introspective and experiential journey into our layers of identity and context: as individuals, within our institutions and identity groups. We’ll weave meditation, writing, & partnered deep listening, to think about our own positionality and to inquire into how our own self-care might become a conscious, radical act for cultivating resilience and readying us to serve the world. We’ll conclude with full group sharing and discussion. Women and men from all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities are welcomed to attend.

Juliet Trail


Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Daily Wellness Practices for Educators from the Science of Ayurveda

“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – anonymous

As educators, we aspire to spread the light of knowledge, but when we become depleted, our effectiveness dims. Therefore, it is imperative that we embrace self-care to enhance our ability to positively impact others. Inspired by Ayurveda’s Daily Routine, or dinacharya, this workshop will provide an interactive experience with practices including hydration, oral cleansing, self-massage, simple body and breath exercises, meditation, and guidelines for a nutritious start to the day. (Samples and supplies provided for the first 20 participants.)

Lisa Garner Santa


Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Engaging With Our Feelings About Climate Disruption: Loss, Anger, Injustice

The workshop will explore how we can honor our feelings of loss & anger at the extinctions & social injustices wrought by massive climate disruption. We will begin by sharing practices that allow us to connect to our embodied experiences of the natural world, & through this embodiment connect our health & wholeness with that of the planet. We will invite participants to express appreciation & gratitude for earth, sea, forests, & mountains, as they create a healing circle that allows them to bear witness to their feelings about the unraveling of the natural environment. We will then invite participants to change perspective by looking back on the present from the perspective of 100 years into the future. Finally, we will discuss strategies to overcome the paralyzing melancholia that inhibits our conversations & actions about losing Earth. As a historian & as an economist, we offer disparate (yet related) ways to approach these topics, & invite other participants to share insights from their own disciplines.

David Glassberg, Vaishali Mamgain


Parallel Session I | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Time and Radical Well-Being: Integrating Temporal Self-Care, Mutual Care, and World-Care

Time is a fundamental dimension of well-being, and the various forms of “hurry sickness” and “time poverty” in today’s world are manifestations of individual and collective mindlessness and malaise. “Free time” (Greek: schole) is the core of the ancient idea of liberal education and the root of the modern word “school,” but the lives of students, faculty, and staff in colleges are more and more affected by the experience of time as “time pressure”—a pressure that we suffer from, but that we also inflict upon ourselves and on each other. At a larger social level, time is as inequitably distributed between races, classes, and genders as is money; at a global level, climate change shows the devastating effects of endangering the long-term future for short-term financial gain. This workshop will explore ways to cultivate contemplative and activist alternatives to the dominant temporal regimes in the academy and beyond: how can we befriend and liberate time to care for ourselves, for each other, and for the world?

Ferdinand Von Muench

11:45 – 12:00 pm Transition Break
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch Buffet (included with registration)
CCA
1:00 – 2:00 pm Poster Session
Posters to be set up before or during lunch, and may be left on display until 4pm.
CCA

Poster Session I

 

When Doing is not Enough: On Values, Personal Grounding, and High-Achieving Students

This presentation discusses what mindfulness is in the context of writing a personal statement for prestigious national scholarship applications. It introduces the audience to mindful advising strategies of high-achieving students and focuses on how to make students aware of their operating on autopilot when accumulating their achievements in a long list on their resumes. I challenge students to question their motivation and their community engagement by seeing the help they offer to others beyond their academic capacities and privilege status. What is the grounding from which their engagement emerges? Why are they acting for the good of others? The understanding of the “why” behind the “what” and “how” is a lengthy process that reveals a deeper personal pathway of being, defining oneself, and engaging from one’s center and one’s inner values rather than outside motivations of doing, achieving, and delivering results.

Madalina Akli


Humanities and Healing: Cultivating a Contemplative Pedagogy

The intention for our work is to influence a more compassionate, heart-centered approach to teaching healthcare and healing that might include aspects like art, poetry and story.

To do this we brought faculty on a journey exposing them to the humanities through four workshops. In the first, the Judy Chicago Exhibit entitled Birth Project: Born Again, represented the nexus of art and health care. The next three workshops focused on fostering campus creative spirit utilizing spaces of beauty on campus: in Nurtured by Nature a campus garden, in Reimagining Sacred Spaces the university chapel and in Rivers Flow: Transitions and Change the Mississippi river. In each session we facilitated a process of writing, reflection, dialogue, and producing a communal poem.

In this proposed session we will replicate our pedagogical process by leading the group in an observation of two Judy Chicago art pieces and subsequent reflection, creative expression, and creation of a communal poem.

Laurie Anderson Sathe, Jocelyn Bessette


Tuning the Student Mind: A Teacher-Student Journey in Consciousness-Centered Education

Sociologists have developed a multitude of ways to define different identities. Each of these identities is related to an individual’s self-concept. We use these different identities to navigate the world, as they help us infer our similarities and differences with other people. But, how do we teach students to see and understand our connections and the sameness that underlies all our experience—our common humanity? As a faculty member teaching identity studies, I have long asked myself: Is the way that I am teaching sociology inspiring my students to understand their interconnection to each other and the broader world? This presentation will share both evidence-based research and stories collected from over the ten years of teaching my course, “Consciousness, Creativity and Identity”. Participants will gain new knowledge regarding the impact of consciousness-centered curricula. And, how integrating meditation into the core curriculum of academic classes can impact learning, creativity and connection.

Molly Beauregard


The Whole Clinician Curriculum: The Intersection of Well-Being and Patient-Care

Mindfulness, emotional awareness, and prosocial attitudes are trainable and vital to both clinician well-being and patient care. However, few curricula integrate this content in clinical training. We developed and piloted a mindfulness-based compassion curriculum specifically for graduate-level health professions trainees in an outpatient primary care setting at a VA Medical Center. We evaluated needs, acceptability, and application through surveys and interviews. 40 trainees (MD(n = 33), NP(n = 5), Psych(n = 1), Pharm(n = 1)) attended one or more of three half-day mini-retreats with a focus on learning contemplative skills for self-care, cultivating emotional-awareness and pro-social mindsets, and building community. 73% were naïve to contemplative practice. Participants reported less anxiety, more presence at work, greater empathy for patients, positive impacts on relationships, and a desire to further integrate practice at work. Next steps include further curricular and institutional integration.

Joe Cook, Christopher Sha, Eve Ekman


Mindfulness and Academic Success: An Exploratory Study

Colleges and universities utilize multiple strategies to increase student success. These strategies are especially important in the current era as students are entering higher education with additional responsibilities and stressors that must be addressed for students to persist and graduate. One such strategy that higher education institutions should consider to promote student success and contend with students’ additional stressors is the teaching of contemplative practices.This poster will present the preliminary results of a qualitative research study that explores the connection between students’ (N=10) enrollment in a mindfulness studies course and their utilization of contemplative practices both inside and outside the classroom with a focus on their academic success. Using a general inductive method, the data suggests that students’ utilization of mindfulness behaviors assisted with their academic functioning, confidence, and empathy. Implications for research and practice will be presented.

Matthew Cooney, Timothy Pedigo


The Emotions of Sustainability: Can Contemplative Pedagogical Practices Play a Role in Sustainability Education?

Contemplative pedagogical approaches may be one way to make way for hope in addressing topics like climate change, poverty and sustainable development. Through a scoping review, I investigate the effectiveness of contemplative pedagogical techniques in alleviating dark emotions inevitable in environmental education. Available evidence demonstrates that scholars who are writing (passionately) about the topic agree on three overarching themes. First, the root of environmental problems centres around humanity’s disconnection from nature. Second, there is a need to engage with – instead of ignoring – dark emotions and fix-it impulses in environmental education classrooms. Third, contemplative pedagogical techniques represent a set of worthy and creative responses for experienced instructors to engage with emotions in the classroom. The literature suggests that contemplative pedagogy will play an important role in environmental education as a means of cultivating hope in an increasingly uncertain world.

Allison Elgie


A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Mindfulness Training in Education on Self-Compassion

The experience of the academic environment can be competitive, stressful, and at times overwhelming for students and faculty alike. Self-compassion (defined by Neff et al., 2017, as including self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness) has been associated with general resourcefulness (Martin et al., 2019), self-regulation (Dundas et al., 2017), and well-being (Gunnell et al., 2017) in university students, but mindfulness practices evoking self-compassion remain underutilized in academic contexts. This presentation will share a meta-analysis synthesizing existing evidence for self-compassion outcomes of mindfulness interventions conducted in educational contexts, and the design features of these interventions that elicit optimal outcomes. We hope that the presentation inspires ideas for integrating and designing mindfulness interventions into course curriculum to improve student outcomes, and the experience of the course for faculty and students alike.

Stephen Holsenbeck, Babatunde Aideyan (not in attendance), Mariya Shiyko


Finding Yourself as a Visual Arts Major

To be a successful designer and artist, you must understand yourself. You are in the middle of the circle. After you have an awareness of self, you can balance your relationships. Next, you can work and better your community. Finally, you can tackle the great issues of society. Design affects all levels from personal projects to highly structured systems of human organization.Through the succession of exercises, both analog and digital, I have created a series of projects that help the student get to know themselves and how design is a powerful tool within community and society. These projects start with different brainstorm techniques that the students can use throughout their tenure.We start by asking questions like:How do you design for yourself?Much of graphic design is working with others; will you work well with others?How can you design for the community?How do graphic designers affect the ?community?How will you designs affect society?Can design change the world?

