Literature on Contemplative Education

This reading list includes some recommended academic literature on ‘contemplative education’. I have also included related movements that overlap, complement or can be included in ‘contemplative education’. These include ‘wisdom education’, ‘moral education’, ‘integral education’, ‘social emotional learning’, ‘anti-oppression pedagogy’, ’emotional education’, ‘a pedagogy of hope’, ‘sentipensante’, and various other critical and contemplative pedagogies.

Please Note: The reading lists on this website are continually being updated. Please feel free to get in touch if you feel there is relevant literature worth exploring and later perhaps including in this list.

Academic Books

Barbezat, D., & Bush, M. (2014). Contemplative practices in higher education: Powerful methods to transform teaching and learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Berila, B. (2016). Integrating mindfulness into anti-oppression pedagogy: Social justice in higher education. New York, NY: Routledge.

Centre for Contemplative Mind in Society. (2007).The activist’s ally: Contemplative tools for social change. Northampton, MA: Centre for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Esbjorn-hargens, S. (2010). Integral education: New directions for higher learningAlbany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Hall, T. (1988). Too deep for words: Rediscovering lectio divina. New York, NY: Paulist Press.

Harris, I., & Morrison, M. L., (2003). Peace education (2nd ed.). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

hooks,  b. (2003). Teaching community: A pedagogy of hope. New York, NY: Routledge.

Keator, M. (2019). Lectio divina as contemplative pedagogy: Re-appropriating monastic practices for the humanities. New York, NY: Routledge.

Langer, E. J. (1997). The power of mindful learning. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.

O’Reilly, M. R. (1998). Radical presence: Teaching as contemplative practice. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Palfrey, J. (2017). Safe spaces, brave spacesDiversity and free expression in education. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Palmer, P. (1997). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco, CA: Wiley Jossey-Bass.

Palmer, P., & Zajonc, A. (2010). The heart of higher education: A call to renewal. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Rendon, L. I. (2009). Sentipensante (sensing/thinking) pedagogy: Educating for wholeness, social justice and liberation. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Taylor, M. C. (2010). Crisis on campus: A bold plan for reforming our colleges and universities. New York, NY: Knopf.

Thompson, B. (2017). Teaching with tenderness: Toward an embodied practice. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Tisdell, E. J. (2003). Exploring spirituality and culture in adult and higher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Zajonc, A. (2008). Meditation as contemplative inquiry: When knowing becomes love. Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne Press.

Edited Academic Books

Bush, M. (Ed.), Contemplation nation: How ancient practices are changing the way we live. Kalamazoo, MI: Fetzer Institute.

Ergas, O. & Todd, S. (Eds.), Philosophy east/west: Exploring intersections between educational and contemplative practices. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.

Groccia, J. E. & Cruz, L. (Eds.), To improve the academy volume 31: Resources for faculty, instructional, and organizational development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Ladreman, L. M. (Ed.), The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators. Sterling, VA: ACPA.

Lin, J., Oxford, R. L. & Brantmeier, E. J. (Eds.), Re-envisioning higher education: Embodied pathways to wisdom and social transformation. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Chapters in Edited Academic Books

Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From safe spaces to brave spaces: A new way to frame dialogue around diversity and social justice. In L. M. Ladreman (Ed.), The Art of Effective Facilitation: Reflections from Social Justice Educators (pp. 135–151). Sterling, VA: ACPA.

Barbezat, D., & Pingree, A. (2012). Contemplative pedagogy: The special role of teaching and learning centers. In J. E. Groccia & L. Cruz (Eds.), To Improve the Academy Volume 31: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development (pp. 177–191). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bush, M. (2011). Contemplative higher education in contemporary life. In M. Bush (Ed.), Contemplation Nation: How Ancient Practices Are Changing the Way We Live. Kalamazoo, MI: Fetzer Institute.

Ergas, O. (2013b). Embodying higher education – Towards integrity. In J. Lin, R. L. Oxford, & E. J. Brantmeier (Eds.), Re-envisioning Higher Education: Embodied Pathways to Wisdom and Social Transformations (pp. 211–228). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Ergas, O. (2016). The deeper teachings of mindfulness-based “interventions” as “reconstrcution of education”. In O. Ergas, & S. Todd (Eds.), Philosophy East/West: Exploring Intersections between Educational and Contemplative Practices (pp. 47–67). Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.

