ACMHE Member Newsletter: September 2013 
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Wondering what your fellow members of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education have been up to lately? Read on. (And if you'd like to have your news included in an upcoming newsletter, just send it our way.)

With all best wishes,
Jennifer Palmer & Carrie Bergman
Program Associates, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
"..[T]here are times when personal experience keeps us from reaching the mountaintop and so we let it go because the weight of it is too heavy. And sometimes the mountaintop is difficult to reach with all our resources, factual and confessional, so we are just there collectively grasping, feeling the limitations of knowledge, longing together, yearning for a way to reach that highest point. Even this yearning is a way to know."
~ bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

Take a breath...

Before you scroll down to the updates, we just want to remind you that the 2013 ACMHE conference--our largest gathering of the year--is coming November 8-10. This will be our fifth annual conference at Amherst College (Amherst, MA) and we'll be focusing on the theme of "Integrity of Practice." Financial aid is available, and we're still accepting proposals for Saturday's poster session. 

We hope to see you in November!

Download a conference poster (8.5" x 11" .pdf)
Learn More & Register
(Got questions about the conference? Jenn can help.)

News, Opportunities, Publications & Exhibitions

(in alphabetical order)

Contemplative Practices in Higher EducationDaniel Barbezat
Professor of Economics, Amherst College
Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Mirabai Bush
Senior Fellow, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning

Daniel Barbezat and Mirabai Bush have co-authored Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning. To be published in December by Jossey-Bass, the book presents background information and ideas for the practical application of contemplative practices across the academic curriculum from the physical sciences to the humanities and arts. Examples of contemplative techniques included in the book are mindfulness, meditation, yoga, deep listening, contemplative reading and writing, and pilgrimage, including site visits and field trips. Copies are available for advance order through Jossey-Bass and Amazon.
Spontaneous PaintingSusan Bello
Adjunct Professor of Education, Adelphi University
Spontaneous Painting: Creating the Symbol Journey

Part memoir, part exploration of a healing process through spontaneous painting, and part study into the nature of symbolic images and their influence on consciousness, this book concerns Susan Bello's Method of Spontaneous Painting. Dr. Bello is a licensed art therapist, group therapist, adjunct professor, consciousness researcher, artist and the director and founder of The Organization for the Arts & Whole Brain Learning.
Oren Ergas
Lecturer in Education,The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Why meditate? Toward a possible life-pedagogy

Dr. Oren Ergas has published a chapter in the Routledge Interntational Handbook for Education, Religion & Values. In this chapter titled: "Why meditate? Toward a possible life-pedagogy" he interprets excerpts from the satipatthana suta from a layperson's perspective who would find sitting still and doing nothing hard to fathom. Ergas focuses on the first two noble truths and the three marks of existence to explain meditation as a life-pedagogy, toward justifying contemplative practice in contemporary education.
Dr. Ergas has also been hired by the TALI fund to conduct a review of literature in the field of spirituality and education in which he focuses on contemplative education. The review is currently making its way to The review offers extensive summaries of papers and books in the field based on different categories. Currently the interface is in Hebrew but the summaries appear both in English and Hebrew. In a few months the interface will include English as well.

Scholars who have published work in this broad field (i.e. contemplation, contemplative inquiry, spirituality and education) in the past fifteen years (preferably in peer-reviewed journals) are very welcome to send PDF files to so that their work may be included in this resource.
Deborah J. Haynes,
Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado Boulder, is featured in a solo show of 22 recent paintings. "The Stupa: Sacred Architecture" is on display through September 28 at Mercury Framing in Boulder, CO.

Stupa 37 by Deborah Haynes
Bob London, Professor of Education at California State University, San Bernardino, reports on the new Master’s program in Holistic and Integrative Education: 13th cohort, mostly online:

The MA in Education: Holistic and Integrative Education Option at California State University, San Bernardino is a well-established innovative program for creative educators. It is designed for educators interested in entering a dialogue with a cohort of master's students and a team of professors to explore how to develop and implement innovative and meaningful curriculum. Our major objective is to help each educator become clearer about their vision of education and how to implement that vision in their professional setting, including in a high-stakes testing environment. The program has been recognized internationally and by its students for its transformative and contemplative approach to the education process. Our faculty work as a team and are committed to students becoming better explorers, integrators and collaborators, and to the development of a new educational vision, all in the context of the educator’s actual classroom setting or professional setting.

The thirteenth cohort, starting in the summer quarter 2014, is especially designed to allow students not in the geographical region of the university to complete our program. Specifically, the thirteenth cohort will spend two weeks on campus (James Reserve in Idyllwild Mountains) for each of three summers, and complete the remainder of their degree online by the summer quarter 2016.