Dannell MacIlwraith


Shared Reading Practice Increases Mindfulness and Improves Quality of Life

This poster reports findings from a pilot study of the effects of an evidence-based health intervention in which groups read serious literature aloud together, ultimately creating a caring community. Developed in the UK by The Reader Organization, “Shared Reading” has a 10-year history of application and research in public health in the UK and other Anglophone countries, but is new to the USA, and has not been researched with a university student population. This study, based on research from the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Research into Reading, Literature, and Society (CRILS), uses mixed methods, with quantitative data from pre- and post-intervention self-report questionnaires on mindfulness and quality of life, and qualitative data from post-intervention interviews with participants. Data suggest that participants’ levels of mindfulness increased (in both state and trait measures), quality of life improved, and the intervention was enjoyable and prompted desire to continue.

Donald McCown


Caring for the educator: Faculty Self-Care Implementation

Now more than ever the importance of self-care is paramount. With the ever-increasing demands on faculty time, how do we thoughtfully engage in self-care practices on a regular basis? Faculty members in higher education face numerous demands and evolving responsibilities including engaging in scholarship, working with students both in and out of the classroom, and participating in service on campus and in the community. How this pressure manifests varies across institution and discipline, however the fact remains that a high level of occupational stress accompanies the role of university faculty members (Meng & Wang, 2018). As college students’ stress levels continue to rise, faculty are tasked with educating overly scheduled and fatigued students. How do we hold space for others to grow and learn if we do not hold the same space for ourselves? This roundtable discussion will engage participants in practice and discussion around self-care in academia.

Michele McGrady


Contemplative Practices: Holistic, Other-Regarding, and Critical Reflexivity to Counter Dehumanizing Institutions

Educational institutions can be dehumanizing spaces where people suffer greatly. Administration, faculty, students, and staff are all subject to varying degrees of suffering. There is however, a structural basis to this suffering that perpetuates itself due to the entrenched, unquestioned ways in which institutions operate. Contemplative practices have been appropriated by the medical/therapeutic industry as a self-help tool for bolstering wellness for the individual. This dovetails conveniently with the aims of neoliberal corporate capitalist principles by which modern educational institutions operate that pathologizes stress as an individual failure. Contemplative practices without some sort of praxis of care that includes not only oneself, but others in its conceptualization of well-being, is incomplete and potentially harmful. Contemplative practices have great potential to be engaged in a critical analysis of the structural, systemic, institutional forces and the ways in which they cause harm.

Muga Miyakawa


Using Circles of Trust© to Strengthen Inclusive Community Development

Based on the work of Parker Palmer, The Circle of Trust© approach includes principles and practices for creating “brave spaces” where individuals can engage in personal and collective discernment. Integrating a variety of contemplative practices (e.g., journaling, lectio divina, meditation), this approach has the potential to transform individuals, families, workplaces, and communities. This poster describes efforts to implement Circle of Trust© practices in a 3-day retreat for participants in a state-wide community development initiative focused on facilitating greater inclusion of individuals with disabilities. The poster outlines and illustrates a variety of retreat components that were used to support participants’ self-reflection and conversations about their shared community development work. In addition, the poster includes discussion of modifications and accommodations of the Circle of Trust© approach that enhanced access and engagement for participants with sensory impairments and developmental dis

Andy Roach, Veta Goler (not in attendance)


Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Cardiovascular Disease and Risk Factors in the United States: A Systematic Review of Effectiveness and Implementation Data

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a persistent public health challenge worldwide. Mindfulness-based Interventions (MBI) have been researched for CVD and its risk factors, however, the efficacy and potential for implementation of these interventions remains unclear. This systematic review summarizes variations in implementation (i.e., intervention design, delivery and uptake, and contextual factors) and analyzes evidence supporting MBI’s application to cardiovascular risk outcomes. Additionally, this paper analyzes the current research for potential barriers, identifies challenges to implementation, and suggests future research directions.

Tonya Sanchez


Educating for Empathy: Writing as Meditative Practice

Empathy is an essential skill for professional students and practitioners in the helping professions. Advances in brain science have expanded our knowledge of the mechanics of empathy. To function effectively in diverse and emotionally complex environments, practitioners need to have a good understanding of the cognitive and affective aspects of empathy in order to self regulate empathic overload and engage proactively to prevent burnout. Journaling is one meditative practice that allows for reflection and self monitoring through critical emotional praxis.

Johanna Selles


Interactive Reflection Tree

Thank you for the opportunity to submit a poster presentation for the ACMHE Conference this year. We are Debora Colbert and Katya Stewart-Sweeney, from the Leadership Team of the Center for Mindfulness, at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Our Poster reflects the overall theme of this year’s conference: Radical Well-Being in Higher Education: Approaches for Renewal, Justice, and Sustainability. Join us to interact with our poster and learn more about renewal, justice and sustainability. We will employ a visual, tactile format that will engage and honor participants’ multiple ways of knowing. The experience will include quotes on these themes along with some guiding questions. Participants will be able to connect to their conference experience and have the opportunity to reflect on how they can use it in the future.

Katya Stewart-Sweeney, Debora Colbert


Sur-Thriving: Imagining New Possibilities for Radical Well-Being

Our poster introduces the complexity of the dimensions of radical and critical well-being while imagining sur-thrival, a fluid way of viewing survival and thrival. Using critical theories to frame sur-thrival and radical well-being, we push limits of human capacity and agency. In the quest to effect socially just change, the authors utilize Transtheoretical Model for Stages of Change as well as student affairs’ Social Change Model of Leadership to further examine the complexity of change as it relates to radical well-being. On a continuum, we address the motivators and challenges to radical well-being on the systems levels, in particular, micro, mezzo, macro, and global levels. In doing this, we complicate dichotomous tendencies and propose new ways to consider survival and thrival, and to perceive renewal, justice and sustainability, as pertaining to radical well-being.

Hannah Stohry, Simran Kaur-Colbert


Exploring a Relational Response to Student Self-Disclosure in the Classroom

Integrated learning pedagogies that encourage students to connect personal experiences to class material often inspire transformative learning. In the process of making such connections, some students disclose material that renders them too emotionally vulnerable and therefore negatively impacts the learning process. Relational theory offers profound wisdom for navigating student self-disclosures within the complex array of intersubjective exchanges typical in classroom settings. Whether or not a student’s disclosure is productive to the learning process depends on myriad factors (i.e. the student’s sense of safety and belonging, equity and inclusion in the classroom, the response of the teacher and other students to the disclosure, etc). Shining a relational lens on this issue offers opportunity for deep discourse regarding the relational components inherent in the process of teaching and learning.

Pamela Szczygiel


Co-creating a Map of Restorative Space with Undergraduates

Students are over committed, busy, and often burned out, but they live their school lives on campuses teeming with untapped infrastructure for mental and emotional restoration. At UW, we used participatory design in an undergraduate design methods course to co-create a map of restorative space on the University of Washington’s campus. This poster will showcase the results of our effort and overview our design process—including the participatory design activities we used to make the map of, by, and for the students. We will also share insights from students on the radical behavior changes required for them to make time and space for their own well-being.

Beck Tench, David Levy


Contemplating Science, Engaging Bodies: A Physics Foundation Experience for Engineers

This work presents a journey of four scholars, instructors, and artists, with their engineering students, into the world of contemplative practice and embodiment through a required physics foundation course, Contemplative Science: Educational Context & Ethics. In creating this learning environment, we sought to develop learners’ capacity for self-awareness and reflection as well as engagement in (1) interdisciplinary discourses that transcend science-engineering-mathematics-liberal arts-humanities boundaries; (2) the process of discernment of science relevance to human experience; (3) sense-making of human experiences, including students’ understanding of their selfhoods in relation to their professional aspirations. We use many contemplative practices and movement exercises to engage students in co-creating science with us through embodied ways of knowing. Together, we also co-create a narrative of our own and our students’ growth through this profoundly different course experience for engineers.

Yevgeniya Zastavker, Elly Berke, Jimena Bermejo, Madhvi Venkatech


The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry 

The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry (JOCI) is an online, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal for all who design, research, teach, and assess contemplative practices in college and university settings. JOCI promotes a vision of higher education that cultivates personal and social awareness and explores meaning, values, and engaged action. Established in 2014, JOCI is managed and funded through the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

David and Trudy Sable

2:00 – 2:15 pm Transition Break 
2:15 – 3:30 pm Parallel Session II
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session II

Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Dreaming into Being: Building Heartful Communities on Campus

How we come together is as important as that we come together. Aptly, Contemplative Community in Higher Education: a Toolkit encourages educators to “move our academic institutions and spaces toward integrity: aligning stated values and goals with the actual practices, attitudes, and atmospheres that define the lived and living experience of an institution and its individuals.” The UMass Amherst Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group (CPWG) acknowledges participants’ humanity by valuing authenticity, messiness, passionate engagement, divergent perspectives, discomfort, and compassion. In this way, the CPWG makes room for our multiple identities, our true evolving selves, to emerge from shielded protection. Group members will share reflections, stories and artifacts from the CPWG — how the group evolved, what continues bringing us together, what it means to co-create an authentic contemplative community in higher education, and what more we would like to dream into being.

