The Brown University Contemplative Program Development Network

Welcome to the Brown University Contemplative Program Development Network. These pages are the “Brain Child” of the Brown University Mind and Life Think Tank (September 22—24, 2017) and, as such, are devoted to an ongoing discussion of how to build Contemplative Studies Programs by exploring our priorities, practices and the problems we encounter along the way.

At the center of the Brown Program in Contemplative Studies is the examination of the full range of human contemplative experiences in an effort to catalogue them, to understand their phenomenology, and to comprehend their scientific basis. Because the study of consciousness is the centerpiece of this kind of study, we have developed a teaching methodology that balances traditional “third-person” perspectives with “critical first-person” perspectives. With such a balanced approach, which we have termed “Integrative Contemplative Pedagogy,” we can best approach the study of the full range of human contemplative experience. This kind of integrative pedagogy is known throughout higher education in the Creative Arts, in laboratory science, and in public speaking, for example: what we are doing is extending it to the study of consciousness.

At Brown during the last decade, we have slowly built a coordinated program of courses in this deliberately interdisciplinary field, which includes the Humanities, the Sciences, and the Creative Arts. We have developed a core faculty teaching in these areas, have sponsored over a dozen Independent Concentrations, and have advised more than three dozen students in developing a contemplative focus within existing concentrations. We have also, through the generosity of our donors, sponsored more than 100 lectures and workshops by distinguished scientists, humanists, artists, and contemplative teachers.  For more information on our pioneering work, please feel free to peruse the website and, if you have further questions or concerns, contact [email protected].

On the following pages, you will find a growing variety of resources materials to aid you in your exploration of Contemplative Program development:

  1. Syllabuses from Brown Contemplative Studies (COST) courses.
  2. Syllabuses from other institutions offering Contemplative Studies courses. 
  3. Digital Recordings of Presentations at the Brown University Mind and Life Think Tank, September 22 – 24, 2017.
  4. PowerPoint presentations from Think Tank Participants.
  5. Brown COST documents, such as:  Qualifications for Teaching Contemplative Practices in the Classroom; Student Disclaimers for Meditation Lab Participation; The Empirical Directive; The Structure of Med Labs, etc.

We hope that you find these pages helpful.  If you have suggestions or would like to contribute to this site, please contact [email protected].

If you have questions or comments on Contemplative Program Development, please visit our blog at: COST blog.   Feel free to visit us often and share our site with your colleagues.