Book Discussion Group
Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning

By Barbezat and Bush

January 23, February 6 and 13, March 20, and April 3 and 17
3 to 4:30 PM
Facilitator:  George Nagel (Humanities)

Join us for a lively and engaging discussion of the recently published book, Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning (Barbezat and Bush, 2013).  We will meet 6 times throughout the Spring 2014 semester from 3 to 4:30 PM in FLITE 405.  The dates are:  January 23, February 6 and 13, March 20, and April 3 and 17.  Each participant will receive a copy of the book.

About the book (from:

Contemplative pedagogy is more than a trendy new teaching technique. It is a way for instructors to:

  • Empower students to integrate their own experience into the theoretical material they are being taught in order to deepen their understanding;
  • Help students to develop sophisticated problem-solving skills;
  • Support students’ sense of connection to and compassion for others; and
  • Engender inquiries into students’ most profound questions.

This book presents background information and ideas for the practical application of contemplative practices across the academic curriculum from the physical sciences to the humanities and arts.

Please RSVP for this book discussion group by email to or call 231-591-3826.

About Dr. George Nagel:

Dr. Nagel has participated in a number of workshops and retreats that make him an idea facilitator for these sessions. For example, George has participated in the following:

  • Summer Session on Contemplative Pedagogy, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Summer 2012, Smith College
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine: A 7-Day Professional Training, Summer 2013, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Thich Nhat Hanh: Mindfulness Retreat for Educators, Summer 2013, Brock University
  • 7-day Silent Retreat with Adyashanti, Fall 2013, Omega Institute
  • Mindfulness Meditation Retreat: A 7-Day, Teacher-Led, Silent Retreat, Fall 2013, Shambala Mountain Center
  • Vipassana Meditation Course 10-day Silent Retreat, Fall 2013, Illinois Vipassana Mediation Center
  • Practicum in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, January 2014, University of Massachusetts Medical School

In addition, George completed a Sabbatical in Fall 2013, during which time a portion of his work involved (a) identifying new contemplative and mindfulness practices for his classes, (b) developing a database on these and other practices and resources, and (c) evaluating data from previous classes in which such practices were used to assist students to achieve specific course outcomes.