Brian Baldi, Jennifer Cannon, Gayatri Guhanarayan, Maria Rios, Terrell James, Sarah Berquist 


Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Using Contemplative Practices to Assist Educators in Creating Spaces of Healing, Compassion, and Academic Inquiry for Black Men

Over the last twenty years the higher education environment has seen a shift in the diversity of students coming to college campuses. Specifically, these spaces have become more diverse with students from various ethnic, socioeconomic, political, sexual, and social backgrounds. By neglecting to engage and understand the lived experiences of black men faculty run the risk of making them feel excluded, which could result in negative health and educational outcomes. This session will discuss how faculty can incorporate contemplative practices and theory into their classrooms to create just, equitable, and inclusive campus environments.

Marlon Blake, Steven Thurston Oliver, Lenwood Hayman (not in attendance)


Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Contemplative Practices as Organic Community Organizing

Students at Florida International University, the nation’s largest four-year Hispanic Serving Institution, face chronic duress from living in an age of precarity. Recognizing this health crisis, and inspired by Lisa Napora’s call for systems-based institutionalization of contemplative practices, an interdisciplinary group of faculty is taking a “community organizing” approach to building institutional support. We have established a monthly workshop series where revolving facilitators practice and discuss contemplative pedagogies they have used. In a related weekly “contemplative practices laboratory,” facilitators share practices to support our own wellbeing and to consider what might be used in courses. Through these inclusive spaces, allies in other departments have emerged as “organizers” who can promote “buy in” among department colleagues.

Paul Feigenbaum, Ileana Hernandez, Mike Creeden


Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Creating a Culture of Mindfulness and Contemplative Inquiry

Pratt Institute’s Mindfulness Initiatives in Student Affairs (MISA) committee is a story about campus culture shift. We will share and offer practices, discuss how campus culture changes through mindfulness and contemplative practices, and how many voices can create a road map for culture change. Our committee brings together 10 departments in the division of Student Affairs to learn mindfulness and contemplative practices and integrate practice and theory throughout the university. This work includes personal practice training, meetings and dialogue, certifications in group facilitation, and commitment to awareness and inquiry. In its third year, MISA will include an all staff training, faculty training, and contemplative pedagogy dialogues with the CTL. Attention was given to principles of organizational change and how contemplative inquiry can guide change efforts at all different levels of the institution has led to the acceptance of this culture shift from this grassroots effort.

Esmilda Abreu, Sam Harvey, and Rhonda Schaller (not in attendance)


Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Panel

Contemplative Reading: Pedagogy & Practice

This panel demonstrates how contemplative reading disrupts the habits and demands of digital culture while cultivating habits of mind that foster focus and insight in classroom contexts. Panelists will explore the roles of pleasure, creativity, playfulness, and experimentation in designing and implementing contemplative reading assignments and activities. While embedded in different contexts, panelists employ contemplative reading to similar ends, including developing ethical sensibility, listening to the voices of the imagined, and cultivating generosity towards the unknown. During the facilitated discussion, we hope to learn from all attendees how classroom reading practices may transform habits and behaviors beyond those walls to promote a more just society. Panelists will distribute detailed assignments and activities for all attendees.

Melanie Carter, Kevin Healey, Karolyn Kinane, Caroline Wilkins and Jody Greene (not in attendance)


Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Emotional Intelligence as Radical Well-Being: Yes! for Student & Staff Alike

As emotions drive learning, relationships, decision-making, overall health and creativity, a multilevel approach to emotional intelligence for staff and student alike is a form of radical well-being. Such an approach coupled with contemplative practices offers a means of sustaining ourselves through institutional and societal challenges. Taking a radical deep-dive into the competencies embedded in emotional intelligence allows us to learn how to use the power of emotions and mindful behaviors to create a strengthened sense of well-being, and more effective and inclusive learning environments. Such a praxis of care envelops people and engages them in multiple ways to foster sustainable and compassionate campuses. Teaching radical well-being examination and approach is needed for all who struggle with anxiety or isolation due to their perceived expectations of campus life and ways of being or for those underdeveloped in terms of their self-esteem, confidence, judgement and emotional regulation.

Ife Lenard, Ericka Echavarria


Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Circle, Play and Mindfulness: Fostering a culture of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

This workshop will enhance the knowledge and skills of participants to integrate Indigenous Circles, play-based and mindful participatory approaches to support institutional change in higher education through building a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. In particular, we will focus on integrated process that nurture compassion and care for one-self and others within higher education. At Simon Fraser University, these integrated processes have contributed to supporting: course design; Indigenous ways of knowing; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; and responding to sexual harm.

Brenda Morrison  


Parallel Session II (Fri) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Women of Color Explore Solidarity as Praxis for Building Capacity

Women of Color (WOC) student affairs administrators and faculty are invited to engage in a workshop that explores the meaning of the term solidarity and the unique ways in which solidarity can be used as a strategy to build capacity, professional networks, and career advancement in the work place. Though WOC have similar yet varying experiences with their intersecting identities, this workshop will create space for WOC to (1) explore their intersecting identities and other salient identities, (2) learn the different ways WOC experience their working environments, and (3) name the ways they want support from WOC who seek to be in solidarity with them.

Paige Gardner, Naseeb Bhangal

3:30 – 4:00 pm Break with coffee, tea, and light snacks
CCA
4:00 – 5:00 pm Parallel Session III
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session III

Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

 

Bringing Mindful Curiosity and Curious Mindfulness to Education

We aim to bring nuance to the language and practices of curiosity and mindfulness in education. We suggest that, although these concepts have much to offer, they can also be problematic if applied uncritically. For example, the unqualified endorsement of curiosity fails to account for the ways in which questions are themselves the product of social values and political investments. However natural and well-meaning, some questions have the power to entrench racist, sexist, and ableist assumptions about ideal knowers and ways of knowing. Likewise, mindfulness in the classroom can feel trite and stilted when practiced on command. It can also model problematic appropriation—with predominantly white, economically and socially privileged, Western teachers acting as authorities of centuries old indigenous and non-Western practices. Here, then, we aim to discover and offer a framework for critically challenging and enriching the concepts of curiosity and mindfulness within the context of education.

Asia Ferrin, Perry Zurn


Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Self-Care as a Temporary Fix for Institutional Problems

This session will explore the idea that self-care is a Band-Aid, or a temporary fix for institutional problems. While it is important to take care of oneself, the current self-care culture may reveal how our institutions are failing to take care of us. Burnout, empathy fatigue, and activism fatigue are common among higher education faculty and staff. These issues intersect with privilege such that diverse faculty and staff are overworked and underpaid, engaging in the invisible labor of supporting minority students and meeting institutional needs for diverse representation. When employees are stressed and lacking support, mindfulness is often proposed as a solution to the problem instead of systemic change. Participants will be invited to share their experiences with the current self-care culture. Participants will brainstorm solutions that seek to address institutional barriers so that we can move beyond a quick fix.

Mel Lafferty


Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture–Contemplative and Community-Connected Learning and Doing

We present our contemplative and community-connected course, The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture, part of the New Perennials Project (NPP). Inspired by The Land Institute’s work developing a natural systems agriculture, NPP investigates education and community engagement to promote foundational change in human consciousness and ways of being, for repair of human and planetary health. Readings, discussions and contemplative practices introduce multiple perspectives and ways of knowing. Community-connected learning helps us generate understanding of frameworks, strategies and challenges of change organizations in education, creative and healing arts, food systems and faith communities. The course inspires deep questioning from ontological/epistemological levels to methods utilized in community action. We explore Western science, multiple philosophies and numerous pathways of knowledge-development. Each session incorporates contemplative movement plus connection and awareness with/of the more-than-human world.

Marc Lapin, Nadine Canter Barnicle, Bill Vitek (not in attendance) 


Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Student Writing Vulnerabilities and Contemplative Practices

This proposal understands “writing vulnerability”—that constant state of struggle between managing the demands of everyday life with those of the writing process—as endemic to all writing and suggests that contemplative practices are one way to resist this precarity and promote political, personal, and academic well-being. Students come to our classes with material vulnerabilities precipitated by lack of economic resources, with political vulnerabilities if they belong to an immigrant community or identify as people of color, or with psychic vulnerabilities from years of being told they were not “college material”—to name only a few. While meditation, timed writing, deep listening and the like will not erase these precarities, they can offer students a way to acknowledge them, explore their impacts, and effectively respond. By addressing this struggle directly, the presentation offers an approach to contemplative pedagogical practices that begins to account for writing’s many vulnerabilities.

Tara Pauliny


Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Asking the Right Questions: Stumbling Through Contemplative Pedagogies in Research

This session is based on a research project in which suburban US middle school teachers in a rapidly diversifying predominantly white and Christian community are introduced to contemplative pedagogies and practices to explore a sense of self and to grapple with issues of race, religion, and identity. These teachers are not “early adopters” of contemplative pedagogies and practices, and we found they moved back-and-forth between engaging in avoidance strategies and critique and criticism of the contemplative readings, practices, and activities to circumvent difficult discussions around identities. We provide insight into what this means for working and engaging with individuals who are not predisposed to contemplative work. We share how we worked through understanding why the teachers sidestepped important conversations and turned it into an opportunity to ask the right kinds of questions to sustain our well-being while deeply explore issues related to justice, inclusion, and respectful dialogue and actions.

