What is a Contemplative University?
|Sundays|Held at the University’s iconic Rotunda, speakers from diverse backgrounds and cultures will present on a range of contemplative practices.
Join us for a very special lecture hosted by The Jefferson Debating & Literary Society. David Germano, the Director of the Contemplative Sciences Center will give a lecture entitled "What is a Contemplative University?" on Oct 21(Fri) at 7:29pm at Jefferson Hall, Hotel C on the West Range.
Education isn’t just about imparting knowledge; it’s about imparting wisdom. It isn’t only about critical thought and intellectual achievement; it is also about developing personal and social skills with an integrated depth of experience enabling our students to transform into active, engaged, compassionate citizens of a diverse world.
Contemplation is best known in terms of the formal practices that are thought to exemplify it. Such practices include those with long cultural histories, such as contemplative Christian prayer, Hatha yoga, t’ai chi or Buddhist mindfulness. Contemplative practices also include contemporary and secular applications, such as performance visualization, deep listening and leadership training. Such practices are thought to improve human life when individuals and communities cultivate them deliberately and intelligently. In various traditions and settings, contemplation is said to heighten awareness, deepen understanding, improve learning, facilitate compassion and increase the quality of conscious choices.
Questions arise about contemplation and its practices – some of them skeptical – and thus rigorous scientific study, broadly construed, into its mechanisms and impact in specific contexts is essential. The center is blending 2,500 years of knowledge from spiritual and secular traditions around the world with the systematic investigation, experimentation and understanding of modern scholarship in the sciences, humanities, arts and social sciences.
In addition, theory and research only go so far, thus we need tight integration of research with practical applications that implement programs for transformative effect in specific sectors inside and outside the University.
All speeches are free and open to public.