Lin, J. (2013). Education for Transformation and an Expanded Self: Paradigm Shift for Wisdom (pp. 23-32). In J. Lin, R. Oxford, & E. J. Brantmeier (Eds.), Re-envisioning Higher Education: Embodied Pathways to Wisdom and Social Transformation.Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Lamb, R. (2013). Yoga and higher education: Adding concentration, clarity and
compassion to learning. In J. Lin, R. L. Oxford, & E. J. Brantmeier (Eds.), Re-envisioning Higher Education: Embodied Pathways to Wisdom and Social Transformation(pp. 177–192). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Academic Journals

The Arrow
Change: The Magazine for Higher Learning
Contemplative Outreach
The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry
Initiative for Contemplative Equity and Action Journal

Academic Journal Articles

Astin, A. W. (2004). Why Spirituality Deserves a Central Place in Liberal Education. Liberal Education, 90(2), 34–41.

Astin, A. W., Astin, H., Chopp, R., Delbanco, A., & Speers, S. (2007). A Forum on Helping Students Engage the “Big Questions.” Liberal Education, 92(2), 28.

Ayers, W. (2004). Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Bach, D. J., & 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), 17–36.

Berila, B. (2014). Contemplating the Effects of Oppression: Integrating Mindfulness into Diversity Classrooms. The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 1(1), 55–68.

Burack, C. (2014). Responding to the Challenges of a Contemplative Curriculum. The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 1(1), 35–54.

Bush, M. (2006). Foreword. Teachers College Record, 108(9), 1721–1722.

Carroll, M. (2005). Divine Therapy: Teaching Reflective and Meditative Practices. Teaching Theology and Religion, 8(4), 232–238.

Dall’Alba, G. (2012). Re-imagining the University: Developing a Capacity to Care. In R. Barnett (Ed.), The Future University: Ideas and Possibilities(pp. 112–122). Abingdon: Routledge.

Denton, D., & Ashton, W. (Eds. . (2004). Spirituality, Action and Pedagogy: Teaching from the heart. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Duerr, M., Zajonc, A., & Dana, D. (2003). Survey of Transformative and Spiritual Dimensions of Higher Education. Journal of Transformative Education, 1(3), 177–211.

Ergas, O. (2017). Reclaiming “self” in teachers’ images of “education” through mindfulness as contemplative inquiry. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 14(3).

Ergas, O. (2018a). A contemplative turn in education: charting a curricular-pedagogical countermovement pedagogical countermovement. Pedagogy, Culture & Society,1366(May), 1–20.

Hageman, H. F. (2015). Integral Education at the California Institute of Integral Studies. The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, 23(1), 43–50.

Hall, P. D. (1999). The Effect of Meditation on the Academic Performance of African American College Students. Journal of Black Studies, 29(3), 408–415.

Garcia, A. C. (2014). The pedagogy of the real: teaching “animals in society” to undergraduates through doing research and disseminating the results. Radical Pedagogy, 11(2), 1–29.

Grace, F. (2011). Learning as a Path, Not a Goal: Contemplative Pedagogy – Its Principles and Practices. Teaching Theology & Religion, 14(2), 99–124.

Grace, F., & Simmer-Brown, J. (2011). Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Holland, D. (2006). Contemplative Education in Unexpected Places: Teaching Mindfulness in Arkansas and Austria. Teachers College Record, 108(9), 1842–1861.

hooks, b. (1999). Embracing freedom: spirituality and liberation. In S. Glazer (Ed.),The Heart of Learning. New York, NY: Tarcher/Putnam, pp. 61–76.

Langer, E. J. (1993). A Mindful Education. Educational Psychologist, 28(1), 43–50.

Langer, E. J. (2003). A Mindful Education. Educational Psychologist, 28(1),43-50.

Lelwica, M. M. (2009). Embodying Learning: Post-Cartesian Pedagogy and the Academic Study of Religion. Teaching Theology and Religion,12(2), 123–36.

Magee, R. V. (2016). Legal Education as Contemplative Inquiry: An Integrative Approach to Legal Education, Law Practice, and the Substance of the Law We Make.Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 3(1), 7–20.