Jeremy Price, Kari Carr (not in attendance), Josh Manlove (not in attendance), Khadijah Siddeeq (not in attendance)


Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Talking White Fragility at a Predominantly White Institution

What happens when diversity trainings and seminars are seen as opportunities to “beat up on the white guy” and create barriers rather than bridges? Two employees at a community college looked to change the delivery of diversity conversations to limit the defensiveness one may experience when discussing topics such as white privilege and biases. By introducing the topic of White Fragility, the presenters went back to the basics and challenged their participants to reflect rather than focus on self-justification or become defensive. In this session, the two presenters of the White Fragility training will walk through workshops given at their community college. In addition to delivering the content, they will also discuss feedback received and struggles faced after delivering the workshop in the classrooms and professional development opportunities on campus. The goal of this presentation is to provide participants with beneficial tools and steps to deliver similar training on their own campuses.

Joe Scrima, Deena Ata


Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Contemplative Pedagogies Integrating Personal and Societal Transformations to Sustainability

Can contemplative pedagogies help us extend care to all beings, develop competencies in systems thinking, and build equitable systems for human-Earth flourishing? In this session, participants are asked to share their experiences and insights on how to use contemplative pedagogies to address global sustainability challenges. We begin by introducing the A Mindset for the Anthropocene (AMA) project, which conducts research, connects change agents, and develops curricula for integrating personal, social, and ecological transformations towards sustainability. We will then briefly present a contemplative curriculum that the AMA project is co-developing with the Courage of Care Coalition. Afterwards, we invite participants to collectively share their expertise and knowledge on how to design and implement contemplative pedagogies for human-Earth flourishing. Dialogue will be guided around the question: “How can we integrate psycho-spiritual and societal transformations toward sustainability?”

Zack Walsh, Brook D. Lavelle


Parallel Session III (Fri) | 60-Minute Presentation

Teaching Upstream with Contemplative Practices in the Trauma and Adult Learning Context: A Recent Study in Massachusetts

This session will introduce findings from the Teaching Upstream Study: research that used feminist, qualitative, grounded-theory methods to explore adult educators’ perspectives on trauma-informed teaching in Massachusetts. Completed in 2017-2018, the study examined the social/pedagogical processes by which trauma-informed teaching takes place directly through the lens of educators working in adult learning and higher education settings. In this session, we will cover the results of the study, which revealed several contemplative practices as key strategies for resilience-oriented pedagogy, anti-racist activism, and resistance towards the influences of neoliberal policies in education. As we take a deeper look at the trauma and adult learning context, we will explore contemplative practices used by adult educators in Massachusetts to teach upstream against deprivation, discrimination, and structural barriers – and discuss critical take-away’s useful for those who support adult learners.

Emily Wilson

5:00 – 5:30 pm Transition Break
CCA
5:30 – 6:45 pm Disarming Ourselves, Decolonizing Care: Radical Dharma Approaches for Courageous Transformation
Keynote by Dr. Jasmine Syedullah
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Vassar College
CCA

Saturday, November 9

9:00 – 9:15 am Practice and Framing of the Day
CCA
9:15 – 9:30 am Break with coffee and tea
CCA Foyer
9:30 – 10:45 am Parallel Session IV
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session IV

Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Roundtable

 

Centered in Blackness: Offerings from The 2019 Black Mindfulness Summit

In this roundtable session, we share images and insights gleaned from the inaugural convening of the Black Mindfulness Summit in March 2019, a gathering of diverse Black contemplative practitioners. Scholars, artists, healers, and community members gathered to reflect, sing, draw, laugh, dance, pray, and acknowledge our collective pain and wisdom. In the face of continued racial tension on college campuses, where Black bodies are policed and Black intellectual legitimacy is questioned, there exists a need for authentic healing and restorative spaces for those of us committed to doing anti-racist work. Together we considered how mindfulness and diverse contemplative approaches foster healing from racial trauma experienced in the academy. While contemplative practices connect us to the broader human condition, there is a time and place for contemplative spaces that honor our diversity and complexity, while simultaneously grounding us to have an impact within and beyond our communities.

Michelle Chatman, Steven Thurston Oliver 


Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Not a Class But Life: Religious Diversity in the Classroom

In her final reflection, a student in my class on poetry and spirituality wrote, “UNC Asheville is a wonderful campus, but it can be a little bit hostile towards people who openly express their faith (in anything).” Faculty, too, may also sense an unspoken disapproval of religious or spiritual practice and consequently choose to keep that part of their lives private while on campus. Are there appropriate ways to be more inclusive of our whole selves–students, faculty, and staff–including the religious or spiritual parts of our experiences at public colleges and universities? What about in our CMind community? Are there ways to honor and learn from a wide variety of religious and spiritual perspectives represented by our members? Based on my class “The Heart and the Matter: Poetry and Spirituality,” and a year-long faculty-staff learning community on Faith in Art, this practice workshop will give us an opportunity to explore these questions together.

Richard Chess


Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Trauma-Sensitive Resiliency Practices: A Toolkit for Well-Being

This workshop describes the cultivation of well-being through a toolkit of research-based strategies utilized across a continuum of programming at The New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project. A primary objective is to offer how we, in our work at the intersections of suicide prevention, trauma stewardship, and social justice, manage to stay joyful, regulated,connected, present, and resilient. As a facility of higher education, the center trains intern therapist graduate students in social work and counseling. The training program, which is part of the center’s prevention and intervention programming, integrates contemplative practices into its clinical model to enhance healing, therapeutic presence, and resiliency for both clients and clinicians alike. This workshop shares how we manage our own capacity for our compassionate values to be actionable and sustainable while offering participants insight into enhancing their own well-being and increased longevity in the service of individual and collective social justice.

Erin Doerwald


Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Healing Our Collective and Individual Identities : Pedagogical Practices for Making A Class Come Alive in Body and Mind

Recognizing that increasing number of students are suffering from mental distress, as well as an overall cultural disembodiment that links directly to our social and environmental crises, this workshop offers hands on pedagogical practices aimed at ‘healing our collective and individual identities’. A sociology professor and three of her former students will share their insights and classroom activities gathered and adapted from a social theory course they all participated in this past spring semester. Each will lead a particular activity and then invite the audience to reflect on its effectiveness, potential applications for other courses and possible ways to further develop the activity to maximize its efficacy. Special attention will be paid to how the activities address, unpack and possibly promote healing for the socially constructed, yet highly embodied, identities of race, gender and class, as well as our relationships with the ‘natural world’.

Phoebe Godfrey, Jamiah Bennett, Sara Defazio, Pamela Patrick (not in attendance)


Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Critical Service-Learning: Self Awareness and Compassion In Academia

An exploration of team teaching in a first year Residential Academic Service-Learning Course. In this interactive session we will explore our multiple social identities through vulnerability exercises. Together we will investigate how to build a bridge of compassionate understanding between “who we are and who they are.” By modeling a bridge of openness, and exploration of the underlying issues of inequality, educators will learn how to integrate the diversity present in the classroom into a contemplative pedagogy.

Students in our academic program utilize the group classroom experiences with their engagement in community organizations for learning. Our students participate in exploration of self to understand how their social identities relate to their engagement with community partners. Self-exploration is fundamental in understanding issues of social justice, power, privilege and oppression. Beyond individual development, students examine the prevailing systems governing the community organizations they serve and bring their erudition to the class.

Terrell James, Katja Hahn D’Errico


Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

The Mandala of Social Change: An embodied practice for collective contemplative resistance

Last year I presented on the four roles of social change in a framework of living systems theory (David Stroh) and adrienne marie brown’s Emergent Strategy. This year I would like to actually run the exercise that I presented about with the addition of mandala principle (Judith Simmer-Brown). The mandala practice walks people through an embodied contemplative journey that integrates a standing meditation practice with a spectrogram exercise making out each person’s relationship to social change (the four roles) as well as their positionality to power. The center of the mandala is the locus of power and the edge are the margins farthest away from power. The mandala practice is something we can take home and utilize in social justice communities and classrooms to have an embodied collective experience of our organizing and resistance.

Holly Roach Knight


Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

“Decolonization” and the “Indigenizing” of the Academy: Sweat Lodge Ceremony as Contemplative Practice

The concepts of “Indigenization” and “decolonization” are buzzing through Canadian Universities in the aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report, though the concepts are far from new. The TRC and its 94 recommendations was a multi-year process to address the intergenerational suffering and cultural loss of residential school survivors from Indigenous communities throughout Canada. As a consequence, universities and colleges have begun to institute some of the recommendations on multiple levels. Though positive in many regards, the process for deep rooted understanding and healing is not well understood, and for many Indigenous peoples the efforts are a repeat of earlier attempts. In this presentation, I will introduce methods used in our “Indigenous Peoples of Canada” course, which culminated in building a sweat lodge and participating in a sweat led by a Cree sweat lodge leader on the university grounds. During the ceremony, participants experienced the teachings on, connecting with our ancestors, “prayer” and creating community.

