|Sundays|Held at the University’s iconic Rotunda, speakers from diverse backgrounds and cultures will present on a range of contemplative practices.
The Contemplative Institute is an annual engagement that aims to build a national, collaborative partnership among diverse stakeholders to explore the transformative impacts of contemplative approaches in a specific social sector. This will enable CSC to mobilize new partnerships, thinking, and action in new areas each year. Each Contemplative Institute begins with a year-long process of identifying and inviting participants. Guests' openness, expertise, and capacity is essential if the Institute is to serve as venue for discovering catalysts to action and change. Participants are a blend of individuals who are major agents of change in their specific thematic area, as well as in contemplative practices and interventions. Over a four day series of meetings on the grounds of the University of Virginia, conversations will aim first to take stock of major challenges and opportunities in this sector, and second to discuss whether contemplative ideas, values, and practices might offer distinctive resources to help people in the field to address these challenges and opportunities. The Institute concludes by exploring whether these possibilities might be operationalizable through a three year series of activities involving collaboration between subject-specific experts and contemplative experts. The general goal for such activities is to see if seed funding for three years provided by the CSC can lay the groundwork for sustainable change, whether through securing additional funds over the long-term or integration into the ongoing work of extant institutions. Each year the Contemplative Institute will have a different focus, with the inaugural 2014 Institute devoted to primary and secondary education. Other topics under consideration include international humanitarian aid organizations, and health care.