A Meeting of Minds in Cyberspace: Eco-contemplative Methods for Online Teaching

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"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. This book is divided into six sections. Section I, Why Contemplative Pedagogy? The Religious Studies Dialogue, contains the following: (1) The Convergence of Liberal Education and Contemplative Education--Inevitable? (Thomas B. Coburn); (2) Meditation and Education: India, Tibet, and Modern America (Robert A. F. Thurman); (3) Contemplative Studies: Can It Flourish in the Religious Studies Classroom? (Harold D. Roth); and (4) Contemplative Studies and the Art of Persuasion: The Institutional Challenge (Laurie L. Patton). Section II, The Contemplative Professor, contains the following: (5) From Content, to Context, to Contemplation: One Professor's Journey (Fran Grace); (6) The Collective Dynamics of Contemplative Practice (Christopher M. Bache); (7) The Mindful Teacher as the Foundation of Contemplative Pedagogy (Richard C. Brown); (8) Compassion Beyond Fatigue: Contemplative Training for Educators and Other Helping Professionals (John Makransky); and (9) Field Notes from a Daoist Professor (Louis Komjathy). Section III, Critical Issues in Contemplative Teaching, contains the following: (10) Training the Heart Responsibly: Ethical Considerations in Contemplative Teaching (Judith Simmer-Brown); (11) Invitation and Coercion in Contemplative Pedagogy (Sid Brown); and (12) Interiority and Higher Education: The Neurophenomenology of Contemplation (Tobin Hart). Section IV, Contemplative-Based Courses, contains the following: (13) Embodied Contemplative Learning: Aikido as a Case Study (Michelle Lelwica); (14) Reflections on Theory and Practice: The Case of Modern Yoga (Stuart Ray Sarbacker); (15) Sustaining Life: Contemplative Pedagogies in a Religion and Ecology Course (Barbara Patterson); (16) Adab: Courteous Behavior in the Classroom (Bridget Blomfield); and (17) Experiencing Medieval Christian Spirituality (Kristine T. Utterback). Section V, Contemplative Exercises for the Classroom, contains the following: (18) Awareness Practices in an Undergraduate Buddhism Course (Andrew O. Fort); (19) Contemplative Inquiry: Beyond the Disembodied Subject (Anne Carolyn Klein and Ann Gleig); (20) Love of Wisdom Puts You on the Spot: The Warrior Exam (Dale Asrael); (21) A Meeting of the Minds in Cyberspace: Eco-contemplative Methods for Online Teaching (Jane Compson); (22) Mindfulness in the History Classroom: Teaching as Interbeing (Shu-chin Wu); (23) Two Contemplative Practices That Animate the Study of Religion (John D. Copenhaver); and (24) Mindfulness and Contemplative Practice in Art and Religion (Deborah J. Haynes). Section VI, Conclusion: Does It Work? Evaluations from Our Students, contains the following: (25) Emotional Learning: Recognizing Emotion and Thought in a Buddhism Course (Judith Simmer-Brown); and (26) Meditation in the Classroom: What Do the Students Say They Learn? (Fran Grace). Selected bibliography, a list of contributors and an index are included.

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Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies

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