Trudy Sable


Parallel Session IV (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Dwelling Together Between Queasy Worlds: Toward Sacred Citizenship

As liberal multiculturalism crumbles and critiques become increasingly weaponized, new scholarly frameworks are needed for working with fear and difference as we muck our way toward expanded alliances and webs of care. How are we to think, speak, and create, when disengaging from terms of “self” bound within coloniality and racialized capitalism? I am interested in border spaces inhabited when one detaches, either by choice or force, from illusions of wholeness, cohesive identity, progress, and the American Dream. What possibilities exist in-between self/not-self, embodiment/disembodiment, language and being? This experiential workshop will explore these questions through storytelling, writing, and embodied contemplative practices with the intent to build what M. Jacqui Alexander calls, “sacred citizenship,” or beloved communities of difference.

Kirsten Mundt

10:45 – 11:00 am Transition Break 
11:00 – 12:00 pm

Parallel Session V
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session V

Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Neuroscience, Mindfulness, and Inclusive Pedagogy

An estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives. When thinking of students impacted by trauma, the focus is often on younger students; however trauma and its effects can impact students of all ages including those in our classrooms and university service areas. This session will examine the neuroscience behind the Fight, Flight, and Freeze phenomena and learn to use mindfulness tools and several inclusive pedagogy strategies to better engage and support students. 

 

Amer F. Ahmed, Mayra Padilla


Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Creating learning environments that fit the needs of “emerging” students

Challenges beyond academics, such as lower income, no sense of belonging, and a lack of cultural capital make underprepared, underrepresented, and first-generation college students some of the most at-risk students in college. Still, academic preparation has been the focus of much research regarding these cohorts of students. “Equally important, however, are the psychological–social barriers and lack of institutional support.”

So what if, instead of looking at these students’ academic risks, we looked at their social and emotional barriers? What if, instead of calling them at-risk, we called them emerging? This session will describe the design, and implementation of an academic support program based on intrusive-advising geared towards at-risk students. This program uses trauma-informed, contemplative practices to help first-generation students improve their self-knowledge, critical thinking, and community engagement—which in turn improves academic engagement and retention.

Ralph Godbolt, Shannon Musgrove, Aurora Bonner


Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Critically reflective learning communities

In this session we will explore how critically reflective pedagogy and ways of knowing can impact levels of engagement and build a classroom that fosters growth and caring at its heart. Caring for ourselves and each other requires us to cultivate resilience and deepen our capacity for difficult conversations and compassion in the classroom and in our communities as we work for justice. This presentation will offer knowledge of critically reflective theory and define what communities of caring can look like and embody in the academy. In seeking to teach and learn from a place of knowing our deep connection with each other, we can find greater healing and understanding in our work. And, maybe even guide us in the creation of systems that are more joy-filled and caring infused. We will also explore contemplative practices that can ground us in this work.

Stacy Husebo  


Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Bridging Personal Acts of Resistance and Collective Uprising through Ecopoetics

This presentation/performance offers one way of creating culturally-appropriate and culturally-responsive learning environments for climate justice education, environments that respect and value multiple needs, diverse ways of knowing and being while inspiring the individual action and collective uprising needed in this critical moment since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report put us on alert that we have less than 12 years to avert climate catastrophe. The presentation will be structured around my multi-year project, “1000 Gifts of Decolonial Love”, a community performance and epic instructional video poem that weaves together instructions for folding paper cranes, the story of Sadako, Hiroshima victim whose paper cranes came to symbolize peace; a story of “climate colonialism” and the endangerment of cranes in Taiwan; and contemporary liberation struggles of Indigenous resurgence and M4BL. The workshop integrates ecopoetics, paperfolding as contemplative activism, and story circle.

Ju-Pong Lin


Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Practice Makes Progress: Engaging Mindfulness with Elementary School Students

I will present an overview of my own personal and professional journey with mindfulness, followed by a presentation outlining a year-long mindfulness project I participated in with a diverse group of fifth-graders attending a Boston Public School. I will highlight particular practices we engaged in that illuminate the necessity of bringing mindful practices into all types of education settings. In addition, I will discuss the ways in which mindfulness practices can be an entry point into addressing uncomfortable emotions associated with various forms of bias.

Alice McIntyre


Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Contemplative Pedagogy Improves Classroom Discourse

This presentation offers principles and practices of yoga to improve classroom equity, diversity, and inclusion. The session begins with centering through mantra, pranayama, and mudra (chant, breath control, and gesture, respectively) to set intent and to control the vital energy.

In opening the question of equitable classroom discourse, participants reflect on how they hold contemplative, inclusive learning spaces and personal talk patterns. Next, the presentation illustrates linguistic features of classroom talk dominance and how it can quash diversity and inclusion. It asks participants to share their perspectives on resolving problems of classroom talk in order to increase equity. Following, the presentation offers suggestions to improve the discourse that frames classes by engaging ideals of pratipaksha bhavana (mindfulness of opposites) and sattva (positivity and peacefulness). Participants share ideas from their own classrooms. The session closes with reflection, centering, and mantra.

A.M. Moretti  


Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Leading with Compassion: Bringing Radical Wellness to the Virginia Military Institute

In this interactive session, we will explore the challenges of implementing a mindfulness-based meditation ‘fitness’ (MBFT) program at a small, southern, military college in Virginia. Virginia Military Institute’s (VMI’s) mission of producing citizen-soldiers in a liberal-arts framework interweaves two oppositional pressures cadets maneuver daily: military duties and academic scholarship. Our goal is to embed the MBFT program in this relatively insular and traditional learning environment, and then to expand it to the entire VMI community. MBFT will be the means to creating a just, connected, and compassionate community. We envision a program through which our cadets, faculty, staff, hourly-employees, and administration engage with each other, and with the larger world. In this session, we seek the collective wisdom of the ACMHE community to better understand the constraints and synergies of designing this program. We hope this exchange will also yield ideas that strengthen and sustain participants’ programs.

Holly Richardson, Tinni Sen


Parallel Session V (Sat) | 60-Minute Presentation

Embodied Learning: Connected Interiority in the Classroom

bell hooks introduced the idea of teaching as a form of transgression, and in the context of contemplative education, we transgress boundaries by inviting students to become conscious co-creators in their own learning. This paradigm encourages the students and the teacher to become active participants in an engaged pedagogy. In this way, the classroom can become a “participatory space for the sharing of knowledge” in which we can connect “the will to know with the will to become” (hooks, 1994). In this session we will consider integrative models for teaching in which learning is understood as a wholly embodied process that involves reframing ways of being and ways of knowing. We will explore, in turn, how this paradigm shifts the focus of learning to a place of connected interiority, from which we can cultivate habits of mind and heart that allow for a deepened engagement with issues of inclusivity, social justice, moral agency and personal meaning-making.

Melissa Hammerle

12:00 – 1:00 pm Buffet Lunch (included with registration)
CCA
1:00 – 2:00 pm

Poster Session II
Posters should be set up before or during lunch, and may be displayed until 4pm.
CCA 

Poster Session II

Walking the Labyrinth as a Contemplative Tool for Self-Awareness 

This poster describes research findings, using grounded theory methodology, of a study with students at the community college level walking the labyrinth as a contemplative ritual in discovery of the Self. While crossing the threshold into the labyrinth, students enter a state of liminality, a space-time of creative potentiality in individual and communal human behavior in which they experience the concept of spirit—a developing consciousness towards self-knowledge. Although the labyrinth has three circular stages, walking it has no fixed meaning; rather, meaning is generated by the interplay of the walker with the labyrinth. Labyrinth walkers experience binaries, such as darkness & light, that generate a dialectic. This dialectical movement, whereby one’s initial state-of-being while walking to the center (thesis) gives way to an opposite state (anti-thesis). As a result of experiencing this spectrum, a creative reality (synthesis) to inwardly and outwardly realize an unknown Self-truth occurs.

Nancy Bandiera


Got vulnerability?: Developing Colleagues of Color Through Mindful Supervision

In the face of “business as usual”, this presentation creates space for participants to interrogate the relationship of vulnerability and supervision in higher education, specifically supervision involving staff of color. Have you ever heard that supervisors aren’t meant to develop you, but instead are there to make sure you don’t burn anything down (often figurative)? The presenters, two Womxn of Color, who previously shared a supervisory relationship filled with vulnerability, will leverage theoretical frameworks (i.e. Adams et al., 2000) with contemplative exercises (i.e. gallery walk and case studies) during the presentation. In doing so the presentation will mine collective knowledge to help participants (1) articulate methods to develop identity-affirming supervisory relationships, (2) articulate racial battle fatigue and how it affects supervisees and/or supervisors of color, and (3) identify at least one vulnerable and tangible way to re-imagine supervisory relationships.

Naseeb Bhangal


Senior Capstone Project: Phase 3: UNITe (USAFA-Naropa University Inclusion Team Project)

Naropa University (Buddhist-inspired) has a vastly different culture and approach to education than the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA). For their senior capstone project, cadets co-created shared experiences with Naropa University to develop respect for each other’s culture using the scientist-educator model and intergroup contact theory. This mutual exchange of ideas/practices has the potential to make each culture more effective in meeting its mission. This cross-cultural collaboration is an application project based on a decade of our earlier research which involved pushing boundaries of comfort to develop and assess respect for those we often see as different from ourselves.

