This page features some key resources on contemplative pedagogy. As work in the field grows it has become impossible to keep up so this is not intended to be comprehensive but hopefully it is helpful. At the bottom I have added a new section which focuses specifically on critical and social mindfulness perspectives in education as this seems to be an increasingly important thread of exploration.

Books and papers

Bach, D.J. and Alexander, J. 2015. Contemplative Approaches to Reading and Writing: Cultivating Choice, Connectedness, and Wholeheartedness in the Critical Humanities, The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry. 2, 1.

Barbezat, D. P., and M. Bush. 2014. Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Lin, J., R. L. Oxford, and E. J. Brantmeier, eds. 2013. Re-Envisioning Higher Education: Embodied Pathways to Wisdom and Social Transformation. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Palmer, P. J., and A. Zajonc. 2010. The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.
Rechtschaffen, D. 2014. The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-being in Teachers and Students. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Roth, H. 2019 at Brown University, a very significant scholar in Contemplative Inquiry and Education, recently posted about this issue of the American Academy of Religion “Spotlight on Teaching” issue for this year, which is devoted to Contemplative Pedagogy and offers interesting insights into our field: (Kindly recommended by Patricia Morgan)

Zajonc, A. 2009. Meditation As Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love. Massachusetts: Lindisfarne Books.

Websites and institutions

Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education

Association for Mindfulness in Education

Mindfulness and Social Change Network


Barbezat, D. 2014. Contemplative Pedagogy.

Bush, M. 2010. Practice: The Core of Contemplative Education.

Zajonc, A.  2013. The Heart of Education ( Keynote speech at the Mindfulness In Education conference. Cambridge, MA.

Short meditations (recorded by Caroline Barratt)

3 Minute Breathing Space

This short practice is perfect for taking a few minutes out of a busy day and regaining composure. It is taken from the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course specifically from Williams and Penman (2011) see here for more information. This can be done during the day, you don’t even need to be seated or to close your eyes – perhaps while waiting for the kettle to boil!

10 Minute Breath Awareness Practice

10 Minute Body Scan

These are slightly longer practices  – you need to be comfortably seated (or possibly lying for the body scan) and ideally to close your eyes. Allow at least 15  minutes so that you don’t have to end the practices  too quickly. Take your time.

5 Minute Loving Kindness Practice

10 Minute Loving Kindness Practice (for one’s self)

These loving kindess practices help to put us in touch with a sense of well wishing and compassion for ourselves and others. The short practice is focuses only one’s self. These should be done in a safe, comfortable place usually seated upright but relaxed, eyes closed. These practices are informed by traditional Buddhist practice and specifically the guidance of Halifax (2011) and Gilbert and Choden (2013)

15 minute reflection on how our work effects us and those around us Meditative reflection on work

This recording is a meditative reflection that I have used in workshops in which participants have been exploring their professional roles and the impact that their work has one others. But it can be used more broadly, where ‘work’ may refer to ‘what we do in the world’.  I consider meditative reflection to be an important tool in contemplative pedagogy.

Critical and Social Mindfulness Resources

Barker, MJ. 2015. Social Mindfulness Zine.

Doran, P. 2017. “A political economy of attention, mindfulness and consumerism”

Forbes, D. 2019. Mindfulness and Its Discontents: Education, Self, and Social Transformation. Fernwood Publishing: Winnipeg

Purser, R. 2019. McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality . London: Repeater Books

Purser, R. and D. Forbes Podcast Website

Purser, R. and D. Forbes. 2016. “Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context, and Social Engagement”

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