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Societal and political pressures on the contemporary university model continue to challenge both the academy and students. It is more important than ever that higher education provides students with the skills and knowledge to effectively navigate the opportunities and stressors of the rapidly evolving 21st century. The college student experience is directly affected by their perceptions of teaching, research, services, and resources provided by the academy. Contemplative practices offer students, faculty, staff, and administration opportunities to grow, evolve and connect with each other strengthening personal and institutional commitments to diversity, inclusion and excellence.

Specifically, the conference will address the use of contemplative practices—such as mindfulness meditation, centering, yoga, journaling and others methods of self-reflection—in the classroom, research, and campus citizenship, and their impacts on student and employee wellness, learning, and individual and professional development.

Ultimately, this leads to an exploration of practices across the administration, faculty, staff, and students to create a flourishing, learner-centered community. We invite all parties interested in this process to join us as we explore questions such as:

  1. What experiences have we as individuals had with implementing contemplative mind-body practices in higher education?
  2. How can we use our experiences with contemplative mind-body practices to promote physical, emotional and spiritual well being in the greater community in higher education and forge a more learner-centered culture on our campuses?
  3. How can a more learner-centered culture based on contemplative mind-body practices provide a foundation for a safer, wiser, more compassionate community in higher education and greater society?
  4. How can we cultivate self awareness, listening better to ourselves and to others?
  5. How can we use our knowledge and expertise to build a more equitable world that responds more fully to our deepest human needs?

It is through our combined effort, and our desire to develop and nurture ourselves, will we create the environment that can position our community to live engaged, quality lives in this increasingly complex global society. The conference provides space for discussing contemplative practices as a way of educating the whole person to benefit both the individual and society.

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