Michelle Butler


Contemplation: Understanding the Self as Learner –A College Meditation Course

In Spring 2019, we offered two sections of a new team-taught course called “Contemplation: Understanding the Self as Learner”. The course introduces students to basic mindfulness and contemplative practices within the framework of understanding attentional, cognitive, and emotional regulation. Course goals are to illuminate how mindfulness skills and practices can shape habits of mind, perspective-taking, learning, and conceptualization of significant social issues. In addition to other reflective writing assignments, students complete a final assignment articulating a possible application of contemplative practice to a significant personal and/or social issue. The quality of these assignments suggests that students in the course have an increased awareness of the ways in which mindfulness practices can impact attention, cognition and emotional regulation.

Kathryn Caldwell, Mary Ann Erickson, Julia Lapp


Changes in Well-Being from a 30-Minute Meditation RCT

Many previous studies have focused on the effects of long-term meditation, working with “self-selecting” people interested in mindfulness. In the current study, we were interested in immediate effects of meditation in people who may or may not be interested in mindfulness. Therefore, we randomly assigned N = 186 subjects to one of 7 conditions, to answer specific questions about different delivery methods of meditation. Specifically, we asked whether 1) there are immediate benefits to a single session of meditation (compared to a control activity), 2) the effects differ between a leader- vs. audio-guided meditation, 3) expectation alters the benefit of meditation, and 4) meditating in a group setting is more effective than meditating alone. Results and implications of the applicability of different methods in mindfulness research will be discussed.

Karen Dobkins, Taylor Bondi (not in attendance)


Mindfulness and White Fragility: Tools for Engagement

This poster will focus on ways to utilize mindfulness techniques for self-care and self-compassion to combat disconnection and shame that can interfere with acknowledgement of white privileged. The concept of white fragility will be outlined, and the possible implications of it for social justice work in higher education with students, faculty, and administrators . Additionally, specific ways to apply mindfulness for the self of the educator as well as for students in classroom instruction will be presented with the purpose of engaging in this challenging social justice work more sustainable.

Laura Gambrel


Effectiveness and Acceptability of Mindfulness Practices for Consultants-in-Training

Considering factors such as high workloads, strict deadlines, and financial challenges—various studies report graduate students in helping professions experience mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. This research poster highlights an explanatory mixed methods study examining the integration of a mindfulness-based curriculum–Mindfulness without Border’s Mindfulness Ambassadors Council program—in a consultation class for first-year School Psychology graduate students. This program has been found to be related to decreased stress and anxiety amongst various populations (e.g., teachers, teenagers, low-income mothers), but has not yet been examined with those in the helping professions. Using quantitative and qualitative data, this study examines the impact of this intervention on factors related to the students’ well-being and professional efficacy, including stress, self-compassion, mindfulness, and consultation knowledge. This study also examines the acceptability of the intervention.

Nicole Guillen, Andrew Roach


Confronting Performance Anxiety- A Case Study

The poster would outline a process in which an undergraduate student with performance anxiety collaborated with her acting/voice teacher on a project to investigate/practice stress reduction techniques, including MBSR and Fitzmaurice Voicework, in order to reduce the physical and cognitive symptoms she experienced in auditions and performances. The culmination of the study was a work of devised theatre centering on performance anxiety through a feminist lens.

Daydrie Hague


Contemplative Practices in Higher Education in Japan

In Educational Anthropology Major of Ritsumeikan University, students are offered the opportunity to engage in contemplative practices. They engage in multilateral research to the relations between education and humanity via issues involving their own themes. The themes of graduation theses would be important issues in students’ whole lives. To prepare for the theses, students learn Wilber’s integral theory and Krishnamurti’s literatures in the 1st grade, meditation in the 2nd and yoga in the 3rd. In the 4th year, students meditate into their issues mainly through pondering with their professors. The most important thing on writing is transforming of the consciousness itself. Some students experience themselves to be mindful to their whole existence, and the old prejudice would be cut loose from the ties and a reinterpretation of the life manifest itself. Through an analysis of students’ graduation theses, this session explores the experiences of contemplative practices in higher education.

Tomoko Kano, Hiroyuki Fukuhara, Yuuta Kawasaki


Ancient Practices for Today’s College Student: A Buddhist Mindfulness Class

The purpose of this interpretivist case study was to examine the experiences of college students in a drop-in, mindfulness class in the Kadampa Buddhist tradition. The class was provided through a collaboration between a student-led club and local Buddhist monastics. Data was collected at a mid-size public university through participant observation and seven individual semi-structured interviews. Data was analyzed through thematic coding and crystallization. Major themes that resulted from the research included a comfortable atmosphere, the role of compassion, the importance of spiritually, and the short-term versus long-term impact of mindfulness. Implications of the research for students and administrators will be discussed, and participants will be encouraged to provide feedback for future research.

Mel Lafferty


Self-care in action: Contemplative Practices and Students’ Perceptions of Stress

Stress in college students is not a new phenomenon. However, stress levels among college students are rising with an increased prevalence of depression and anxiety. According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health’s 2017 annual report on college student mental health (CCMH, 2017), 45% of students who seek counseling report doing so because of stress related issues. The American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment indicated 34.4% of students reported that stress interferes with their academic performance (ACHA, 2018). Trends indicate college students are more stressed by the pressures of earning a college degree and these stressors impact quality of life (Ribeiro, Pereira, Freire, de Oliveira, Casotti, & Boery, 2017). Contemplative practices in the classroom offer the opportunity to empower students to practice self-care and self-compassion. This presentation will discuss pilot study data on the use of contemplative practices on students’ perceptions of stress.

Michele McGrady


Mindfulness Training for Psychiatric NP residents: Will access to care improve?

Mental health in the community starts with the attitudes of justice, social equity and caring within the providers. Community health centers provide care for the uninsured and actively work to remove barriers to access treatment. This is a very demanding job for most health care providers. Mindfulness practice may create a work environment capable of sustaining the high demands placed on community health care providers.

Part one, an 8- week mindfulness course is being given to with psychiatric NP residents at Thundermist Community Health Center. Part two, is 8 weeks of mindfulness practice and application to patient care.NP residents will be given measures of work satisfaction and mindfulness before and after the 16 week course. Goal is to develop a mindfulness program as part of the residency programs to all disciplines and staff at Thundermist. Creating a caring and collaborative environment for patients and sustainability for providers in training.

Christine Moriconi


A critical discourse analysis of the development of cultural representations in Arabic reading texts in college Arabic teaching in the U.S.

The study presents a critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 2008) of Arabic readings, which are used for instruction in an advanced college-level Arabic course in a public research university in New England. I focus on this topic due to the gap in research that attends to critical cultural studies of texts and textbooks in the field of teaching Arabic as foreign language in the post 9/11 era and in relation to the current demanding neoliberal rhetoric (Wahba, 2018). I approach the readings to highlight the types of cultural representations that emerge in the Arabic readings, and the macro contextual factors them. Findings reveal the construction of fixed and unfavorable cultural representations informed by the rhetoric of neoliberalism and terrorism in the post 9/11 era. Findings indicate a pedagogical need for critical reading skills to read texts against the grain.

Shaimaa Moustafa


Creating Social Change through Through Trauma Informed Compassion

Governors State University is a midsized, public institution located on the fringe of a large metropolitan city and rural communities. As a Minority Serving Institution its students comprise the new majority in higher education with students from racially underserved populations; low income families; and adult learners. GSU is navigating an organizational and cultural shift as the university transitioned from a completion college to a comprehensive university serving freshmen and sophomores in Fall 2014. This transition, in addition to unstable finances from state governments and low retention and graduation rates of underclassmen, resulted in disconnection especially for first generation, low-income coming students from traumatic backgrounds.

In continuing last years theme, “Creating a Culture of Connection” in this poster we describe our attempt to engage students, faculty, student affairs staff, and peer mentors through workshops focused on trauma-informed compassion practices to create social change.

Timothy Pedigo, Amanda Evans, Matthew Cooney


Deconstructing the Inclusion Dichotomy: Deeper Understanding from a Nuanced Scale

As diversity and inclusion wisely become embedded in organizational goals, a need for clarity has emerged. Despite the increased number of workshops and trainings, little has been done to identify outcomes past ethereal goals of “becoming inclusive.” This false dichotomy (“inclusive” or “not”) impedes efforts for defining problems, developing people, and assessing the impact of interventions. This is even more true for courses we teach and our personal contemplative practices. Using a social-developmental approach, we propose a six-step model that delineates a scale for identification of current – and desired – inclusion states. This scale allows for intersectional approaches, recognizing people vary on levels of inclusion across social locations as well as over time. Keeping the continuum of inclusion in the forefront of consciousness builds not only a more just and compassionate culture, but also one that can more effectively solve the complexities of 21st century problems.

Steven Samuels, Gary A. Packard, Jr.(not in attendance), Michelle A. Butler


Minding the Body: Embodied Strategies for Sustaining Self and Others

It is imperative for the human condition that we try to understand what we know with our moving bodies—how we move in space, make space, and make space inhabitable” (Foster, 2011). Our presentation captures this spirit: how the experiential workshops we offer combine ethnographic and kinesthetic sensibilities. We explore deeply how maintaining one’s ‘center’ helps sustain equilibrium even under stressful conditions. Because how one learns affects how one engages with self, others, and the environment, our interdisciplinary approach uses multiple modalities (writing, observation, movement, reflection, cooperative partner exercises) to immerse participants tangibly in applied mindfulness—improving their abilities to be physically neutral, mentally relaxed yet alert. The presenters have been using this approach for the past 8 semesters as part of full-credit, academic courses–with undergraduates and graduate students alike, as well as with faculty members and administrators curious to learn more about mindful movement and well-being: the art of improving clarity and equanimity.

