Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

A month or two ago, I found the website for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. They are at http://www.contemplativemind.org/.

They describe themselves as follows:

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society is a 501-c(3) non-profit organization which works to integrate contemplative awareness and contemporary life, to help create a more just, compassionate, and reflective society. Contemplative practices, including prayer, meditation, yoga, and many contemplative arts, help individuals regain balance and calm in the midst of challenging circumstances. This state of calm centeredness provides effective stress reduction and can also help address issues of meaning, values, and spirit. Contemplative practices can help people develop greater empathy and communication skills, improve focus and concentration, reduce stress and enhance creativity. In time, with sustained commitment, they cultivate insight, wise discernment, and a loving and compassionate approach to life. While personal transformation does not guarantee the transformation of social institutions, the Center is grounded in the belief that contemplative awareness can assist individuals and groups in identifying the root causes of social problems and finding creative approaches to eliminating them.

I’m impressed by their approach and the overall vibe of the site. They have a tree of contemplative practices up that shows their emphasis as well.

This is definitely the kind of organization that I think our culture is more in need of with the current emphasis on consumerism and competition. They put their money where with their intentions as well. Along with the other work they do, they fund Contemplative Practice Fellowships:

...Approximately ten fellowships will be offered to support individual or collaborative research leading to the development of courses and teaching materials that integrate contemplative practices into courses. These fellowships are designed to advance scholarship in the field, to encourage a recognition of the role of contemplation in the intellectual life, and to inform educational practice and enhance course design. We invite proposals from the full range of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives in the arts, humanities, and humanities-related sciences and social sciences. Methodologies that include practical and experiential approaches to the subject matter are especially welcome.

I would encourage some of my Buddhist friends with the energy and motivation to create materials to think about applying for one of their fellowships.

This is all very good.