Murray, T. (2006). Collaborative knowledge building and integral theory: On perspectives, uncertainty, and mutual regard. Integral Review, 2(1). 210–268.

Murray, T. (2009). What is the Integral in Integral Education?  From Progressive Pedagogy to Integral Pedagogy, Integral Review, 5(1). 96–134.

Nelson, M. (2006). The Fruit of Silence. Teachers College Record, 108(9), 1733–1741.

Probyn, E. (2004). Teaching Bodies: Affects in the Classroom. Body & Society, 10(4), 21–43.

Ragoonadem, K. (2017). A Pedagogy of Well-Being: Introducing Mindfulness to First Year Access Students. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 4(1), 71–86.

Roth, H. D. (2006). Contemplative studies: prospects for a new field. Teachers College Record,108(9), 1787–1815.

Sarath, E. (2006). Meditation, Creativity and Consciousness: Charting Future Terrain for Higher Education. 2006, 108(9), 1816–1841.

Schneider, D. A., & King Keenan, E. (2014). From Being Known in the Classroom to “Moments of Meeting”: What Intersubjectivity offers Contemplative Pedagogy. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 1(1), 1–16.

Schneider, P. (2013). How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice.New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Scida, E. E., & Jones, J. N. (2017). Navigating Stress: Graduate Student Experiences with Contemplative Practices in a Foreign Language Teacher Education Course. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 4(1), 207–228.

Sellman, E.  M. & Buttarazzi, G. F. (2019). Adding Lemon Juice to Poison – Raising critical questions about the oxymoronic nature of mindfulness in education and its future direction. British Journal of Educational Studies. In press.

Shahjahan, R. A. (2009). The role of spirituality in the anti-oppressive higher-education classroom. Teaching in Higher Education, 14(2), 121–131.

Shirazi, B. A. K. (2011). Integral education: Founding vision and principles. Integral Review, 7(1), 4–10.

Short, M. M., Mazmanian, D. L., Ozen, J., & Bedard, M. (2015). Four Days of Mindfulness Training for Graduate Students: A Pilot Study Examining Effects on Mindfulness, Self-regulation, and Executive Function. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 2(1), 37–48.

Simmer-Brown, J. (2009). The Question is the Answer. Religion and Education, 36(2), 88–101.

Stock, B. (2006). The Contemplative Life and the Teaching of the Humanities. Teachers College Record, 108(9), 1760–1764.

Taylor, R. K. S., Barr, J., & Steele, T. (2002). For a Radical Higher Education: After Post-modernism.Buckingham: Open University Press.

Tisdell, E. J. (2006). Spirituality, Cultural Identity, and Epistemology in Culturally Responsive Teaching in Higher Education. Multicultural Perspectives, 8(3), 19–25.

Walsh, Z. (2017). Contemplative praxis for social-ecological transformation. The Arrow, 4(1), 1–19.

Weare, K. (2010). Mental health and social and emotional learning: Evidence, principles, tensions, balances. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 46(3),5–17.

Wray, A., & Batada, A. (2017). Contemplative Pedagogy: Equipping Students for Everyday Social Activism. The Arrow, 4(2), 29–46.

Zajonc, A. (2006). Love and Knowledge: Recovering the Heart of Learning Through Contemplation. Teachers College Record, 108(9), 1742–1759.

Zajonc, A. (2013). Contemplative Pedagogy: A Quiet Revolution in Higher Education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, June 2013(134), 83–94.

Conference Proceedings

Ergas, O. (2018b). Reconstructing‘ education’ through mindful attention: Three approaches to mindfulness in education. Key note presentation delivered at the Mindfulness in Schools Project Conference: The future of mindfulness in education. London, June 16, 2018.

Magazine and Newspaper Articles 

Kiss, E., & Euben, J. P. (2010). Defining moral education—Inside higher ed. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from

Lief, J. (2005). Contemplative education: The spark of east and west working within. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from

Websites of Scholars, Educators and Researchers 

Becky Thompson Yoga
Beth Berila
Laura Rendon

Websites, Organisations and Associations 

Centre for Contemplative Mind in Society
Contemplative Pedagogy Network
Mindful Ed
Movement Tapestries

By Dr. Gabriella F. Buttarazzi (Uma Shakti Devi)

Teacher, Teacher Trainer, Writer and Educational Researcher

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