Characteristics of the Program
  • Designed for educators looking for a non-traditional format emphasizing educational innovation, integrative teaching, and meaning-centered learning. Open to all educators.
  • Quality: Effective program for over 15 years. Recognized as effective and transformative by our students (e.g., exit evaluations) and internationally (e.g., recognized as one of three outstanding programs in transformative education in higher education by research published in the Journal of Transformative Education).
  • Effective pedagogy: A focus on helping each student develop a holistic and transformative vision of education and clarifying how to implement that vision in their professional context; emphasis on nourishing the inner life of the educator; collaboration; establishment of a supportive learning environment; and program faculty teaching in a way consistent with our program goals.
  • Meaningful: A program that accommodates individual interests and emphasizes applying concepts in your classroom or professional context.
See the website at for more details, including a chapter on the transformative characteristics of the program, mostly in the words of the students.
Debbie Rabina, Associate Professor at the Pratt Institute's School of Information and Library Science, attended the 2013 Summer Session on Contemplative Pedagogy and wrote a summary of her experience.  
... Some people accuse contemplative practitioners of escapism, but the discussion in the summer session surrounding information technology showed that nothing can be further from the truth. All participants recognize that technology is a part of both our own and our students’ lives, and David Levy demonstrated some concrete examples of using technology in mindful ways. David, a professor from the Information School at the University of Washington, and thus the closest to me in terms of discipline, talked about the course he teaches called Information and Contemplation. Thinking, David explains, is a slow process, but we live in a world that is all about accelerated production and consumption. Through exercises and discussion, he shows students ways to think reflectively about their use of technology, and to use it in ways that can better themselves and their surroundings.
Contemplative Studies in Higher EducationLinda Sanders, Ph.D.
Adjunct Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Denver–Colorado Women’s College
Contemplative Studies in Higher Education

Linda Sanders edited and co-authored “Contemplative Studies in Higher Education,” the 2013 summer volume of New Directions for Teaching and Learning. This issue discusses the integration of contemplative pedagogy into college and university courses and programs, as well as throughout a wide variety of fields including: science, medicine, law, higher education leadership and student affairs, and performing arts training. Leading scholarpractitioners throughout the United States contributed chapters to the publication, which is a part of The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series. For more information, you are invited to visit

The volume contains several papers authored or co-authored by ACMHE members and
Contemplative Mind's board members:
  • Thomas B. Coburn, "Peak Oil, Peak Water, Peak Education," pp. 3–11
  • Rhonda V. Magee, "Contemplative Practices and the Renewal of Legal Education," pp. 31–40
  • Vijay Kanagala and Laura I. Rendón, "Birthing Internal Images: Employing the Cajita Project as a Contemplative Activity in a College Classroom," pp. 41–51
  • Linda A. Sanders, "Integrating Contemplative Education and Contemporary Performance," pp. 53–63
  • Holly B. Rogers, "Koru: Teaching Mindfulness to Emerging Adults," pp. 73–81
  • Arthur Zajonc, "Contemplative Pedagogy: A Quiet Revolution in Higher Education," pp. 83–94
Yoga for CollegeTori Smith
Senior Lecturer, Hispanic Studies, Brown University
Yoga for College: Balance and Transformation

Yoga teacher and academic Tori Smith (Brown University) just published her book Yoga for College: Balance and Transformation on She says that the seeds for this project were planted at the 2006 Smith College Summer Session! The book is a guide for students who want to explore how yoga (postures, breath work, meditation, and principles of yogic philosophy) and related areas (such as anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, and psychology) can help them improve their academics, creativity, and social life. You can check out the website for more information. 
Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

Luke Wolcott
Postdoc in Mathematics, University of Western Ontario
On Contemplation in Mathematics

In January 2013, the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics 3 (1) 74-95, published the article "On Contemplation in Mathematics" by Luke Wolcott. The first half of the article describes a blog maintained for two years, documenting the emotional, logistical, cognitive, and meta-cognitive aspects of specific mathematical experiences. The goal of the blog was to begin to catalog research mathematics experiences, to illuminate their intersubjective nature and make the case that more contemplative mathematicians would make more and better mathematics. The second half of the article introduces contemplative education to the mathematical community, and provides anecdotes from experiments using mindfulness meditation in the author's differential equations course. For most months of 2013, the article has been one of the top downloaded papers from the Mathematics Commons.

Abstract / Synopsis:
In a section about research, we make the case that intentional, structured reflection on the mathematical research process, by mathematical researchers themselves, would result in better mathematicians doing better mathematics. As supporting evidence, we describe the Flavors and Seasons project. In a section about teaching, we describe the contemplative education movement and share personal experiences using meditation in the math classroom. We conclude with an explicit proposal for elucidating the experiential context of mathematics, in both research and teaching environments.

Reminder: 2 More Ways to Share Your Work

Share Your Syllabus
Have you designed a course incorporating contemplative practice? Add your syllabus to the archive to make it available to your fellow ACMHE members. It's easy to contribute--just email your files to Carrie and she'll post 'em on the website.

Post to the ACMHE ListServ
Don't forget--we have a discussion list that you can use to send messages to fellow members. Ask questions, share resources, and keep in touch by sending an email to the ListServ subscribers at

If you'd like to subscribe to the ListServ--which is, by the way, separate from our regular email list (i.e., the method by which you've received this newsletter), just ask Carrie to sign you up.
(Got questions about any of this? You know who to ask....just email Carrie!
Want to be included in the next Member Newsletter?
Send your updates to Jenn:
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