Meditation and the Classroom
Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies
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A ground-breaking book on using meditation in education and how it can enhance teaching and learning.
Meditation and the Classroom inventively articulates how educators can use meditation to educate the whole student. Notably, a number of universities have initiated contemplative studies options and others have opened contemplative spaces. This represents an attempt to address the inner life. It is also a sign of a new era, one in which the United States is more spiritually diverse than ever before. Examples from university classrooms and statements by students indicate benefits include increased self-awareness, creativity, and compassion.
The religious studies scholars who have contributed to this book often teach about meditation, but here they include reflections on how meditation has affected them and their teaching. Until recently, though, even many religious studies professors would find sharing meditation experiences, let alone teaching meditation techniques, a breach of disciplinary and academic protocols. The value of teaching meditation and teaching about meditation is discussed. Ethical issues such as pluralism, respect, qualifications, power and coercion, and avoiding actual or perceived proselytization are also examined. While methods for religious studies are emphasized, the book provides valuable guidance for all those interested in this endeavor.
Judith Simmer-Brown is Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University and the author of Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism. Fran Grace is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Redlands and the author of Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life.
"…this book is a good beginning point as it brings to the fore the pedagogical issues raised by contemplation in teaching and amply illustrates the variety of meditational practices that can be used in undergraduate instruction. " — Teaching Theology and Religion
"This is a landmark collection that incorporates insights, reflections, and recommendations from leading scholars and teachers who have had significant experience in contemplative pedagogy. " — Ruben L. F. Habito, author of Healing Breath: Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World
"I was inspired by this book. It encouraged me to take risks in the classroom and to take risks as a human being as well. It hits the right balance of setting a larger context and providing helpful information about how practitioners actually accomplish this in the classroom. I have absolutely no doubt that this is the most important book published to date on contemplative pedagogy. " — Joseph A. Favazza, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Religious Studies, Stonehill College