Nancy Watterson, Lan Tran


Intimate Curiosity: Felt Interconnectedness as the Desire to Learn

I situate the contemplative feeling and insight of interconnectedness in mindfulness meditation as an educational stimulant for the experience of curiousity. First, I elaborate on how the feeling of interconnectedness reflects an educational opportunity to which the objects of learning become experientially illuminated as dynamic entities that exist in meaningful relationships to the student. In this sense, learning becomes transformed from a distant “knowing” of a separate foreign world to an intimate relatedness to a world that becomes alive in its inseparable connections to the student. Curiosity, then, is the educational moment in which the meaningful relationship between the student and the objects of learning invites a closer ontological intimacy and knowing. Lastly, I discuss how to contemplatively cultivate curiosity, whereby the felt interconnectedness is artfully sustained as a container that holds the objects of learning, thus, illuminating their wondrous intimacies to the student.

Steven Zhao


Feasibility of teaching self-compassion to college students

Introduction: One approach to reducing stress and increasing quality of life among college students is teaching self-compassion. The goal of this study was to conduct the first pilot evaluation among college students of the Making Friends with Yourself self-compassion intervention.

Method: Twenty-five students participated in the eight-week intervention. Students also participated in focus groups after the intervention ended and completed pre and post measures of psychosocial outcomes.

Results: The intervention was found to be feasible and acceptable. On average, students attended six of the eight sessions, ranging from two to eight sessions. Focus group data revealed that students found the intervention to be acceptable. Finally, students reported significantly increased mindfulness and self-compassion and significantly decreased stress and academic stress after the intervention.

Discussion: An intervention designed to increase college-students’ self-compassion may be feasible and acceptable.

Elizabeth Donovan, Hannah Scott (not in attendance), Maleeha Mohammed (not in attendance), Tara Cousineau (not in attendance)


Using contemplative practices to promote well-being and self-care among acupuncture students

The demands placed on acupuncturists can contribute to high levels of stress and burnout. Self-care practices implemented regularly may decrease high levels of stress while also serving as ways to cope during particularly stressful times. In this 15-week curriculum, a group of acupuncture students were assigned various contemplative practices to promote self-care and prevent burnout. Innovative mindfulness methods were used such as choosing an item of mindfulness in advance, to focus on in an area of their life that brought them persistent problems or unease. Students were also taught how to stop the mind when faced with a difficult situation. Pausing allowed them the space to think through the situation with more clarity, therefore leading to better choices in life. After completion of the program, students self-reported feeling more centered, focused, and compassionate towards themselves and others.

Grace Song


Expanding Multicultural Understandings in Predominantly White, Rural, Middle School Grades 

The purpose of this study was to explore the principal’s role in expanding multicultural understandings in predominantly white, rural, middle school grades. This explanatory sequential mixed methods study used a closed-response survey and in-depth interviews with principals across Massachusetts. Both instruments addressed three guiding research questions: (a) To what degree do principals consider it a priority to expand multicultural understandings in predominantly white, rural, middle school grades? (b) What do principals report they are doing to expand multicultural understandings in predominantly white, rural, middle school grades? (c) What do principals report are factors and conditions that inhibit and support their efforts to expand multicultural understandings in predominantly white, rural, middle school grades? There were six key findings.

Jacquelynne Chase 


Implementing Reacting to the Past Pedagogy to Facilitate Introspective Reflection

Session presents interactive experience of a shortened version of a “Reacting to the Past” game, “The Collapse of Apartheid and the Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993,” and how the presenters connected the lessons of the game to the students’ lived experiences. Learning goals of the pedagogical approach include having participants better understand and appreciate the role of cultural competence as an asset both to self and to healthy functioning within a diverse society; engage in contemplative reflection around historically relevant issues, and be immersed in a collaborative learning experience where there is opportunity to create thoughtful arguments in oral and in written forms. Reflections following the game challenge participants to discuss the significance of the events and decisions made in the game from multiple perspectives; contemplate how their own worldview has been impacted and advanced by the experience; and challenge participants to explore mindful interaction with others.

Wendy Biddle, Megan P. Brock, Thomas Chase Hagood (not in attendance), Naomi Norman (not in attendance)


The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry 

The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry (JOCI) is an online, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal for all who design, research, teach, and assess contemplative practices in college and university settings. JOCI promotes a vision of higher education that cultivates personal and social awareness and explores meaning, values, and engaged action. Established in 2014, JOCI is managed and funded through the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

David and Trudy Sable

2:00 – 2:15 pm Transition Break 
2:15 – 3:30 pm

Parallel Session VI
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session VI

Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Seeding Mindfulness: Growing Contemplative Community and Cultivating Well-being Across Campus 

Well-being belongs everywhere; it does not begin or end in any one unit of campus life – whether classroom, office, or dorm. This session explores the collaborative creation of dispersed contemplative campus practices and the capacity of a decentralized approach to bust silos, foster well-being, and create meaningful connection across departments and units. Co-presenters are participants in the Hollins Contemplative Collective, a diverse team of faculty, staff, and administrators who meet regularly for mindfulness practice and reflection. Whether teaching or fundraising; career counseling or developing diversity and inclusion initiatives; in the dance studio, library, or chapel: participants reflect on their contemplative initiatives as contributions to the interconnectedness of campus life. Attendees will be guided in reflection on their own locations in campus communities, and gain resources to collaboratively sow seeds of well-being that take root across campus.

Jenny Call, Karen Cardozo (not in attendance), Courtney Chenette, LeeRay Costa and Rebecca Seipp


Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Resonating Whiteness: Revealing Its Power and Denial Through Contemplative Practice

Through amnesia, denial, systemic racism, and suppression of “other,” Academia reinforces the underlying power of white superiority. Our current embodied systems evolved from colonization, eradication, expropriation, enslavement, and legislation. Normalized and protected by our mental frameworks, denial and amnesia facilitate “comfortably numb” and disembodied white-identity. Performance artists at the intersection of academia, wellness, and community with narratives of legacy and rememory are wayfinding paths to cognition, acceptance, apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Immersion in spoken word and movement, workshop participants use contemplative practices for reflection and white-identity awareness. Participants will co-create resonating whiteness by connecting body with mind in a shared space that is a challenge to open awareness. A facilitated reflective discussion of a contemplative practice for application in higher education will illuminate the implicit power structure of social control.

CL Dukes, Raeann G. LeBlanc


Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Roundtable

Contemplative Reading: Community-Engagement & Social Justice

This panel will introduce the practices of “Shared Reading,” Lectio Divina, and those drawn from the Jewish traditions PaRDeS, (P’shat, Remez, D’rash, Sod). Presenters will demonstrate how such practices generate micro ethical and political worlds in which participants experience not only individual insights but also relational possibilities of respect, cooperation, and justice. Presenters will describe how such practices open space for analyses of systemic oppression and the development of compassionate understanding that leads to action. The initial discussion will address the contexts of Service Learning, Community Engagement, and secular classrooms, but we may expand these contexts through the facilitated conversation where all participants may share perspectives and ask questions.

Karolyn Kinane, Donald McCown, Jeremy Price, Patricia Owen-Smith


Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Reigniting Your True North: Passion and Courage for Resiliency

Today’s academic community is experiencing unprecedented levels of rapidly evolving challenges while navigating volatile politics, social changes, and increasing expectations. The result is often an atmosphere of stress and frustration in which faculty and administrators can easily feel under attack, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Staying true to oneself and one’s personal passion can be important to feeling sustained within the changing higher education landscape. This interactive workshop will guide participants in developing their own road map for reigniting their sense of purpose and rediscovering the inner courage they need to carry on and move forward. When considering self-care in today’s climate, faculty and administrators must explore ways of maintaining their “true north” in the face of ongoing turbulence. As participants reconnect with themselves, they will also connect with sustainable options – such as openness, dialogue, and vulnerability – for supporting inclusive campus communities.

Rob Kramer, Robin Sansing


Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Yah-khah-dha Dhih-ní-a: The mind fully awake and observing

In October 2016, for the first time we found an Arabic word for mindfulness at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. Since then, we conducted mindfulness workshops, retreats and de-stress days during exams. However, in Fall 2018, I offered a 3-credit mindfulness course to foster well-being in the classroom, outside of workshops and yoga classes. This was a first course on mindfulness in a Moroccan university, with activities such as in-class guided meditation, daily personal practice, retreat, weekly embroidery and gardening classes, weekly critical reflective journal writing, workshops on art and theater, and exploring literature on mindfulness.

In this workshop, I aim to give a glimpse into the journey of 17 undergraduate students in a 3-credit elective on mindfulness. We will practice a guided meditation, critical reflective journal, play with art, look at student project (videos, photos, journal, paper) and aim to experience the collective journey of the class.

