Promising Developments for Contemplative Practices on Campus
Mark Thurston, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at George Mason University's Center for Consciousness and Transformation
Contemporary research findings from contemplative neuroscience, higher education, and positive psychology point to the significant potential of reflection, meditation, and other contemplative practices. How can these findings be applied on a university campus? For example, how can contemplative practices inform the pedagogy and/or the content of academic courses, or the nature of co-curricular campus offerings?
This presentation will survey relevant research studies and describe the work of George Mason University's Center for Consciousness and Transformation, founded four years ago. Contemplative practices play a central role in that university's undergraduate minor, and the Center offers an array of contemplative-based co-curricular activities to all students, as well. This session will also offer an opportunity for participants to reflect on and share with others the value of consciousness and transformation as it applies to them, where they live and work.
Working Lunch: Incorporating Contemplative Practices Into Your Own Courses or Co-curricular Activities
This workshop session will provide an opportunity for faculty to share experiences of applying contemplative pedagogy and/or including contemplative research and traditions into course content or non-credit campus experiences for students. Whether or not you have something to report from previous experiences, all attendees are encouraged to come to this session with an upcoming course or campus activity around which there is still planning to be done. We will think, brainstorm, and co-create together some of the specific ways in which contemplative science, practices and pedagogy could be woven into that course or co-curricular activity.
Sponsored by the Teaching Resource Center and the Center for Contemplative Sciences
Mark Thurston, Ph.D. is Senior Fellow at George Mason University's Center for Consciousness and Transformation. Located in suburban Washington D.C., Mason is known for its innovative programs in higher education, including this new teaching and research center which began in late 2008.
With an academic background in psychology, Mark worked for 35 years before going to Mason in adult education related to consciousness, holistic health, and transformative leadership. He is author of more than a dozen books related to personal spirituality, dream psychology, meditation, and the transformation of consciousness. Mark's research interests include mindfulness, conflict transformation, the role of intentionality in groups, and aspects of consciousness that can be experienced in the dream state. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses at Mason, as well as offering workshops and trainings for groups and organizations nationwide.
Mark coordinates George Mason University's undergraduate Minor in consciousness and transformation, and his recent courses at Mason have recently included
- "Consciousness, Meaning, and Life-Purpose"
- "Meditation and Mysteries of the Mind,"
- "Science and Application of Mind-Body Integration"
- "Conflict Transformation from the Inside Out"