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About C-HEARTS

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Mission Statement

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The mission of the Mid-Atlantic Contemplative Higher Education Alliance for Research, Teaching & Service (C-HEARTS) organization is to support the growth of contemplative practices in higher education by providing opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to engage in cross-institutional events and activities. We welcome participants from across North America and around the globe, while maintain a commitment to hosting our in-person gatherings across the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region in order to support a growing contemplative movement across institutions of higher education in this area.

We interpret contemplative practices in a very wide sense to include creative processes such as contemplative art or writing, movement practices such as yoga, stillness practices such as meditation, generative practices such as prayer, relational practices such as dialogue, health and well-being practices, resiliency practices, leadership, and environmental sustainability. Activities will include, but are not limited to, conferences, symposia, a digital archive of documents and resources related to contemplative education, retreats or other programs for members, and supporting research related to contemplative education.

Events

We will organize and support a variety of events that will engage faculty, staff, students and wider public audiences around contemplative topics. Events may have a low participation fee associated. Events will include the following:

  • An annual conference or symposium
  • Faculty workshops
  • Faculty retreats
  • Student retreats

Digital Publishing

To support our activities we will develop a digital publishing portal. The portal will be based upon the Mandala platform and will be symbiotic with a broader national portal being created with support from the University of Virginia. The portal will initially offer support for publishing and sharing the following resource creation and sharing with further extensions to be subsequently explored:

  • Audio-video recording with time coded transcripts
  • Texts
  • Annotated, deeply classified bibliographies
  • Images (photographs, diagrams, drawings, etc.)
  • Data visualizations
  • Do It Yourself Contemplative Pedagogy & Learning Toolbox
  • Contemplative Encyclopedia of historical and contemporary systems of contemplation, both religious and secular in provenance

Research

The Alliance will support research with the following activities:

  • Announcement of research opportunities
  • Coordination of research grants, both those housed within member institutions and those conducted among member institutions
  • Coordination of human subjects for research

Teaching

The Alliance will support broad incorporation of contemplative practices into courses via sharing of digital pedagogy resources, to be published and shared in the Digital Publishing portal, as well as the delivery of electronic courses with the potential to expand student access to a diverse array of courses through cross-enrollment from students of partner institutions.

Membership

Membership is not restricted to those within a single geographic region. However, we will only sponsor events physically located in the mid-Atlantic region.