Smita Kumar  


Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Joy as Resistance: Exploring Play as Contemplative Practice

While a workshop on play might seem counterintuitive in our current sociopolitical times, perhaps now, more than ever, we need to stay grounded in our capacities for joy. This session offers an opportunity to explore play as a pathway into embodied contemplative practice. Through games and exercises drawn from Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed repertoire, we will explore the ways that playfulness might inspire our sense of connection with self and community, how shared laughter might create healing communal space, and how joy might serve as a powerful act of resistance. This play-full workshop will offer us an opportunity to deepen our sense of care—for self and others, to re-remember our own resilience, and to recharge our contemplative batteries for the work ahead. The activities we will engage will be gentle, invitational, and designed to be accessible for all abilities and levels of experience.

Kerr Mesner


Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Recognizing & Cultivating Wholeness as a Practice of Radical Self Care

Wholeness is a capacity that is present within each human being. Cultivating wholeness requires engagement in multiple ways of knowing, particularly that of the deep imagination. From a state of wholeness all projective illusions fall away and a state of presence and compassionate regard emanates one’s whole being. Wholeness practices renew one’s connection particular ways of knowing and relating and can lead us to our most authentic ways of being in the world. The cultivation of the capacity for wholeness in higher education as a practice of radical self-care is essential in transforming learning environments that will support deeper inner development as an educational aim. In such an environment, educators become guides for their learners to discover golden threads of their unique purpose to contribute something of true beauty and significance in the world. This interactive workshop will introduce and explore wholeness practices for application in higher education settings.

Jennifer Obbard


Parallel Session VI (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Moving Beyond Burnout: Developing Resilient Relationships to Learning

As acclaimed choreographer Liz Lerman notes, “Resistance is information.” In academic settings, contemplative practices can offer doorways into the information and insights that lie behind forms of resistance that often impede learning (including anger, shame, blame, boredom, frustration, burnout, lack of motivation, self pity) and facilitate both individual and group resilience. This workshop explores ways to recognize the wisdom behind experiences of resistance—in ourselves and our students. Contemplative practices that engage both movement and stillness can facilitate learning and responding to needs rather than falling into distraction, shame, blame, or avoidance behaviors. Through contemplative dance exercises and reflective writing practices, we will explore methods for being with and moving beyond both physical and metaphorical forms of resistance (no previous dance experience is necessary) as well as discuss the applications of these methods across disciplines.

Candice Salyers

3:30 – 4:00 pm Break with coffee, tea and light snacks
CCA
4:00 – 5:15 pm

Parallel Session VII
Breakout Rooms on 8th & 9th Floors of the Campus Center

Parallel Session VII

Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Modeling Wholeness, Humanness, & Humility in Law School – Movement, Art, & Journaling 

We are three full-time law teachers. Two of us are also meditation teachers, and we are all involved in the small but growing movement to bring various mindfulness practices to legal education. Our ultimate goal is to help students bring their whole selves to the practice of law. Legal workplaces have become even more stressful, high-paced, and competitive than ever before. These conditions create added stress and anxiety, and detrimentally affect the mental health and well-being of law students and lawyers. Like many professions, law is also a highly cerebral field. Legal training focuses almost entirely on developing thinking skills rather than focusing on feeling, moving, or being. This one-sided approach to education and life can leave law students and lawyers feeling disconnected from essential parts of themselves, which can in turn can make it difficult for lawyers to connect with clients and act as stewards in society.

Gary Cazalet, Heidi K. Brown, Nathalie Martin


Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Roundtable

Implementing “Learning Sustainable Well-Being” Classes on Campuses

This roundtable will discuss how to help academic institutions understand the need for, and implement, well-being classes. In my 24 years as a professor (and a recent researcher of mindfulness and well-being), I have seen a steady incline in student anxiety and depression. In response to this, in 2014, I started teaching well-being courses on campus, which have been quite successful. To move forward, and scale up, my students and I started a grass-roots initiative at UCSD, called “Learning Sustainable Well-Being”, which takes a “preventive” mental health approach. The ultimate goal is to implement a mandatory 1-unit well-being class for students (using a variety of wisdoms, practices and methods), taught by professors (who will need to learn well-being themselves!). This roundtable will discuss the questions and obstacles that arise when working with universities to implement a comprehensive system of guidance so that students can flourish both academically and personally.

Karen Dobkins, Taylor Bondi (not in attendance)


Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Mindfulness in Public Education: Embodied Whiteness as Decolonizing Praxis

Studies reveal the benefits of mindfulness in education, but implementing programming authentically and equitably within our capitalist white supremacist hetero-cis patriarchy remains an obstacle. This workshop will focus on mindfulness in public education, research, and teacher education. I draw on my experience teaching yoga and mindfulness in New York City public schools and middle school English and ESL in Holyoke, Massachusetts to show that these traditional practices develop necessary skills of inquiry, imagination, human connection, and critical thinking. The analysis of my findings shows how teaching mindfulness from a decolonizing and ecological perspective promotes a positive learning environment, alleviates management challenges, and develops higher order thinking in students. This session invites participants to experience an anti-racist chair yoga practice and discuss how different modalities of mindfulness can be used in teaching and learning.

Lulu Ekiert


Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Where’s My Ox – Today’s Learner and a Traditional Japanese Art

A set of illustrations attributed to a 12th-century Buddhist priest in China and known as “The Ten Oxherding Pictures” is a well-known Zen teaching parable. This pictorial narrative is accompanied by poems in Japanese and Chinese. In my literature and culture course on the art of tea, students read an interpretation by an esteemed tea master that connects this story to the practice of tea. This visual depiction of a boy tether in hand wandering in the mountains is especially relevant to the educational journey of many students. It is a delightful story of searching for an ox with unexpected twists and turns along the way. The goal of a liberal arts education should be to encourage students to set out on an unknown trek through mountainous terrain. Along the way they should learn to confront, lasso and wrangle a wayward ox. I will use visual examples from teaching a traditional lecture class and practicum in a tearoom to describe this journey.

Janet Ikeda


Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

The Courageous Path of Collective Liberation: A Compassion-based Approach to Social Justice Education

Courage of Care launched in order to provide a community for educators, activists, leaders, healers, parents and others to develop the skills necessary to realise a more compassionate, just world. We designed a model that integrates relational contemplative training, critical pedagogy and systems thinking to support sustainable personal and social transformation. Our model helps us learn to: 1) LOVE in more sustainable and compassionate ways; 2) SEE that which inhibits our capacity to connect in just, equitable ways; 3) HEAL from collective forms of trauma and oppression; 4) ENVISION more caring and just worlds; and 5) ACT to realise and sustain our shared visions. In addition to providing workshops and retreats, we developed a university level course and have consulted with several University Centres interested in compassionate systems change. This workshop will offer participants an introduction to the core theory and practice of the model with opportunity for critical engagement.

Brook Lavelle


Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Dealing with feelings – Global threats and contemplative tools

Often university students feel isolated and lonely with their existential thoughts. Hence, there is a strong need to develop collective ways of sharing emotions concerning questions related with the meaning of the studies. We claim that if there isn’t real dialogue between people, students will not be able to face local or global scale threats without a risk of burning out or becoming too cynical to act.

Climate anxiety groups have become successful in connecting the mindfulness-based tools as well as ways of fostering self-compassion with the real context. In the workshop, the participants can experience the practices of the climate anxiety workshop and test how the contemplative, dialogical methods help to sustain through societal changes and global challenges. Practices promote self-care and skills for compassionate dialogue. Including discussion about how the kind of methods can be integrated into teaching and spread the mindset to build compassionate academic community.

Merita Petäjä, Sanni Saarimäki


Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Using Collective Poetry Collage to Teach Healing Justice

This workshop is inspired by a Master’s-level social work course, Community Building, where the group focuses on self-care and healing justice as critical for social workers in training. Healing justice is a framework and set of practices that attends to oppression, trauma, and stress by decolonizing institutions and culture while creating opportunities for personal and inter-personal healing. It is concerned with the whole self, including the body, mind, heart, spirit, nature, and community. Through study of adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy, a new voice in transformative justice, the workshop will begin with meditation followed by check-ins about real struggles in our social justice work and lives. In this context, we will read some of Brown’s work aloud and everyone is supported in writing a poem using one of her lines as a prompt. Through a collective and embodied process, we will use our individual poems to create a collective poetry collage.

Loretta Pyles


Parallel Session VII (Sat) | 75-Minute Practice Workshop

Radical Renewal: Not Knowing

The most radical admission in academia is of not knowing, yet its pure state – beginner’s mind – is ideal for learning. In a context in which not to know an answer is seen as a serious shortcoming, consistently maintaining that state of mind is the most powerful renewal available.

The workshop will provide an experience in not knowing, and the renewal it offers, by exploring something almost no one knows how to comprehend: a challenging selection of music. The experience, produced by a series of repeated listenings and acknowledgements together of what is heard, and leading to the joy of communal discovery and a desire to know more, will be followed by suggestions for achieving this awareness in other domains. The emphasis will be on building a community of support for honestly engaging with ideas and one another in order to renew and sustain a positive academic environment. Time will be reserved for questions and discussion.

John Morrison

5:15 – 8:00 Reception with Cash Bar
CCA
   

 

Sunday, November 10

9:00 – 9:30 am Contemplative Practice
CCA
9:30 – 11:30 am Whats Next? 
Debriefing and networking opportunity with coffee and tea
CCA
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